Seasonal Allergies or a Common Cold? How to Tell the Difference


Spring is here. Instead of sounds of chirping birds or buzzing bees, it won’t be long before sniffling, sneezing and coughing fill the air.

Are these symptoms of a common cold or has allergy season arrived?

Although allergy symptoms can sometimes be confused with a common cold or respiratory issues, "seasonal allergies usually last more than a week and develop at about the same time every year," explains Dr. Devang Doshi, Beaumont allergist.

In addition to coughing, sniffling and sneezing, allergy symptoms may include:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • watery eyes
  • itchy eyes, nose or throat
  • red circles under the eyes

Seasonal allergies are typically brought on by exposure to outdoor allergens like pollen and grass, but some people feel the effects worse than others. Allergic rhinitis may run in your family; children with asthma or eczema can also be particularly susceptible to allergy-related discomfort.

Before allergy season is in full swing, Dr. Doshi advises to check in with your doctor or child's pediatrician now before symptoms start or get worse.


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