Spring may be upon us, but you’d be wrong to think that the cold season is over. In fact, the weather may be getting warmer, but viruses and respiratory infections are still very likely to catch you off guard — perhaps even more so than in the dead of winter.
The reason for that is very simple and logical: the viruses that cause the common cold prefer cool but not freezing weather, so they may thrive in the intermediate seasons like the beginning of spring. As a result, you are in fact more likely to catch a cold at a time when spring has just come than during the harsh winter months.
No one blames you for being caught unaware though — there are all kinds of respiratory infections floating around when the seasons change: allergies flare up, asthma makes it hard to breathe and all kinds of dust particles make your eyes swollen and teary. So how do you know if you’re dealing with an episode of allergy flare-up or the annoying common cold?
While allergies and colds may look the same to some people - as they share some symptoms - they are not the same in nature, as the former are more of a chronic illness and the latter originate from viral infections.
As such, common colds usually provoke a fever, which allergies hardly ever do. Common colds usually result in a cough, which is less common (although possible) in case of an allergy. Swollen tonsils are to be expected as well if you’re suffering from a viral infection.
On the other hand, sneezing is probably the most prominent symptom of season allergies, especially if the patient does not manifest any other symptoms. The same can be said for itching in the eyes, nose, ears and throat - symptoms that almost never happen during the common cold.
As а matter of fact, it is a combination of symptoms by which you can distinctly tell the two conditions apart. For example, it is usual to have a runny nose in both scenarios; however, in case of the common cold, a runny nose almost always comes with a high temperature and sore throat.
Though it is also possible for you to experience the feeling of a sore throat as a result of both conditions, it presents itself more like an itchy irritation when you’re suffering from allergies, and a scratchy, sharp pain if you have a cold.
It is important to note that most people don’t know these subtle differences between the symptoms. Looking more closely at the signs can change that. Also, going to the doctor if you have any doubts is always a good idea since it’s always better to be on the safe side.