Back to Document

Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?

Symptoms

Allergy (Airborne)

Cold

Stuffy or runny nose

Often

Often

Sneezing

Often

Often

Wheezing

Sometimes

Rarely, never

Itchy eyes

Often

Rarely, never

Fever

Never

Often

Aches and pains

Never

Sometimes

Weakness and fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Headache

Sometimes

Often

Cough

Sometimes

Often

Dizziness

Sometimes

Often

Hoarseness

Sometimes

Often

Recur at a certain time of year

Often

Rarely

Need for antibiotics

No

No

Warning time

Symptoms occur after exposure to allergen

Gets worse over several days

How long it lasts

As long as your child is exposed to the allergen

Usually three to 14 days