Spring Is In the Air: Knowing the Difference Between Seasonal Allergies and a Cold

If you wake up with nasal congestion and sinus pressure, you may not know whether to reach for the allergy medicine or the cold medicine. The first weeks of spring mark both the start of allergy season and the tail-end of cold season, so the two conditions can often be hard to tell apart.

Allergies and the common cold share many of the same symptoms, including a runny nose, coughing, and an irritated throat, but they do have some key differences, which may help you determine which condition is causing you discomfort:

Allergies and Colds Tampa

The primary similarity between allergies and colds is that they are both instances of your body’s immune system reacting to what it believes to be a harmful substance entering the body. In the case of a cold, your body reacts to one of many different viruses; with allergies, however, your body reacts because it perceives something harmless, like pollen or pet dander, as dangerous. The main difference between these two conditions is that a cold will generally not last more than two weeks, whereas allergies are usually chronic and will likely persist intermittently for years or longer.

If you are experiencing any combination of the above symptoms, the medical staff at South Tampa Immediate Care can help. One of the doctors at our walk-in clinic can evaluate your condition and prescribe treatment quickly so that you can start feeling better as soon as possible. Contact us for additional information about the many urgent care services we offer.