The dreaded first sneeze. The onset of a sore throat. The constant runny nose. Now what?
With such similar symptoms, particularly during the fall and winter months, it can be hard to figure out whether you have the flu, a common cold or allergies. Both a cold and flu are caused by different viruses, whereas allergies are a physical reaction to an allergen or trigger substance. During the winter months, reactions to indoor allergens — airborne dust particles, pet dander, insects and mold — are more prevalent due to less ventilation.
Common symptoms of each ailment include runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough and congestion. A common cold and the flu can be hard to distinguish, but the flu is typically associated with more severe symptoms, such as high fever, headaches and fatigue, that are less common with a general cold. These symptoms are not related to allergies,
according to Mario Rodenas, M.D., UF College of Medicine assistant professor and a medical director of the UF Health Allergy at Springhill clinical practice.