Is it a Cold or Allergies?

Sneezing, coughing, runny it a cold or seasonal allergies? Learn how to tell so you know how to treat yourself.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Sneezing, coughing, runny nose…is it a cold or seasonal allergies? offers tips on how to tell if your symptoms are cold or allergy related so you know how to treat yourself.

Itchy Nose. Usually a symptom of allergies since colds create more of a congestion feel.

Sneezing. Allergy sufferers tend to sneeze multiple times in a row in attempt to remove allergens from the nose. Someone with a cold sneezes less frequently and more deeply to rid congestion in the lungs.

Watery eyes. People with allergies tend to have runny eyes, which is not usually the case with colds.

Mucus color. If it’s clear, it’s allergies. If it’s green or yellow, it’s a cold or sinus infection.

Cough. Usually associated with colds, but post-nasal drip from allergies can cause you to cough.

Dark circles under the eyes. You’ve got “allergy shiners” caused by chronic congestion and the inability of the veins under the eyes to properly drain. Colds do not cause these dark circles.

Plus: 5 Ways to Stop Spring Allergies


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