Allergy vs Common Cold Symptoms: Dr. Stork for Simply Saline

TRANSCRIPT Here’s another question. We’ve
got Sandy from Connecticut, and this will sort of lead us into our next– how to recognize
what is an allergy symptom. She wants to know, “How can I tell the difference
between flu symptoms, cold symptoms, and allergy symptoms?” I think a lot of times we’ve got a runny nose,
a scratchy throat, and a lot of people just think, “Oh, I’ll get some cold meds and be
fine,” and then wonder, two weeks later, why they are still sick. Dr. Travis Stork: Well this is the time of
year where I want people to really focus on what is causing symptoms, because if you mistake
your allergies for an upper respiratory infection, also known as a cold, you may be treating
it the wrong way. Number one, spring allergies—they can come
on pretty suddenly and itching is a big allergy symptom that doesn’t tend to exist with colds. When you have allergies, the drainage tends
to be clear and more watery. With a cold, you’re getting a little bit worse over the
course of a few days. The drainage might turn a darker yellow, a
little bit thicker. You may have it a little bit worse in the way of congestion. You can get an itchy, scratchy, sore throat
from allergies. With a cold, it may be a little bit more severe, you might have a little bit
more systemic symptoms with it, but a cold should get better after four or five to ten
days. You may still have a cough after that, but
with allergies if you’ve been suffering with these symptoms of itchy, scratchy throat,
eyes, watery eyes, clear nasal drainage, and it’s going on for weeks on end—that very
likely is an allergy. And unfortunately during this time of year,
some people come see me and they have both.

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