Is it an allergy or a cold?

Is it an allergy or a cold?
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Struggling with the sniffles, sore eyes and a tickly throat? You might automatically think you've got a cold brewing, but that's not be the only possibility, especially at this time of year.

For as we creep into hayfever season, it could be that you're reacting to the pollen rather than coming down with a cold. The symptoms of a cold and an allergy can be confusingly similar, but are, of course, triggered by very different things.

While colds come from different viruses and take hold of your immune system, making you block up and cough, allergies come about when our overactive immune system mistakes harmless particles or dust or pollen for germs and releases histamine to fight them off. This also makes your nose run and your throat tickle.

The good news is that there are some easy ways to spot the difference between the two. Pharmacist, Pritpal Thind, explains a simple way of working it out so that you can get a headstart on finding the right treatment for you.

Symptom

Common Cold

Allergy

Runny nose

Yes

Yes

Sneezing

Yes

Yes

Aches and pains

Yes

No

Sore throat

Yes

Occasionally

Cough

Yes

Occasionally

Fever /temperature

Occasionally

No

Fatigue

Yes

No

Sore eyes

Occasionally

Yes

Itchy eyes

No

Yes

 But the most important difference between a cold and allergy is that colds never last longer than two weeks. Which means if you're still feeling unwell after 14 days, then you should make an appointment with your doctor to see if you're having an allergic reaction.

Tips from ColdZyme®, available from Boots stores nationwide and www.boots.com. 20ml £15.99 and ColdZyme® One Cold 7ml £9.99.

  • There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.