Allergies vs. Cold: Understand the Difference
Know the difference between an allergy and a cold.
Start by comparing the most obvious symptoms.
Common allergy symptoms2
Itchy, watery eyes
Hives (a rash with raised red patches).
Common cold symptoms3
Although they can present as similar, it's useful to note the differences between allergy and cold symptoms.
Think about how quickly you experienced symptoms and how persistent they are.
Histamine is a chemical released by mast cells of the immune system when the body encounters an allergen. This causes an allergic reaction.4
The common cold syndrome has been defined in terms of experimental colds as a short mild illness with early symptoms and later symptoms.3
Consider how long you’ve had symptoms.
Allergies are an immune system response that occurs because of exposure to allergens like pollen, dust, or pet.5
In some people, substances such as pollen, certain foods, latex, mold, pet dander, dust mites or insect stings are allergens that trigger the production of antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine, causing symptoms in the nose, throat, eye, sinuses, ears.5
In turn, colds are caused by viruses, and symptoms generally last 5 to 7 days although some may last as long as two or three weeks.6
General aches and pain
Probably a cold, not allergies.6
Probably a cold, not allergies.6
Rarely with cold, usually with allergies.6
Notice the color of your mucus
Clear and watery mucus is most likely due to allergies.7
If it’s thick and white color, it’s probably a cold.7
If you experience prolonged symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare professional or allergist to ensure the right diagnosis.
Telfast® is here to help.
Telfast® can help you to relief allergy symptoms. It’s nonsedating antihistamine that gives you 24 hours, relief from indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms.8
If you experience sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, or an itchy nose or throat, Telfast® can help.8
For nasal congestion, swelling of nasal passages, and other allergy symptoms, try Telfast-Decongestant®.9
Telfast is not indicated to relieve coughing, post-nasal drip, hives or rash, skin irritation, red eyes, or fatigue.
Telfast is indicated to relieve sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes or an itchy nose or throat. Telfast-Decongestant is indicated to relieve sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, itchy nose or throat, nasal congestion.
1. JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE, A Cold or Allergies: Which Is It?, Available at: https://www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/Patients-Families/Health-Library/HealthDocNew/A-Cold-or-Allergies-Which-Is-It ; last accessed: 13/4/2022.
2. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. What Are the Symptoms of an Allergy?, Available at: https://www.aafa.org/allergy-symptoms/ ; last accessed: 13/4/2022.
3. Eccles R. Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza. The Lancet infectious diseases. 2005 Nov 1;5(11):718-25.
4. American Academy of Allergy ,Asthma & Immunology, Histamine defined, Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/Tools-for-the-Public/Allergy,-Asthma-Immunology-Glossary/Histamine-Defined ; last accessed: 13/4/2022.
5. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Allergic reactions. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/conditions-library/allergies/allergic-reactions ; last accessed: 13/4/2022. 6. Mayo Clinic. Cold or Allergy, Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/common-cold/faq-20057857 ; last accessed: 13/4/2022.
6. Mayo Clinic. Cold or Allergy, Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/common-cold/faq-20057857 ; last accessed: 13/4/2022.
7. Cleveland Clinic, What the Color of Your Snot Really Means , Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-the-color-of-your-snot-really-means/ ; last accessed: 13/4/2022.
8. Ministry of Health, Telfast approved leaflet, approval date 29/11/2018.
9. Ministry of Health. Telfast Decongestant approved leaflet, approval date 9/6/2019.
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