Allergies — the immune system’s response to foreign substances on the skin or in the body — can produce various symptoms, depending on the person and type of allergy involved. Read on to learn more about potential symptoms as well as differences between allergies and the common cold.

How Do You Know If You Have a Cold or Allergies?

The differences can turn on a few factors:

  • Unlike allergies, colds are caused by viruses.
  • Body aches, thick green or yellow mucus, and fever more likely point to a cold.
  • Itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, and clear mucus more likely indicate an allergy.
  • Allergies tend to last longer — weeks to months versus typical colds lasting only up to 10 days or so.

Our professionals can confirm your condition and tailor a treatment to your specific needs.

Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms

Also known as “hay fever,” allergenic rhinitis is caused by potential allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, or pet dander. The condition can erupt at any time of the year, depending on which allergens are present during a given season.

Allergic rhinitis is often confused with the common cold because of the nature of the symptoms, which can include:

  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache

Food Allergy Symptoms

An estimated 10% of U.S. adults and one out of 13 children live with food allergies , which can be life-threatening. Any food can be the culprit, but peanuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, milk, and eggs are some of the more usual sources.

Symptoms can include:

  • Hives
  • Itching in the tongue, throat, or ears
  • Tingling sensation in the mouth
  • Coughing
  • Throat-tightening
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cramping
  • Wheezing
  • Throat, face, or lip swelling
  • Vomiting

Skin Allergy Symptoms

Potential triggers such as cosmetics, cleaning chemicals, poison ivy or oak, insect stings or bites, pine sap, certain medications, latex, and even contact with cockroaches can cause reactions including:

  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Rash on face, arms, or legs

Anaphylaxis Signs & Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can range from a slight annoyance to a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, which can quickly occur after exposure to the allergen. The condition can lead to shock and requires immediate medical attention.

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Hives
  • Sudden low blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hives
  • Trouble swallowing

You don’t have to live with the discomfort and disruptions allergies can cause. Our highly trained experts at ENT Physicians and Surgeons can diagnose and treat your allergy, helping improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive evaluation.