Cold, Flu, or Allergies?

This guide can help you determine if you need rest and fluids or the care of an allergist. 

 

Symptom

Cold

Flu

Allergy

-Onset

-Fever

-Chills

-Headache

-Body ache

-Stiffness

-Weakness

-Appetite

-Fatigue

-Cough

-Stuffy nose

-Runny nose

-Mucus

-Sore throat

-Sneezing

-Red eyes

-Itchy eyes

-Itchy ear canal

-Duration of symptoms

- Onset usually slow (1-2 days)

- Little or no fever

- Chills rare

- Headache not common

- Slight body aches possible

- Little or no stiffness

- Little or no weakness

- Little or no loss of appetite

- Mild fatigue

- Mild to moderate cough

- Stuffy nose common

- Runny nose common

- Nasal mucus variable

- Sore throat common

- Sneezing common

- Little or no redness of eyes

- Eyes not especially itchy

- Ears not usually itchy

- Symptoms last about a week

- Onset usually sudden (hrs)

- Often high fever

- Chills common

- Headache common

- Achiness can be severe

- Stiffness can be severe

- Weakness can occur

- Loss of appetite common

- Fatigue can be extreme

- Dry, hacking cough

- Stuffy nose common

- Runny nose common

- Nasal mucus variable

- Sore throat common

- Sneezing not prominent

- Little or no eye redness

- Eye itchiness not prominent

- Ears not usually itchy

- Symptoms last about two weeks

    (cough & fatigue from flu may

    persist for several weeks)

- Onset variable

- No fever

- No chills

- Headache with sinusitis

- Body aches uncommon

- No stiffness

- Weakness uncommon

- Appetite usually not affected

- Fatigue none to moderate

- Cough may be present

- Stuffy nose a frequent problem

- Runny nose a frequent problem

- Mucus initially clear, watery

- Sore throat less common

- Sneezing a frequent problem

- Bloodshot eyes common

- Itchy eyes a common problem

- Itchy ear canals common

- Symptoms intermittent or continuous