Is It A Cold, The Flu Or Allergies?

Cold and flu and allergy medications, a box of tissues, a thermometer and a glass of waterThe similarities between cold, flu and allergy symptoms can sometimes be close enough to cause much confusion. It can also result in your making the wrong diagnosis, and thus treating your symptoms with the wrong medications and remedies. Incorrect treatment can potentially lead to more serious conditions and infections.

So, how can you tell exactly what illness it is you’re dealing with?

READ: 10 Things To Do When Everyone In Your Office Is Sick…Except You

Cold, flu, and allergy all affect your respiratory system, which can make it hard to breathe. Each condition has key symptoms that set them apart.

Colds and flu are caused by different viruses. As a rule of thumb, the symptoms associated with the flu are more severe. Both illnesses can lead to a runny, stuffy nose; congestion; cough; and sore throat. But the flu can also cause high fever that lasts for 3-4 days, along with a headache, fatigue, and general aches and pain. These symptoms are less common when you have a cold.