Are You Suffering From A Cold Or Allergies? #BeatSpringAllergies @MinuteClinic #Ad



    This past week, I had to keep my younger son home from school because he was really sick.  It started at the beginning of the week with a stuffy nose which progressed to a sore throat and a bad cough.  He didn’t have a fever the whole time that he was sick so it was really hard to tell if he had a bad cold or if he was suffering from seasonal allergies.  The reality is that his symptoms are pretty much the same for both, as far as I have observed.  Either way, it always turns out badly for him because all the congestions usually triggers his asthma so it’s important that we nip it in the bud early.

    We are not alone because  50 million Americans suffer from allergies and probably don’t even know it.  Colds and allergies have very similar symptoms and treatment so it is hard sometimes to be able to tell the difference between the two.  Since my son is allergic to things that are around during every season, my husband and I have a lot of trouble discerning if he is sick from one or the other.

Here’s what you need to know about the two:

  • The main difference between a cold and allergies is that a cold is caused by a viral infection while allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s own immune system’s attempt to fight off an allergen.
  • If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time each year and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
  • If you have a cough, it’s probably a cold. Most people with a cold will have a cough, but not everyone with allergies has this symptom.
  • If you’re aching all over, it’s probably a cold, not allergies. Aches and pains are not symptoms of allergies.
  • Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but RARELY occur with the common cold!
  • If you have a fever, it’s not allergies! A fever is sometimes present with a cold, but will never occur with allergies.


    Thankfully, there are plenty of options to get some relief! At MinuteClinic, their nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate.  I may not be able to keep my son from coming into contact with pollen, but it is possible to get him relief – fast!

Let’s Discuss:  How do you know if you are suffering from a cold or from allergies?

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for MinuteClinic and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2016, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    There is a definitely, absolute difference between the two. I have had allergies my whole life, so I can tell, but the main one is that I don’t feel like crap like I do when I have a cold. With allergies, I feel fine, but have the runny/stuffy nose & itchy eyes.

  2. I love the MinuteClinic- they are so convenient and helpful for the most common ailments! I use them often and am grateful for their services!

  3. We are asthma sufferers so we try really hard to not get colds in my home.

  4. Oh I totally know when it’s my allergies, like it is right now. I suffer severely from allergies and this year has been really horribly for me. It was so bad yesterday that I even ended up with an allergy headache, which is still better than a migraine.

  5. Sometimes allergies can lead to an infection which will lead to a fever. That happens to me when I am not diligent in keeping my allergies in check. Great article!

  6. The cold and flu have been hitting my household hard off and on for the past month. I usually know it’s allergies or the cold when my sinuses start acting up.

  7. Oh no! Sorry to hear he was sick there is so many bugs going around but you are right it is important to know the difference between allergies and colds.

  8. There was a time when I constantly thought I could not get rid of a bad cold, when in fact I was suffering from allergies instead. It is nice to see the differentiation between the two, this will help a lot of people

  9. I’ve never seen anyone with allergies that bad. My heart goes out to you. So glad that you could be seen.

  10. Super informative post. Its been miserable here up in New England with the pollen levels. My little one has asthma as well and the pollen levels have been so high he starts coughing as soon as he gets outside. Those clinics are really wonderful and I’ve used them for even myself!

  11. Thank you for sharing the differences between a cold and allergies. We have both in the house right now, and it’s easier to treat knowing who has a cold and who has allergies.

  12. Ugh Colds and Allergies are horrible! I am actually suffering from a cold right now! Hoping between the tea, honey, and Elderberry Tincture I will get over it quickly! Hope your son feels better soon!

  13. Oh no I hope he is feeling better, I have to admit I often get the two confused myself as they are so similar in symptoms.

  14. maria @closetohome says

    I have been to the CVS clinic just a few weeks ago for poison ivy. The perfect excuse not to try to make a dr appt.

  15. This is a great post. It’s easy to mistake a cold for allergies, sometimes, but they’re two totally different creatures.

  16. Sometimes I think my kids have allergies. My youngest randomly gets this cough and sounds congested but doesn’t have other signs of a cold.

  17. Allergies are the worst!! We just moved to a new part of town and the pollen is awful here. Minute clinic sounds like a great place to get treated.

  18. Jeanine says

    I couldn’t imagine. We are super lucky we have no allergies here, and colds are few and far between. I grew up with brothers who had severe asthma and it was the pits. This is great that there is this kind of help like MinuteClinic!

  19. My kids suffer from allergies, so I’m fairly familiar with the differences. Well, the differences in THEM. It’s tricky to tell though.

  20. Ouch. I hate allergy season. It hit hard this year. We have been taking our allergy medicines for a long time.

  21. Neely (@Neelykins) says

    My allergies have been awful this year. Its relaly the worst I can remember it.

  22. I have pretty bad allergies. The way I know the difference is that tickle in the back of my throat — that’s always a cold!

  23. My daughter has allergies really bad and she is suffering. I can’t wait to tell her about this.

  24. I’ve had to go into the Minute Clinic a few times. Such excellent service. So happy we didn’t have to drive all the way to the ER when CVS Minute Clinic was so close and took care of my daughter’s sinus attack.

  25. I hope he feels better soon. My kids have a cough that lingers and leaves then when it gets cold / warm it comes back. This is good to know to save on doctor visit!

  26. I never had allergies until I hit my 30’s. Now, they are like clockwork every spring. Thankfully, our pollen count has been low so far this year, so I haven’t suffered yet.

  27. Sorry he was sick! My daughter got pneumonia a while back… any little illness is hard! Ive never heard of MinuteClinic…thanks for introducing me to it!

  28. I’m glad you know how to get him relief fast. ’tis the season for pollen, unfortunately.

  29. Barbara Montag says

    Thanks for a great post.
    Sometimes I have difficulty knowing if it’s allergies or sinus.
    Especially this time of the year.

  30. Jennifer Williams says

    I grew up suffering from asthma so I feel for your son this time of year. I am glad the Minute Clinic was able to help him get on the road to recovery fast. The pollen here is crazy, I opened the windows for an afternoon and everything inside was covered, ugh.

  31. Ann Bacciaglia says

    My Daughter had childhood allergies and I always felt so bad for her. The medicine would make her feel better but make her drowsy. They have much better medicines to deal with allergies now.

  32. CourtneyLynne says

    I’m ughhhh allergies really are the worst!!!! I never had allergies as a kid, but now all of a sudden every spring I get get allergy everything :-/

  33. We do all seem to suffer from seasonal allergies, although, they haven’t been bad yet. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop though! Anytime the kids are sick it is hard though.

  34. I really like that you point out the main differences between the cold and allergies because it’s really hard to tell the difference for me. My daughter has been sick lately, without any fever and coughing, so I think it might have been an allergy instead of a cold.

  35. I’m so fortunate that I don’t have allergies and I would say how long it’s been since the last time I was sick but I don’t want to jinx myself. It seems like more people have allergies than not.

  36. I don’t have allergies so much as I have post nasal drip sometimes. It is quite annoying! a horrible cough.

  37. I feel like this whole season our family has had some sort of cold or allergies!! It’s been a brutal spring–looking forward to getting healthy in the summer.

  38. So Sorry your little one wasn’t feeling well. I suffer from allergies all the time as well. CVS is a great company!

  39. Both cold and allergies are terrible. Although the most of the symphtoms similiar but as you said, they are different. This is a very informative post. I do hope you son will get better.

  40. I remember never being able to figure out if it was an allergy attack or a cold. The coughing part is how I know for sure if it is a cold or allergies. Also if I have really bad itchy eyes I know for sure it is allergies.

  41. meagan bs says

    I get itchy and watery eyes a few times a year, but besides that I luckily don’t suffer too badly from allergies.

  42. Like your son my allergies tend to end with me having an asthma attack! And that didn’t start until Dec 2015. Up until then an allergy attack–well bronchitis would follow!! These days I take an allergy pill every day–the pollen is really bad this year.

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