Coordinated Health

Common Cold or Spring Allergies? 7 Symptoms to Look For

By:    April 26, 2018

Spring is here… well… almost! Which means allergy season will be upon us in the upcoming weeks as pollen is released into the air. But, with one of the longest winters in several years, how do you know if it’s a common cold or allergies you might be suffering from?

We asked Coordinated Health Primary Care PA-C, Victoria Lorenz, the top 7 symptoms of spring allergies and how to tell the difference between allergies and a common cold.


Sneezing is actually very common with the common cold and allergies. Sneezing is a reflex that forces air from the nostrils due to nasal irritation.

Congestion or Headache

Congestion, sinus pressure, and headaches can occur in both the common cold and allergies. Colds will usually improve within 7-10 days, whereas allergies will stay the same daily without treatment.


Coughing is more common with colds, but may occur with allergies as well.

Running Nose/ Running Eyes

Runny or watery eyes are more common with allergies. A runny nose occurs commonly with allergies and colds. The discharge may be clear or a yellow to green tinge.

Itchy Eyes/ Itchy Nose

Itchy eyes and/or nose are more likely to occur with allergies.


Rashes infrequently occur with colds, but may occur with allergies depending on the allergen and the individual.

Dark Circles Under Eyes

Dark circles more commonly occur with allergies.

What should someone do if they are unsure if they are experiencing seasonal allergies or a common cold?

“I would tell someone to look at the symptoms and the duration of them. If they are not improving or lasting longer than 2 weeks, I would consult your Primary Care Physician.” said Lorenz, PA-C.

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