How to tell the difference between allergies and colds

How long do symptoms last before you should worry about the common cold?
How long do symptoms last before you should worry about the common cold?

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Peggy Griffith hates her winter allergies: scratchy throat, watery and itchy eyes make her very uncomfortable.

Griffith said she has suffered with winter allergies for eleven years. We asked if there is a difference between summer and winter allergies.

"The damp. The climate. When it's going to rain and you can feel it and then you can feel pressure on your chest. And then your nose begins to run," Griffith replied.

If you think you are going to avoid winter allergies by staying inside, think again.

Peggy's primary problem is heat. Dust and mold that can accumulate inside the heating system worsens her symptoms.

Dr. Mahipal Ravipati is an Allergy Specialist Physician.  He said there is no time when allergies don't strike; they can be year-round problems.

So how do you tell the difference between an allergy and a cold or flu?

"In the first few days it's hard to tell what is a cold and what is an allergy, because the symptoms are just about the same," said Dr. Ravipati.

Ravipati said if the illness seems to hang on longer than a week, it's more than likely an allergy. Can fever accompany an allergy?

"No. Generally not, unless there is an accompanying infection as well," said Dr. Ravipati.

He said the main problem with fall and winter allergies is staying indoors with some heat sources, dust and pet dander.

Learn more about the symptoms of colds, allergies and flu: (

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