How to tell if you have a cold or allergies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — How do you know if that runny rose is the common cold or cause by allergies?

You might have similar symptoms for both, but there are a couple of ways to differentiate them. For example, allergies may come with itchy eyes or nose, but you shouldn’t have those symptoms for a cold.

“Allergies tend to last longer, a cold may last for a week or two and then you kind of get over it and go back to the baseline, whereas allergies are kind of accumulative and get worse over time,” explained Dr. Ted Kelbel, a pediatric allergist and immunologist with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

>>National Institutes of Health: Cold, flu or allergy?

If over-the-counter allergy medicine doesn’t work, doctors suggest seeing an allergist or other therapies like an allergy shot.

Doctors say it could be a severe allergy season due to a mild winter. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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