Allergist Mitchell H. Grayson, MD: It can be very difficult to determine the difference between a cold, flu and allergies. However, one thing to keep in mind is, if you have allergies, you tend to have symptoms at the same time every year. We call that seasonal, say every spring.
Also, allergies tend to have sneezing, which is not seen as much with the cold and the flu, and allergies usually do not have a fever. So if you have a fever, it’s probably cold or flu.
Of course, if you have symptoms at the same time every year, the seasonal symptoms of sneezing and maybe coughing as well, it probably is worthwhile to go see an allergist so that they can test you and they can tell you what you’re allergic to, and you can actually then know what your season is. Otherwise, the symptoms can be very similar between the three different diseases.
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