Sarah Talbot, PA-C, talking about cold and flu with Fox 7 Austin

Is it a Cold or Allergies?

It’s that time of year, Central Texans are coughing, sneezing and complaining of a sore throat. But how do you know if it’s allergies or a cold? Physician Assistant, Sarah Talbot, PA-C, recently spoke to Fox 7 Austin to help folks figure out the difference between the two. 

Signs and Symptoms


A common cold is caused by a virus and may become severe with fever and body aches. If you have congestion, a sore throat and a wet cough containing mucus that is thick and colored, you are likely suffering from a cold. 


“Allergies typically don’t cause a fever or body aches, but you will see itchy, watery eyes with the coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. A cough caused by allergies is usually dry and drainage is typically clear,” Sarah explained during the interview. 

Allergy and Cold Treatment

Antihistamines and nasal steroids are a great line of defense for allergies, and it’s always recommended to get ahead of your symptoms and take the medication before allergy season hits. Decongestants can help manage common cold symptoms along with NSAIDS for a fever or body aches. Be sure to drink plenty of water, rest, and increase your Vitamin C intake to help get over it more quickly. Saline rinses and throat lozenges can also be helpful for both allergy and cold symptoms. 

When to Call the Doctor

If your allergy symptoms are causing chronic sinus infections or if you experience allergy symptoms multiple months of the year, it is a good idea to see your doctor. If your cold symptoms last more than a few days, or if you improve then get worse again suddenly, it could be something more severe like the flu or bacterial infection. 

FetchMD’s on-demand urgent care providers diagnose and treat children and adults, ages 2-80, in the comfort of your home. Avoid those cold, germ-laden, waiting rooms at an urgent care center!  Stay home and request a same-day house call appointment on the FetchMD app

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