What is the difference between a cold and allergies?

Patient

Q: I have never had allergies. Now at my age I think that has changed. Is that possible I thought I was sick with a cold but now I am not sure. How can I tell if I have a cold or an allergy

Symptoms:  I speak kind of nasally. Pressure in sinus area. I feel plugged up but not much comes out when I blow my nose.
Doctor

A:   The points that make an allergy different from a cold are: longer duration of symptoms (weeks to months); mainly associated with specific triggers or exposures (seasonal or perennial); usually not associated with fever or sore throat; almost immediate response to anti-allergic medication and in about 60% cases there is a positive family history of allergy. You should visit an ENT specialist for further evaluation and management. Later, if allergy is confirmed, you may visit and Allergy specialist for 'Allergy Tests' to identify the possible cause of your allergy.

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