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Allergies or the Common Cold?

Category: St. Luke’s Proud
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Allergies or the Common Cold? (Infographic)

While fall weather means cooler temperatures and leaves changing colors, it also means plenty of coughs and stuffy noses. What’s tricky is telling whether you have allergies or a cold. That’s why health experts at St. Luke’s are here to share everything you should know how to help you identify your symptoms and know how to handle them.


During the spring, summer, and fall, many plants release pollen into the air. These pollen grains can get into the nose and throat when spending time outdoors. For those who are allergic, this can trigger allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever.

Signs & Symptoms

Although symptoms can vary, the most commonly experienced symptoms of allergies include:

  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Itchy eyes, nose, or throat.
  • Irritated, red eyes.
  • Dark circles under the eyes.
  • Sinus pressure.


If you’re struggling with allergies, here are some things that can help:

  • Keep your windows closed.
  • Wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors.
  • Change and wash your clothes when you get home.
  • Keep your pets off of your bedding and furniture.
  • Vacuum regularly.
  • Use a dehumidifier in your bedroom.
  • Wash your hands often.

If you suffer from severe environmental allergies, talk with your primary care doctor about seeing an allergist.

The Common Cold

The common cold is a respiratory infection that can be brought on by a number of viruses.

Signs & Symptoms

Commonly experienced cold symptoms include:

  • Runny nose.
  • Sore throat.
  • Coughing.
  • Sneezing.
  • Headaches.
  • Body aches.
  • Fatigue.


When you’re feeling under the weather, follow these tips to help you feel better and protect others from getting sick:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Gargle with warm saltwater.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
  • Be sure to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often.

If your symptoms persist for more than 10 days, be sure to contact your primary care doctor.

Immediate Care Options at St. Luke’s

If you need immediate attention and your primary care provider is unavailable, Aspirus St. Luke's offers a variety of immediate care options where you can be seen without an appointment. To learn more about Aspirus St. Luke's immediate care offerings, visit our website or give us a call at (218) 249-4000.

If you or a family member is experiencing a life-threatening injury or illness, please call 911.