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Allergy, cold or flu?

Know the differences to get the best treatment

The common cold or flu can look and feel a lot like an allergy attack as they share similar symptoms. It is important to distinguish the differences so you get the best treatment for your symptoms. Here are some things to look out:

Nasal discharge
A runny nose due to an allergy attack will usually produce thin, watery mucus. Nasal mucus from a flu or cold will usually thicken over the course of the infection.1 Allergens can also cause itchy, watery eyes which are not normally associated with a cold or flu.2
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Duration of symptoms
Unlike allergies, colds and flus rarely last beyond 2 weeks. If your symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks, it is likely an allergy.2 Allergy symptoms usually last as long as your exposure to the allergen. Get fast relief from multiple allergy symptoms with Telfast® 120 mg.

Timing of symptoms
Allergy attacks happen in certain situations. For example, if you always seem to start sneezing in a damp bathroom, you may have an allergy to mould. You are more likely to catch a cold or flu when someone at home or the office has recently been ill.2

A flu can cause high fever that lasts for 3 – 4 days, along with body aches and fatigue. Allergies do not cause fevers.2


  1. "Decoding the Symptoms: Common Colds vs. Allergies." KnowYourOTS. - http://www.knowyourotcs.org/2013/10/decoding-the-symptoms-common-colds-vs-allergies/ (Accessed 16 March 2017)
  2. "Cold, Flu, or Allergy?" Newsinhealth.nih.gov. - https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/oct2014/feature2 (Accessed 16 March 2017)

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