How to tell the difference between colds and allergies

(WXYZ) - If you've ever wondered whether that scratchy throat is a sign of a cold coming on or just allergies, doctors at Cleveland Clinic have a few ways that may help you figure it out.

Dr. David Lang says the key sign of allergies is itching.

"People with allergies have itching not only of their nose and eyes, but also their ears, their throat, the roof of their mouth," Dr. Lang said.

The duration of the symptoms is also key.

"If you have nasal symptoms that involve a lot of itching and sneezing and it lasts more than two weeks, it's likely that you have allergies," said Dr. Lang.

Another way you can tell the difference between colds and allergies is how you feel when you come inside after being outdoors.

Dr. Lang says, if your symptoms improve when your in an air-conditioned room, you're probably suffering from allergies.

Anti-histamines can help relieve symptoms of allergies, but they won't help a cold, Dr. Lang says. If you take an anti-histamine and you don't feel any better, you may be dealing with something more than just allergies.

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