Is It a Virus or Allergies?

With one in every five Americans having some kind of allergy, it’s pretty common. There are many different kinds of indoor and outdoor allergies and sometimes the symptoms can be hard to tell the difference between a viral infection (like a cold) or if you are just having a flare up of allergies. Here are a few important reminders and tips to help you know the difference between the two:

Do your symptoms show up after a sudden weather change or a particular time of year? If so, this might be a sign of seasonal allergies. With our Central Florida weather, both the winter and spring season can have different plants pollenating and you might have an allergen to one over the other.

Have you been experiencing the “sniffles” for a week or more? Usually, standard colds start to dissipate in about one week to 10 days. However, allergies can go strong for longer than that (about several weeks) if what you are allergic to is still in the environment around you.

Is your mucus clear and watery or thick and green? Sometimes this can be tricky, but if your mucus is thick and green, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.

If you have a low fever, body aches, mild headache, or cough, this could indicate a viral infection. If it festers for too long, it could turn into a bacterial infection that requires medical attention. So, make sure to see your doctor.

Are your symptoms changing? Did you start out with a stuffy nose and a few days later, it graduated to sinus pain with a cough? This is another sign that it is viral and not allergies.

Now that we’ve cleared up any confusion, discomfort is still discomfort. Whether you have allergies or a viral infection, you don’t have to suffer through it. Should you need health care services or have questions about your symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to our medical
staff at (866) 234-8534.

This column is sponsored by Central Florida Health Care, Inc. and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFHN or of its advertisers.

Dr. Kimber Vasquez is a general practice physician with Central Florida Health Care, Inc, currently serving patients at our Avon Park location. To make an appointment with Dr. Vasquez or any of our medical team at one of our 12 locations, call (866) 234-8534. Visit for more information.

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