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How to tell if it’s the flu, allergies, or the common cold

It’s the sick time of year. If people aren’t dealing with runny noses due to the cold weather, they’re contending with the various allergens floating around in the air. Sometimes, some unlucky souls have to deal with both. Feeling shabby is just par for the course this time of year.

But what’s to blame for your condition? Are you hacking and sneezing due to the frigid temperatures? Or are your winter allergies acting up again? Even worse, could it be the dreaded flu?

Experts agree that the symptoms between the cold, the flu, and allergies are very similar, but there are ways to figure out which one you are afflicted with.

– While allergies can plague you for months, the cold and the flu normally only sticks around for a week or two. Figure out how long you’ve been feeling under the weather to get an idea of what you’re dealing with.

– If you suspect allergies are causing you troubles, do some research on the pollen count. If it’s high, it’s very possible allergies are to blame.

– Take a mental inventory of your ailments. While the cold and allergies can share similar qualities, there are aspects of both that set them apart. General achiness, feelings of fatigue, and a very sore throat are all common afflictions of the cold, while sneezing and itchy, watery eyes are more in line with allergies.

Regardless of what is bothering you, experts agree that you should consult a doctor about your best course of action.

Evan Hopkins is a 24 year old writer operating out of Atlanta, GA. When he isn't writing, he enjoys reading books, drinking coffee, and folk music. Evan Hopkins on Google+