Spring brings with it a whole slew of allergies, but turning on the air conditioning for the first time since last year and spending more time outside can also bring on illness. When it comes to you or your child’s health, understanding the difference between allergies and illness could mean feeling better faster and preventing the situation from worsening. Especially if your child has recently been in surgery or is undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy, knowing if they have a virus or infection could mean avoiding serious complications. Our Charlotte home health care agency works diligently and monitors our patients thoroughly so we can better treat them when springtime allergies or illnesses hit.

Is It Allergies or Illness?

1 – Time of Year

Generally speaking, colds and flus occur around winter, partly due to the heat turning on and also that these germs flourish in the temperatures of the winter season. Similarly, allergies tend to occur when there is a plethora of pollen in the air, usually during springtime. If you notice you or your child gets the sniffles the same time every year, chances are it’s allergies.

2 – Duration

Allergies will usually last all season, as long as there is a trigger present. Colds should last no more than two weeks, but that may be longer depending on the condition of your child’s immune system. People with autoimmune diseases or those undergoing chemotherapy can have illnesses that last much longer.

3 – When It Begins

Allergies are immediate responses to triggers. However, viruses and bacterial infections will take a couple days to show symptoms after exposure.

Symptoms to Watch for

Illness: Cold

  • Frequent cough
  • Occasional aches
  • Occasional fatigue
  • Frequent sore throat
  • Frequent runny/stuffed nose
  • Rarely watery or itchy eyes
  • May have a fever


  • Occasional cough
  • Occasional fatigue
  • Occasional sore throat
  • Frequent runny/stuffed nose
  • Frequent itchy or watery eyes
  • No aches
  • No fever

With this in mind, if you or your child has watery eyes and a stuffy nose on an especially warm or windy day, chances are they are suffering from allergies. On the other hand, if the weather has changed and your child’s symptoms of body aches, coughing, sore throat, and fatigue are unchanged, chances are they are sick.

Together with your home health nurse, we can find out what is going on and see that you, your parent, or your child receives the treatment they need. Call us today with any questions!