Allergy symptoms differ depending on the type of allergy. Many individuals mistake allergies for colds, at least initially—understandable, given that their symptoms may be similar. One key to differentiating between a cold and allergies is duration: a cold usually lasts 7-10 days, while allergies may persist for months (or indefinitely). Allergy symptoms typically involve the airways, sinuses, nasal passages and skin. They can range from mild to severe. Allergies may be seasonal, causing symptoms only at certain times of the year. Or, they may be perennial causing symptoms all year round.
Common symptoms of allergies include stuffy nose (nasal congestion), runny nose with clear watery discharge, postnasal drip, and sneezing. Other symptoms may include red, watery eyes, itchy nose, eyes, ears, and throat, plugged-up ears (ear congestion), sore throat, coughing, and headache
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from food allergies. They are most common in young children but can affect people of all ages. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include hives, stomach cramps, vomiting, wheezing, cough, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, difficulty breathing, weak pulse, pale skin and dizziness. Any food can trigger a reaction, but the majority of food allergies occur in response to peanuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, wheat and soy.