Is It an Allergy or Just a Cold?
How Long Have Your Symptoms Lasted?
Colds generally linger for 3 days to about a week, but symptoms can last up to 2 weeks in some people. Starting to feel better after a couple of days is a sign you're probably on the mend from a cold.
If you're getting worse, your cold may become a bacterial infection. If symptoms last more than 1 to 2 weeks or get worse after about 5 days, you should see a doctor.
Allergy symptoms will last for as long as you're exposed to your trigger. So if you're allergic to cat dander, once you leave your grandmother's apartment and with it her prized Persian cat, your sniffles should subside. If your trigger is pollen and you spend most of the spring months outdoors, you could be facing symptoms for the whole season.