Facebook: World Allergy Organization
Twitter: World Allergy Organization
LinkedIn: World Allergy Organization
Instagram: World Allergy Organization
Back to Top

Allergies in the Nose

Allergic Rhinitis, Sinusitis and Viral Rhinitis (Common Cold): How To Tell the Difference


  Sinusitis Viral Rhinitis Allergic Rhinitis
Symptoms Congestion

Green or gray nasal discharge

Postnasal drip

Pressure in the face


Runny nose with watery to thick yellow discharge

Low grade fever


Weakness and fatigue

Runny nose with thin, watery discharge



Itchy nose, throat and eyes
Onset Develops as a complication after a cold. Can also be triggered by allergies. Symptoms develop within one to three days of exposure to the cold virus. Symptoms begin almost immediately after exposure to allergen(s). If seasonal/intermittent allergies, symptoms occur at the same time every year. If perennial/persistent allergies, symptoms are present year-round.
Typical Duration Can last weeks, months and even years if ignored. Five to seven days. Symptoms last as long as you are exposed to the allergen. If the allergen is present year-round, symptoms may be chronic.
Source: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology


Do you think your symptoms are typical of allergic rhinitis? Click here to find out more about this disease.

Do you think your symptoms are typical of sinusitis? Click here to find out more about this disease.

Click here to read about the treatment of allergic diseases.