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Published on February 22, 2024

Feel Like You Always Have a Cold? Here’s What It Might Be Instead!

Do you feel like you always have cold or flu symptoms? Your nose is runny one moment, then it feels bunged up, your head keeps pounding, and there’s irritation in your throat. The symptoms last, then go away and then come back. You think your immune system is terrible and you keep getting sick – but could these symptoms be a sign of something else entirely?

Colds shouldn’t last for longer than two weeks, and if you keep getting a cold while no one else around you is sick, it’s a good sign you don’t actually have one. Your problem is most likely linked to one of these issues instead: 

Allergies

The symptoms of many allergies mimic those of a cold. We’re specifically talking about airborne allergies here – like hay fever, dust allergies, pet allergies, etc. These allergies affect the respiratory system, which is why you end up with a runny/blocked nose, inflamed sinuses, sore throat, and so on. 

Allergies can also make you feel fatigued, which is why you think you’re coming down with a cold. A couple of symptoms might make it obvious if your issue is allergy-based: 

  • Itchy eyes
  • An itchy throat
  • Rashes on your skin

If any are present, consider taking antihistamines and seeing if this makes a difference. When the symptoms all subside in a few days, you know you have allergies rather than a cold. Speak to a doctor for a proper allergy assessment to know what you’re allergic to and how to treat it. 

Tonsillitis

Believe it or not, your “common cold” could be chronic tonsillitis. People – usually children – suffer from tonsillitis once or twice in their lifetime. You get it once, fight it off with antibiotics, and it rarely returns. 

However, some individuals will get recurring tonsillitis where the tonsils keep getting infected. The infection might go away by itself, and then come back a few weeks or months later. Look for the following to distinguish it from a common cold: 

  • No cough
  • Tonsil stones
  • Issues swallowing
  • Very inflamed tonsils

If all of these symptoms are present – and you keep getting them multiple times in a year – then you’re exhibiting the signs you might need tonsil removal. Find an ENT for a diagnosis and discuss your options. Removing your tonsils might be the only solution. 

Sinus Infections

Because a common cold affects your sinuses, you often think you’re suffering from one when you keep getting sinus infections. The main difference between the two is that sinus infections typically exhibit these symptoms: 

  • Higher fevers
  • Swollen areas of the face
  • Pain around the face
  • No sneezing

Does this sound more like your symptoms? Again, book an appointment with a doctor and they will run tests and assess your situation. If you are suffering from a sinus infection, they’ll provide the correct treatment and offer advice to ensure it doesn’t keep coming back. 

The moral of the story is that your common cold might not be a common cold after all! If you’ve already suffered from a cold this year, there’s a very low chance you’ll get one again until the next cold/flu season. So, if you keep seeing the usual symptoms of a cold, it might indicate a different problem – like allergies, tonsillitis, or sinus infections. See a qualified medical professional to get to the bottom of the problem! 


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