Cold Symptoms

Sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, coughs and sore throat are all symptoms of the common cold. Compare your symptoms to those commonly associated with the cold.

Common Cold Basics

  • woman blowing nose, sick from the common cold
    Common Cold Basics
    The common cold is a viral infection, characterized by nasal congestion, a clear, runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat and general malaise.

Cold Symptoms And Your Nose

  • woman blowing nose into tissue, common cold, flu, hay fever, allergies
    Runny Nose
    Runny nose, nasal discharge, rhinorrhea: Mucus runs out of the nose and sometimes down the throat (post-nasal drip). It can be irritating, but it's rarely serious.

Cold Symptoms That Spread Germs

  • child sneezing among flowers, pollen, allergen
    Sneezing is caused by irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose or throat. It is generally not a sign of a serious problem.

Other Cold Symptoms

  • woman holding her sore throat; cold symptoms, flu symptoms
    Sore Throat
    Most often causes by viral infections, sore throats are often worse in the morning and improve as the day progresses.

Could It Be Something Else?

  • pollen grain inside a yellow flower, allergies, allergen
    Hay Fever (Seasonal Allergies)
    Sneezing and itchy, runny and congested noses could be "allergic rhinitis," which is caused by allergies to pollen, mold, dust mites and more.

What Could Your Symptoms Mean?

Symptom Checker

Check a Symptom
Check your symptoms here to help find out if you've got the cold or the flu, allergies, or another respiratory infection.
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