How To Tell If You Have A Cold Or Flu Alongside Your Chronic Illness

If you are experiencing chronic pain or illness, you know that even the common cold can cause various issues. Not sure which one you are experiencing? Take note of the differences and similarities of a cold and the flu.

Symptoms of a Cold

A cold is considered less of a hassle than the flu, but it can still come with its own complications. Fortunately, you are not likely to have a fever with a cold. If you do, it will be relatively low. If you have aches and pains, they will be relatively mild. A cold lasts up to 10 days, generally.

Symptoms of Influenza

The flu appears more severe than a cold, especially with a fever that can be higher than 100.4 degrees. Unlike with a cold, you may experience intense chills. Additionally, influenza comes with severe aches in the muscles. Headaches are common. The flu could last two weeks.

The Commonalities

Of course, some symptoms are common of both illnesses. If you have nasal congestion, you could have either a cold or the flu. The same applies to a sore throat and fatigue, though fatigue is slightly more common and severe with the flu. Both conditions come with a cough, but the flu's cough is more persistent and typically more dry.


If you have a chronic condition, you are likely concerned about the potential complications of either condition. Common complications of the cold include ear infections, sinus infections, and asthma. If you have the flu, you may experience similar complications in addition to potential pneumonia and bronchitis.


Treatment options for a cold include plenty of rest and fluids. You will not be able to cure your cold, but you can certainly use over-the-counter medicine to ease those annoying and painful symptoms. For the flu, this may be trickier. You still need to drink plenty of fluids and get more sleep than normal, but you also may take an antiviral to lessen the impact and length of the condition.

If you have a chronic condition, it is more important that you get in touch with your doctor about a potential illness, even if you think it is just a cold. Depending on your condition, it could be at risk for worsening because of your weakened immune system. Chronic illness can cause you to endure more severe and intense illnesses, and without proper care, you could find yourself in a bad health situation. For more information, talk to a professional like CareVitality.