Flu and Allergies – Are they interconnected? #AllergyFree

Sniffing, sneezing and sore throat? Chest discomfort? Wondering what it is? Is it flu or some allergic reaction or something else? Well it’s time to get our doubts cleared!

Right now, summer is giving way to monsoon in many parts of the country. We are prone to falling sick as seasons change. Many of us get worried and confused. It is time to educate ourselves so that we can take proper precautions. A few years ago, I was falling sick with every seasonal change. My symptoms would vary slightly so I was never sure what was the problem. Over time, by observing myself and after discussions with the doctor, I realized that it is important to know what ails us. Here’s what I learnt through research and medical advice.

Usually, it is difficult to understand whether the sniffles or sneezes are due to an allergy or its flu. Seasonal changes do play a role in both the conditions.

So, the immediate question which comes to one’s mind is what is Flu and is it linked to allergy? Or does an allergy lead to flu?

Symptoms of flu and an allergic reaction

Influenza, commonly called as “Flu” is a respiratory illness resulting from a virus infection. It’s contagious and spreads via respiratory droplets passed by physical contact like talking, shaking hands etc. On the other hand, allergy occurs when our body’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, mold, certain chemical substances, food etc.

The causes and the symptoms for both the indications are quite different –

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Hence, there are a few similarities between Flu and allergies:

  • Both these diseases affect the respiratory system largely.
  • They have a few common symptoms like sneezing, sore throat etc

Understanding how a flu is different from an allergy

However, we need to keep the focus on the differences between the both to get a better understanding –

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Understanding is the key to Management

We have got good amount of clarity on the symptoms, duration of the disease and disease management. Nevertheless, I would like to reiterate a few points keeping in mind how are flu and allergies are connected in India –

  • Although there are few similarities in the symptoms, we must take note of the other accompanied symptoms which are a huge distinguishing factor like fever, pain and exhaustion in case of Influenza.
  • During seasonal changes we observe a surge in the number of cases, however in case of allergies over a period of time we develop an understanding of the causes and can take required precautions to avoid the triggers. E.g.: If someone has a dust allergy then take appropriate precautions while dusting the house, passing through a dusty road etc.
  • In case of flu it becomes a bit difficult to take preventive measures. However, if we know of a person suffering from the disease, we can avoid contact. Another preventive measure is maintaining good hygiene practices; which is a cause of concern in our country. Washing hands after you come in contact with a person who shows symptoms or touch some surface area which might have the respiratory droplets must be done. CDC does recommend that people above 6 months of age should get an Influenza vaccine.
  • In any case we should not self-medicate and see a doctor if the symptoms don’t come under control.

I hope, I was able to resolve some of your doubts about Flu and Allergy.

And to answer the question whether Flu and Allergy are interconnected, well they are not!

Learn more about allergies and their management here.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi India. Sanofi India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

References –

Featured Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

88 comments

  1. Loved the way you explained flu and allergy in a simplified table format …It imp.to know the difference .

      1. Thanks so much, it was my objective to help create an awareness and make it easier for all to understand. Glad you found it useful.

  2. This should help people understand the difference between these and how to keep themselves safe. Plus, this is very well researched post. Good one.

    1. Thanks so much Atul, it was my objective to create some awareness about the diseases through the post, I am glad it was beneficial.

  3. You have describe the difference between allergy and flu really well. With the help of this post, lot of people will be able to differentiate allergy from flu or anything else. And if it is an allergy then allergy free website will guide them further.

    1. This was my entire idea, to help people understand the difference in easy manner, I am glad to hear that I was successful in doing it. Hope more people benefit. The website is pretty helpful in throwing light on allergy management.

  4. Yes actually allergies and flu have similar symptoms to correctly identify the same we need an expert advice. Thanks for this informative article.

  5. These are very relevant points. It is crucial to be able to differentiate between a flu or allergy so that appropriate actions can be taken. This document is a future reference for me.

  6. nice information about many diseases which are common in daily routine like but we have to take it seriously and consult with our doctor when we can find precaution it.

  7. Thanks for clarifying the doubt between flu and allergies. These is very useful article. Understanding the differences will help us to choose the best treatment

  8. This is a great post. I had never thought about the differences till now. Even though I knew the symptoms of both flu and allergy, but how are they different, I didn’t know till now. Thanks for this. I learned something new.

  9. This is very helpful Mahek. I am a parent and this information is very accurate and helpful if used rightly. Correct diagnosis and early diagnosis is key to saving situations getting worse.

  10. Such a useful and wonderfully written blog post. I know of many people who cannot make the simple distinction between flu and allergies. Now I can ask them to simply read your post. With monsoon around the corner, I’m sure a lot of people can benefit from this post.

  11. very helpful post – this information, especially the tabular format has made it easy to compare and understand! And as you rightly mentioned, treatment can be most effective when we identify correctly!

  12. I am so glad that I came across this post as it is so interesting to know the differences. This awareness helps in dealing with the flu and allergies better. And I think it’s important to get educated as much as possible on these so we can deal with them without panicking and rushing to the hospital.

  13. In common language it’s called hay fever or allergic rhinitis. I often have patients coming to me with these sx and right now people are going paranoid because of Corona scare.

  14. This is a great article. We must understand flu and allergies and take care accordingly. I agree that they have similar symptoms most of the time.

  15. I perform a musical symphony for nearly 30 mins every morning with my sneezing bout due to allergy (change in temperature frm cold due to a.c. to notmal) it’s very easy for me to make out if I’m sick or is my sneezing frm allergy.

  16. Thanks Mahek for this informative article. It’s high time people distinguish between flu and allergies so that they get proper treatment and care in this monsoon season. Will share this post with my friends

  17. That’s a really useful article… Not of us are actually confused between flu and allergies..
    It’s very important to you know its and take the proper measure otherwise it might get worse

  18. You describe very well about flu and allergy so people can easily differentiate between two.It is very important to identify whether the symptoms is flu or allergy to treat in proper direction

  19. Yes flu and allergies are often confusing for so many people. You had explained this difference so well in this post. During recent stressful situation, having this knowledge is must for all of us.

  20. With a lot of misinformation going around, I’m sure this post is gona help a lot of people to understand the difference between flu and allergies. Very informative post with all the minute details.

  21. Iss article ko padhne ke baad mujhe thori thori doctor vali feeling aane lagi hai! Also, my whole life was a lie! Mai toh allergy ko bhi bolti thi Flu ho gaya 🙈 sab mujhe bevakuf samjhte honge 😅

  22. awesome blog post.. Full details with easy to understand content. Your hard work is getting visible.

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