Allergic rhinitis can feel like a cold. They have similar symptoms because colds can cause rhinitis too along with a dry cough. Sometimes it may be difficult to know whether your immune system is fighting off an allergen or a cold virus.
There are differences though. Cold symptoms appear gradually and usually last about one to three weeks. An allergy cough may go on for as long as you’re exposed to your trigger. For instance, a hay fever cough could linger the whole pollen season. You may be glued to the pollen forecast for several weeks.
Allergy symptoms tend to have a pattern. They usually appear soon after exposure to your allergen. For instance, it might be an allergy cough if it happens mostly outdoors or when visiting friends with a pet.