Hayfever Or Cold Symptoms? Here’s How To Tell The Difference Between The Two…

As we’re exiting flu season and entering pollen city it can be difficult to work out whether we’re experiencing hayfever or cold symptoms, or even both. After all, there’s a lot of cross-over between the two if you’re feeling congested, exhausted and uncomfortable.

However, it’s important to be able to identify whether you’re suffering with an allergy or illness as the treatment to each will differ. And, the quicker you work out where you’re at, the sooner you can alleviate the symptoms.

We called on Dr Grace Hula, GP and director of G&M Healthcare to give us the down-low on exactly what we need to know when navigating hayfever or cold symptoms…


What is hay fever?

“Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, or other airborne allergens,” says Dr Grace Hula. “The symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes, and throat irritation.”

What is a cold?

The common cold is a viral infection in your nose and throat. “The symptoms include sneezing, a runny or congested nose, coughing, sore throat, and fatigue,” Dr Hula explains.

How are hayfever or cold symptoms similar?

Since the two have many similarities, it’s easy to get them confused. “The symptoms of hay fever and a cold are similar in that they both cause a runny or congested nose and sneezing. They may also cause fatigue and throat irritation,” confirms Dr Hula.

How are the symptoms different?

Not sure how to tell the difference? “The symptoms are different in that hay fever typically causes itchy and watery eyes, while a cold does not. A cold may also cause a cough and fever, while hay fever does not,” Dr Hula clarifies.

How to treat hay fever?

Now you know what you’re looking for, the next step is treatment. “To treat hay fever, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal corticosteroids,” says Dr Hula. “It’s also important to avoid allergens as much as possible.”