U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 39-year-old member asked:

How can you differentiate between hay fever and cold?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Giana Nicoara
Allergy and Immunology 30 years experience
Duration: A"cold" will generally last ten to fourteen days. It can occur at any time of the year. It can have similar symptoms as "hay fever", runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, watery eyes. Depending on the type of virus there may be fever with a "cold". There is no fever with "hay fever". "hay fever" generally implies seasonal allergies, so spring, summer or fall.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 53 years experience
Itchy eyes or fever: Hay fever is caused by exposure to allergens. Colds are caused by germs. Both can give you a runny and or stuffy nose with sneezing, but allergies often cause itchy eyes as well. If there is a fever than an infection is typically the cause but not all infections cause fever. Heyfever often lasts for weeks, colds should resolve in several days.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 56-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between hay fever and a cold?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Colin Kerr
Family Medicine 46 years experience
Hay fever vs cold: From a practical perspective, the symptoms of both of these disorders are the same--runny nose and sneezing, perhaps also with itching, running eyes. The difference is that a cold will only last 3-4 days usually, while allergy symptoms tend to be chronic (eg., last all spring). So if your cold symtpoms don't quit after a week, you probably have allergies.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Brian Novick
Allergy and Immunology 45 years experience
you also won't get a fever with hay fever...the term comes from many years ago when people had symptoms from ragweed during the hay "cutting" season and felt very warm....
May 1, 2015
A 30-year-old member asked:

How could i tell if I have hay fever or a cold?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Allergy and Immunology 35 years experience
Time: Early on the symptoms may seem similar, but a cold will resolve after 7-10 days while allergies are more prolonged. With hay fever (allergic rhinitis) there is more itching and sneezing and the nasal mucus is predominately clear and watery. Frequently there are eye itching, redness with allergies and no fever. Allergies respond to antihistamines more so than colds.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $44!
50% off with $19/month membership


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.