4 doctors weighed in:

How can you differentiate between hay fever and cold?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatrics - Allergy & Asthma
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Arthur Torre
Dr. Arthur Torre
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Dr. Giana Nicoara
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Giana Nicoara
Dr. Giana Nicoara
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