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Difference Between Hay Fever and Cold

Hay Fever vs a Cold

Hay fever and colds are two distinct illnesses. They have lots of differences. All of the population in the world might have caught a cold but not all have had hay fever.

Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis while a cold is also known as nasopharyngitis, acute coryza, or acute viral rhinopharyngitis. Hay fever occurs due to inflammation of the nasal airway brought about by allergens such as pollens or dust when inhaled by an individual. Colds are caused by viruses such as corona virus and rhinoviruses. It is a disease of the upper respiratory system.

Signs and symptoms of hay fever vary among individuals. It also depends on the severity. After the inhalation and onset of allergic response, individuals usually experience itching, sneezing, production of mucus, and nasal obstruction. Nasal congestion occurs 4-8 hours after the onset of the illness. Physical findings include swollen and reddish nose, swelling of eyelids, and middle ear effusion.

Common symptoms of a cold, on the other hand, include: sore throat, coughing, runny nose, and fever. It is the most common disease an adult can get which usually has a frequency of 2-4 times a year while the child has 6-12 instances per annum.

The cause of allergies may be linked to heredity and environmental factors. In most people who contract hay fever, two categories apply. These are the seasonal and perennial. In seasonal, hay fever occurs during the season of pollens while in perennial it occurs throughout the year. It is common in children.

The cause and risk factors of colds are vast. Through frequent contact of the nose, mouth, and eyes, viruses can be transferred. It can also be through droplets when a person sneezes. When a person smokes, the duration of the cold increases up to three days. Not getting enough sleep also predisposes a person to getting infections.

Treatment of hay fever includes antihistamines to combat the allergy. Steroids are also used for inflammation and, lastly, decongestants when nasal decongestion is present. It is also advised for the individual to avoid going out during pollen seasons. They should also close the doors and windows to avoid the entry and inhalation of pollen particles.

For the common cold, it does not have any treatment. Usual remedies are resting, drinking lots of fluids and citruses, and having a healthy diet. Hand washing is always advised to prevent the spread of the virus which causes colds.


1.Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis while colds are known to be nasopharyngitis.

2.Hay fever is caused by allergies such as pollen and dust inhalation while colds are caused by viruses.

3.Hay fever affects the nasal lining of nose while colds affect the upper respiratory tract.

4.Hay fever can be managed by taking medications while a common cold can be managed by home remedies and by resting.

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