hay fever vs common cold

Is This Hay Fever, Common Cold or Covid-19?

This is a scholarly analysis of Hay fever, common cold and Covid-19.

Hay fever is a type of fever which though share similar symptoms with common cold, is unique because it is not caused by a virus. Also referred to as allergic rhinitis, the symptoms of hay are:

  1. runny nose
  2. itchy eyes
  3. nasal congestion
  4. frequent sneezing and
  5. sinus pressure.

Cause of Hay Fever Vs Common Cold

Common cold is caused by a virus while Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is initiated by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or tiny flecks of skin and saliva shed by cats, dogs, and other animals with fur or feathers.

Allergic rhinitis and common cold have the propensity of making you uncomfortable due to their symptoms. They may affect your performance at work or school and generally interfere with your life. This is even more common with hay fever. However, you must learn to avoid these symptoms and not put up with them. The best way to do this is to observe and avoid your personal allergies.

If you already have hay fever or common cold, your best bet is to seek for immediate treatment.

Symptoms of Hay fever

Symptoms include the following:

  1. nasal congestion and Runny nose
  2. itchy, red and watery eyes (this is also called allergic conjunctivitis)
  3. Sneezing
  4. Cough
  5. Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  6. Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes (allergic shiners)
  7. Postnasal drip
  8. Fatigue

What are some common symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of covid-19 are variant.  It can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Recently, brain fog has been witnessed by patients with covid-19. These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19.

This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19.

Specific Symptom of Hay fever vs common cold

The Signs and symptoms of hay fever and common cold are similar. therefore, the differences can be difficult to tell. The danger in this is that you may be pushed to treat one when you are actually having the other. This is why we always advise that you avoid self-prescription. Do well to always consult a doctor when you have symptoms.

The difference in symptoms of hay fever and common cold are:

Ailment Signs and symptoms Beginning Duration
Hay fever Dripping or nasal discharge with thin, watery discharge; no fever (running nose) Immediately you get exposed to allergens Throughout the period of exposure  to allergens
Common cold Dripping or nasal discharge with watery or thick yellow discharge; body pains an aches; mild fever 1 – 3 days after exposure to a cold virus 3-7 days

Are there Common Seasons for Hay Fever Prevalence?

Dr. Rueben of the Institute of Advanced Medical Studies, Uhuru says allergic rhinitis symptoms may become prevalent at some time of the year. This is as a result of the triggers these seasons come with, such as seasonal plants, climatic changes, and ecological whims. According to Rueben, these seasons and Triggers include:

  1. Tree pollen, which is common in early spring.
  2. Grass pollen, which is common in late spring and summer.
  3. Ragweed pollen, which is common in fall.
  4. Dust mites, cockroaches and dander from pets can be bothersome year-round (perennial). Symptoms caused by dander might worsen in winter, when houses are closed up.
  5. Spores from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds are considered both seasonal and perennial.

When Should I See a Doctor?

Dr. Rueben advise that you consult your doctor if:

  1. Your symptoms of allergic rhinitis or common cold persist beyond the time shown in the diagram above.
  2. If some common medications for allergy fail or lead to some side effects.
  3. You have other health conditions which may aggravate or worsen allergic rhinitis or common cold symptoms.

Most people, especially children may get accustomed to the symptoms of hay fever or common cold. So, they may not see the need to get medical attention, however, consulting a medical care expert is advised.

What are the Root Causes of Hay fever?

Hay fever arises as a result of allergies built by the body over time. When you have hay fever, your immune system detects an innocuous aerial substance as unsafe. Your immune system then produces antibodies to this harmless substance. The result is that, the next time you are exposed to this substance, these antibodies notifies your immune system to discharge chemicals such as histamine into your bloodstream, which cause a reaction that leads to the signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

What are the Factors Which May Increase Risk of Hay Fever?

Risk of hay fever may increase due to the following factors:

  1. You have other allergies or asthma
  2. When you have atopic dermatitis also known as eczema.
  3. Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with allergies or asthma
  4. Being in an environment that constantly exposes you to allergens
  5. Having a mother who smoked during your first year of life

Are there Complications of Hay Fever?

Problems that may be associated with allergic rhinitis include:

  1. Interference with daily routines and social life. Hay fever can interfere with your daily routines and social life and even cause you to be less active.
  2. Insomnia. Insomnia is a mental condition which hampers the activities of the hormones which helps you to sleep, especially at night. allergic rhinitis may sometimes lead to insomnia.
  3. Deteriorating asthma. allergic rhinitis can lead to complications in asthma thereby worsening the signs and symptoms of asthma, such as coughing and wheezing.
  4. Sinusitis. Prolonged sinus congestion due to allergic rhinitis may increase your susceptibility to sinusitis. Sinusitis is an infection which cause the inflammation of the membrane that houses the sinuses.
  5. Ear infection. Hay fever often cause ear infection in children.

How Can I Prevent Hay Fever?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to go around or avoid contracting allergic rhinitis. If you catch the allergy, the best option to take is to try to reduce your exposure to the allergens which led to the fever. Where symptoms persist, see a doctor immediately. Also get a medical or health insurance cover to help you go through this seamlessly.

READ ALSO: Is Pastrami Healthy?

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