Doctor explains difference between hay fever, cold and Covid-19 symptoms

By | April 28, 2021

It’s that time of year where many suffer from hay fever from the high levels of pollen in the air. It becomes worse when the weather is warm, humid or windy, so this could be why you are suffering now.

Pollen is a fine powder from plants, and people who experience hay fever have an allergic reaction to this pollen, typically when it comes into contact with their mouth, nose or eyes.

This week is set to have high levels of pollen in the air so how do you know if you’ve got hay fever?

Here we explain the symptoms of hay fever, how to treat it, and how to tell it apart from the common cold and Covid-19.

What are the symptoms of hay fever?

hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever vary from person to person

With symptoms of hay fever varying from person to person, some can suffer with very mild symptoms whereas others can have severe reactions.

We’ve listed the symptoms below to help you check if you’re experiencing hay fever.

The most common symptoms that people experience are:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • People with hay fever can also suffer with:
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around temples and forehead
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Feeling tired

People who have asthma can also experience a few other symptoms if they have hay fever. These include: a tight feeling in the chest, short of breath or wheezing and coughing.

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Can you tell if you’re experiencing hay fever, a cold or Covid-19?

hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever are different to Covid-19

Outlining the differences between the three, Boots Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan advises what to look out for.

He said: “Hay fever doesn’t cause a high temperature and most people do not feel unwell. Symptoms include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, itchy red watery eyes or an itchy throat”.

On the common cold, Marc added: “Colds which can still occur during warmer months, usually involve sneezing and coughing, along with a sore throat, headaches and sometimes a loss of taste and smell. You could consider taking pain killers to help ease aches or relieve a blocked nose with a decongestant nasal spray or decongestant tablet”.

Further advising on the key symptoms of coronavirus, Marc explained: “The most common symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or a change to sense of smell or taste, If you have any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms, please follow the most up to date government guidance. Stay at home and request a Covid-19 test as soon as possible.”

How to treat hay fever

hay fever

There is no cure, but you can relieve the symptoms of hay fever

Unfortunately there’s no cure for hay fever and no way to prevent it from returning each year, but there are some things you can do to help ease the symptoms.

  • Put Vaseline around your nostrils to help trap the pollen
  • Wear wrap around sunglasses to help keep pollen out of your eyes
  • Stay indoors whenever possible
  • Shower and change your clothes after you’ve have been outside to remove the pollen
  • Keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • Vacuum regularly and dust around your home
  • Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car
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If you’re really struggling with your hay fever you can speak to your pharmacist who may be able to suggest treatments such as antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays that help with itchy, watery eyes and blocked noses.

Mirror – Health