Hay fever or a cold?

Finding your sneezing a bit more than normal lately? Unsure if it’s Hayfever or a cold?

Do you find that you or a member of your household seems to be sneezing or tend to have the sniffles a bit more regularly lately? It can be difficult to determine whether it is hay fever or a cold. Knowing which one it is will help you to treat the symptoms correctly and effectively.

There are seven key signs to look out for when determining which illness is causing the occurring symptoms. Below are the symptoms and what to expect from either hay fever or a cold.

1. Nasal Discharge: Colds will produce thick and cloudy discharge. Hay fever will cause clear nasal discharge.

2. Sneezing: Colds & Hay fever both cause sneezing

3. Nasal itching: colds do not commonly cause nasal itching. Hay fever causes nasal itching.

4. Itchy, sore, or red eyes: Colds will generally not cause irritation of the eyes. A sure sign of hay fever is the itchy, red irritated eyes.

5. Duration: the duration of a cold is generally 4 – 7 days. Hay fever does not have a set duration as it varies for each individual, sometimes lasting for just a few days or longer periods of time, several months or more.

6. Onset: Colds have a gradual onset whereas Hay fever varies depending on exposure to the allergen

7. Frequency: colds vary but are much more common during the winter months. Hay fever can occur all year round.

If you have concluded it is hay fever that is causing the above symptoms there are several options available at your local pharmacy that can treat these symptoms. Remember that not all hay fever sufferers have the same symptoms. Many will suffer from frequent sneezing and itchy noses while others will have a runny nose and itchy eyes. It is important to talk to your local pharmacist to make sure you are getting the right products to treat each symptom correctly.

There are many different types of winter colds, flu and virus that are much more predominant in the winter months. There are over 200 different viruses that can cause colds. Cold viruses spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. You can usually expect to start experiencing cold and flu symptoms 1 – 3 days after contact with the virus.

There are no medicines that can cure a cold so your best option for a quick recovery is to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. There is a range of different products you can purchase from your local community pharmacy to treat cold and flu symptoms. Make sure you talk to your pharmacist about which products are right for you and your family, especially children.

Usually, a trip to the doctor is not necessary if you or your family are suffering from a cold, however, if you start to experience chest pain, skin rash, stop drinking fluids, or fevers then it might be a good idea to seek further treatment from your local doctor. If you are unsure your local pharmacists will be able to advise you on your next best move.