Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is when you have an allergic response to something in the environment that can cause sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. Even though it’s called hay fever, you don’t need to be around hay to have it and you don’t get a fever. It’s most likely to strike when pollen ramps up in the spring and summer.
What Are the Symptoms of Hay Fever?
Hay fever can cause many symptoms, including:
Prolonged, sometimes violent sneezing
Itchy nose, throat, and roof of mouth
Stuffy, runny nose
Watery, red itchy eyes
Head and nasal congestion
Ear pressure or fullness
You could have more serious symptoms, like:
If you also have asthma, you might:
Cough or wheeze
Feel like you can’t catch your breath
Feel like your chest is tight
Hay Fever vs. Common Cold Symptoms
It can be hard to tell if you have hay fever or a cold, since the symptoms can be similar. Although you might have symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing with both hay fever and a cold, with a cold, you might also have these symptoms:
Colds also last about 3-7 days, whereas hay fever lasts however long you’re around the allergens. With hay fever, you might have symptoms for weeks or even months.
Call your doctor if: