Understanding Hay Fever: Know When to Visit Urgent Care

A young woman sitting at a desk in front of a computer sneezing into her elbow with her eyes closed.

Nearly 25 million Americans are affected by hay fever each year. A common condition most often seen during the spring and early summer months, it can range from mild to severe. It often causes those affected to experience symptoms similar to the common cold. Although there are differences between the two, many mistake one for another, so knowing the difference is essential in receiving the proper treatment when necessary.

At Amory Urgent Care, we recognize the irritation that can come with a hay fever diagnosis. We also know that being informed about diagnoses is essential to your overall health and well-being. If you’re experiencing hay fever symptoms, it may be time to seek medical attention.

Our urgent care facility is open seven days a week to diagnose and treat hay fever; just walk in.

What is hay fever?

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is a health condition that causes cold-like signs and symptoms.

For most, hay fever symptoms heighten during certain seasons of the year, particularly when allergens are present in the spring. It is important to note that some patients may experience hay fever year-round or experience increased symptoms at random times throughout the year.

Certain triggers affect many as they relate to seasonal changes, including:

  • Tree pollen (common in early spring)
  • Grass pollen (common in late spring and summer)
  • Ragweed pollen (common in the autumn)
  • Other non-weather-related triggers include:
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches
  • Pet dander
  • Spores from indoor and outdoor fungi
  • Mold


Similar to the common cold, hay fever symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery, red eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy nose
  • Scratchy throat or roof of the mouth
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes
  • Postnasal drip
  • Fatigue

The common cold vs. hay fever

Although the common cold and hay fever have very similar symptoms for most people, the most significant difference is that a cold may produce body aches and a fever, while hay fever, despite its name, does not. Other considerably different factors include treatment and the overall duration of the illness.

Here are the main differences:

Factors & DifferencesHay FeverCold
TimingImmediately following exposure to an allergen. 2-3 days after exposure to a virus.
DurationSymptoms last as long as you are exposed to an allergen.
Hay fever often spans several weeks to months.
3-7 days
SymptomsThin, watery dischargeFever, body aches and a runny nose with yellow discharge
Treatment·  Allergy shots
·  Allergy tablets
·  Nasal sprays
·  OTC or prescription decongestants
·  Antihistamines
·  Sinus rinsing
· Cold medicine
·  Fever reducers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
·  Nasal decongestants
·  Cough suppressants

When to visit Amory Urgent Care

Although hay fever can most often be treated at home using over-the-counter allergy medication, we recommend visiting an urgent care facility if:

  • Your symptoms last longer than a week.
  • OTC allergy medications aren’t helping.
  • You have other underlying health conditions, like asthma.
  • Your symptoms are severe.
  • The allergy medication you’re taking is causing negative side effects.

Visit Amory Urgent Care to get the treatment for hay fever today. We gladly offer a variety of urgent care services to meet and treat your healthcare needs. We welcome walk-in appointments seven days a week to help you feel better sooner.