Signs you have perennial hay fever – not just a never ending cold!

Most people associate hay fever (allergic rhinitis) with spring due to the high pollen count. But hay fever can occur all year round, a condition known as perennial hay fever.

Perennial hay fever is usually caused by common environmental allergens such as dust mites, moulds and animal hair, and the symptoms can present in a similar way to a cold. So how can you tell the difference?

First, know the similarities

Most people associate sneezing, runny noses, congestion and sinus pain to both the cold and to hay fever. But other lesser known shared symptoms include tiredness, headaches, difficulty concentrating and dry coughs.

Then, spot the differences

With so many common symptoms, it’s easy to see why people can get confused. Being aware of the differences between a cold and perennial hay fever is important to ensure you get the right treatment for your condition. So, spot the differences:


A cold is caused by a virus whereas perennial hay fever is caused by an allergic response to environmental allergens like dust, dust mites, animal dander and moulds.


Itchiness is not a symptom that's usually associated with a cold. So, if you’re experiencing red, watery, itchy eyes, an itchy throat or palate, or itchy ears, then it’s probably perennial hay fever. (The exception here is an itchy nose, which may be felt before a sneeze in both conditions.)

Nasal discharge

The colour of your nasal discharge can also help you tell the difference between perennial hay fever and a cold. If you have a cold, your nasal discharge is more likely to become yellow/green. If you have perennial hay fever, your nasal discharge is more likely be watery and clear.

Sore throat

Perennial hay fever rarely results in a sore throat. Usually, it just gives you a dry, itchy feeling.


While the onset of a cold is usually a gradual process, which can last for up to 14 days, perennial hay fever symptoms usually come on all at once and last much longer. In fact, symptoms can last as long you are exposed to the allergen.

But I’ve never had hay fever before!

It’s a common misconception that hay fever starts in childhood. Hay fever can start at any age. It’s often triggered later in life by stressful events or other underlying health conditions.

Is it possible to get both?

Yes, it is possible to have a cold and hay fever at the same time, especially if your immune system is weak.

Do you suffer from perennial hay fever?

At HWA, we perform a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT), which may help reduce your reactions and help manage the symptoms of allergy-related conditions like perennial hay fever

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to food and environmental substances that may be causing or exacerbating your allergy symptoms

This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot diagnose or cure allergies – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

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