As we move into fall allergy season with the coronavirus still active, it is important not to confuse allergies for the disease. If you suffer from allergies every year, ask yourself these questions:
- Are these my classic allergy symptoms?
- Do I get these symptoms around the same time every year?
- Am I taking my allergy medications regularly and appropriately?
Seasonal allergies and COVID-19 do share many symptoms. However, there are some distinct differences between the two:
- Symptoms of COVID-19 commonly presents with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and muscle aches. This combination of symptoms is not typical for seasonal allergies.
- Symptoms of seasonal allergies tend to affect the nose and eyes. When a sensitive person inhales an allergen, the body’s immune system may react with several symptoms including:
- Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion
- Itching, usually in the nose, mouth, eyes, or throat
- Puffy, swollen eyelids
- Sneezing and coughing
- In certain people, it can trigger asthma symptoms
The image below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compares some of the symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19.
As with any disease or illness, symptoms can vary between person to person. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the best way to protect yourself is to reduce your exposure to pollen. It is important for you to stay up to date with the pollen levels in your area. If you feel your symptoms might be something more than seasonal allergies, contact your healthcare provider.
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