In years past, a case of the sniffles at the beginning of spring would be a sure sign that allergy season started. But now that we’re living in the age of COVID-19, we know that it could be something worse. It’s important to take your symptoms seriously in order to keep others safe. We’ve compiled a guide to help you determine whether allergies or COVID is the likely culprit behind your respiratory symptoms.
Common Allergy Symptoms
While symptoms of seasonal allergies vary from person to person, common ones include:
- Itchy/runny/stuffy nose
- Red/watery/puffy eyes
- Scratchy throat/postnasal drip
Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
It seems like we learn about new symptoms of COVID-19 every week. The CDC lists the telltale signs of COVID as:
- Sore throat
- Congestion/runny nose
- Loss of taste/smell
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Muscle/body aches
How to Tell the Difference
Not everyone will get every symptom. However, if you experience any overlapping symptoms like congestion, runny nose or sore/scratchy throat with no other symptoms, it’s most likely allergies. Take an over-the-counter antihistamine; if your symptoms improve, you probably have nothing to worry about.
If you also experience a fever, trouble breathing, loss of taste/smell or gastrointestinal issues, self-isolate and get a COVID test right away.
Note that it is possible to experience both conditions at once. Again, look out for the telltale signs that don’t overlap.
What about a Cold/the Flu?
Of course, allergies and COVID aren’t the only conditions that cause these symptoms.
A cold causes upper respiratory symptoms as well, but it is rarely accompanied by a fever and never causes nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
The flu has more overlapping symptoms, but won’t cause loss of taste or smell. It’s important to get the flu shot in order to reduce your risk of developing the virus.
Social distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing can prevent COVID-19, a cold and the flu.
Allergies can be prevented by limiting outdoor time when pollen counts are high, taking a daily antihistamine and getting allergy shots.
If you’re experiencing respiratory symptoms, understand your symptoms to know if it’s safe to head to The Headhouse Farmers Market or if you need to isolate at home. For allergy relief, call the experts at Pinnacle ENT Associates today to schedule an appointment.