February 28, 2021

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Know the difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19


Photo: William Brawley on Visual hunt

The coronavirus is a respiratory disease, however, there are other health conditions that its symptoms can be confused with those of COVID-19. For this reason, it is necessary to know their differences in order to distinguish them.

For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seasonal allergies triggered by pollen in the air can lead to seasonal allergic rhinitis, which affects the nose and sinuses, and conjunctivitis. seasonal allergic, affecting the eyes.

COVID-19 and seasonal allergies have several symptoms in common, but there are some key differences between the two. For example, COVID-19 can cause a fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. Symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19 are compared below.

Most common symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Recent loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Common symptoms of both diseases (COVID-19 and seasonal allergies)

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose

Most common symptoms of seasonal allergies

  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Sneeze

This is not a complete list of possible symptoms of COVID-19 or seasonal allergies. Symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. You can have COVID-19 and seasonal allergy symptoms at the same time.

Since some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are similar, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, and you may need to have a test to confirm your diagnosis.

Seasonal allergies generally do not cause shortness of breath or shortness of breath, unless a person has a respiratory condition such as asthma, which can be triggered by exposure to pollen.

According to the CDC, at the moment there is not enough scientific information to know if seasonal allergies pose a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 or having more serious symptoms when contracting COVID-19.

What is known is that older adults and people with serious underlying conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, or heart or lung disease, are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

The best way to protect yourself from seasonal allergies is to reduce your exposure to pollen. On days with a high presence of pollen in the air:

  • Limit the time you spend outdoors and find enclosed spaces with fresh air.
  • Create a cleaner air space at home to protect yourself from outside irritants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Use a portable air purifier in one or more settings. Portable air purifiers work best if they are on constantly, with the doors and windows closed.
  • Keep your space with cleaner air at a comfortable temperature with the use of air conditioning, heat pumps, fans, and blinds.
  • If you are outdoors, avoid activities that generate pollen movement, such as mowing the lawn or sweeping leaves. Upon re-entering, take a shower and change your clothes.



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