The Differences Between an Allergy and COVID-19

People are finding it difficult to distinguish between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms. (Image:  Pixabay /  CC0 1.0)
People are finding it difficult to distinguish between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The symptoms of COVID-19 include a dry cough, sneezing, fatigue, etc. This is very similar to the symptoms of allergies. As such, people are finding it difficult to distinguish between the two. Here’s a quick rundown on how to gauge whether the symptoms you display are the result of an allergy or COVID-19.

Allergies vs COVID-19

A big difference between allergies and COVID-19 is whether you have a fever and related symptoms like chills. When the body gets infected, it turns up the temperature in a bid to kill off the pathogens. So if you are experiencing a fever, there is a good chance that the root cause isCOVID-19. Allergies do not usually cause any intense fever. Another huge differentiator is itchiness. If you feel itchy and wish to scratch some area of your body for a long period of time, it is highly possible that you are dealing with a case of allergy rather than COVID-19.

If you seasonally experience allergies, you should also watch out for the pattern of symptoms. “They [allergic people] come to expect the pattern of how symptoms flow from allergies to their chest… Someone with coronavirus would have a different pattern and the cough or sneeze may even feel different,” Marc F. Goldstein, MD, chief of allergy and immunology at Pennsylvania Hospital, said to Health.

Covid-19 does not trigger intense sneezing. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

COVID-19 apparently does not cause any intense sneezing. As such, if you feel the need to sneeze every now and then, it is probably due to an allergy. However, it is very important that you do cover your mouth while sneezing. Both allergies and COVID-19 are said to trigger reddish eyes. However, this is not actually true. People with COVID-19 end up having pink eyes rather than red eyes. So take a look at your eyes carefully to determine whether they are red or pink. If the color is red, COVID-19 is likely not the reason.

Now, some people might experience an overlap of both COVID-19 and allergies, which can make distinguishing the two almost impossible. So if there is even a 1 percent doubt in your mind, do rush to the nearest hospital and get yourself checked. Even if you are allergic, make sure you do not openly show any symptoms in the public. For instance, you might want to sneeze in public due to an allergic reaction to some particles in the environment. However, do not openly sneeze under current conditions. Close your mouth with a towel when sneezing. Otherwise, you risk scaring people and even inviting conflict.

Dealing with allergies

The best way to deal with allergies is to religiously take your medication. Make sure to stock enough allergy medications so that you never run out, especially nasal sprays and eye drops. Try out a nasal rinse procedure that involves cleaning your nasal passages with distilled saline water. This will help in removing allergens in the nasal passages, thereby reducing sneezing and other discomforts.

Be guarded against bringing plant pollen home. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

If you go out for some reason, ensure that you do not bring back too much pollen or mold to your home. Avoid bringing outdoor shoes inside your home. When you come back, immediately soak and wash your clothes. Do not mix these unwashed clothes with the rest of your clothing since you might spread the pollen in your home. If possible, shower every time you get back home.

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