Allergies or COVID-19? How to Tell the Difference Between Symptoms
Allergy and COVID-19 symptoms are similar but definitely different. Here's how to tell the difference between the two.
I don't know about you, but right now is my peak allergy season. Every day I'm taking allergy medication and eye drops while carrying a box of tissues around. People stare, and rightfully so. We have a pandemic going on and any sign of someone being sick should worry you. But according to the CDC, there are some key differences between seasonal allergies and COVID-19.
First things first, let's break down what allergies are and what COVID-19 is. Seasonal allergies are triggered by airborne pollen, according to the CDC. This can lead to things like allergic rhinitis, which affects the nose and sinuses, or seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which affects the eyes. COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the infection with a new coronavirus, which is called SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. COVID-19 is the illness caused by a coronavirus. COVID-19 is contagious, seasonal allergies are not.
Some of the key symptoms of COVID-19 that typically are not seen in allergies are fever, muscle and body aches, sudden loss of taste and smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. According to the CDC, some key symptoms of seasonal allergies that are not typically seen in COVID-19 are itchy and watery eyes and sneezing. Both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies have symptoms like cough, fatigue, headache, sore throat, and congestion.
According to the CDC, you can have symptoms of COVID-19 and allergies at the same time. Symptoms also vary for each person and can range from mild to severe. The CDC advises that if you are unable to tell the differences between seasonal allergies and COVID-19 to get a test to confirm your diagnosis. Seasonal allergies usually don't cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, unless that person has a respiratory condition like asthma that can be triggered by pollen exposure.
If you're worried that allergies make you more susceptible to COVID-19, don't worry. The CDC says there is not enough scientific information at this time to know whether having seasonal allergies puts you at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Wearing a face mask is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from seasonal allergies is to reduce your pollen exposure.