Spring Has Sprung and So Have Seasonal Allergies. Or is it COVID-19?
It is that time of the year again. Everything is in bloom, sending seasonal allergy sufferers scrambling to find relief from the elements of spring. What was once an accepted nuisance by many is now sounding alarm bells that the allergy symptoms may actually be a sign of COVID-19. While it is true that it can be difficult to distinguish between classic spring allergies and the deadly COVID-19 virus, there are some clear distinctions that may help you in your diagnosis.
Here are a few things to ask yourself if you are feeling concerned.
Most Common Signs of Spring Seasonal Allergies
Any allergy sufferer will tell you that the onset of symptoms generally begins with a runny nose or watery eyes. A nose that will not stop running, eyes that feel itchy and watery, and mild congestion are all tell-tale signs of regular allergies. Some sufferers may even report a tickle in the back of the throat or a slight cough. The cough generally does not produce any phlegm, appearing more unproductive in nature.
Many people who routinely deal with seasonal allergies know how to find relief through certain medications. If these tried and true medications are not bringing you relief from your typical allergy symptoms, you should consider COVID-19 as a possible cause of what is ailing you.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The difficult thing about COVID-19 is that it presents with a wide array of symptoms. Many people report the onset of fever as one of the first signs that something is wrong. Extreme fatigue also knocks people out when COVID-19 sets in.
Many people with COVID-19 also report a variety of symptoms that are not consistent with typical respiratory issues. Examples of some of the most common symptoms include gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Some COVID-19 patients also develop pinkeye. This may initially present itself similar to the red and watery eyes that accompany typical spring allergies.
One of the most perplexing symptoms of some COVID-19 patients is the loss of taste and smell. If you suddenly notice that you cannot taste or smell or anything, there is a good chance that you may have been infected with COVID-19.
Similarities Between Allergies and COVID-19
It is understandable to be concerned that your seasonal allergies may actually be COVID-19. Because some of the symptoms mirror each other, it is easy to be paranoid that what you always thought were allergies may be the first signs of COVID-19.
Some of the most similar symptoms include a dry cough, headache, or trouble breathing. While most allergy sufferers do not have difficulty breathing, those who also have to deal with asthma may have to deal with this issue.
Key Differences Between Allergies and COVID-19
Those who suffer from severe allergies generally have to deal with excessive sneezing. This is not a reported symptom of COVID-19. If you are dealing with itchy and watery eyes combined with sneezing, there is a very good chance that you are just looking at seasonal allergies.
Unlike allergy symptoms that come and go and vary in intensity depending on what is floating through the air at any given time, COVID-19 symptoms hit hard and fast and do not let up until the virus has run its course. An acute illness is more likely to be COVID-19 than allergies.
Additionally, the fatigue and muscle aches and pains that distinguish COVID-19 are not present during allergies. If what you thought were allergies suddenly are accompanied by extreme tiredness, you would be wise to consider COVID-19 as a possibility.
The Bottom Line
It is important to note that you should get a COVID-19 test if there is any doubt that what you are dealing with is not run-of-the-mill spring allergies. While COVID-19 tests had been in short supply months ago, most places have an abundance of tests available. In addition, results are coming back much faster after you take the test.
When it comes to COVID-19, you can never be too careful. You owe it to those around you to take a COVID-19 test if there is any doubt in your mind.
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