BMN Blog

DEC 07

Because of COVID-19, many of us will be more alarmed than usual when we hear a sneeze or a cough this allergy season. The truth, however, is that seasonal allergies are very common so it is important to be able to tell the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies.

The main difference between COVID-19 symptoms and seasonal allergies is fever and chills. Many have also reported a new loss of taste and/or smell. Seasonal allergies can cause a loss of smell. However, COVID-19 brings on a sudden loss of taste and/or smell. Nausea and vomiting may also be present. Itchy or watery eyes and sneezing are symptoms more common to seasonal allergies. Cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose can be both symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies.

There are several steps you can take to help stop symptoms:

  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning in your home or car to reduce your exposure to airborne allergens.
  • Shower right after you come in from outside to wash pollen right out of your hair and clothes and help keep it out of your bed-linens, which also should be laundered frequently to keep indoor and outdoor allergens away when you sleep.
  • Make an appointment with an allergist, who will help you identify your specific allergies and give you an action plan tailored to your needs. Peak time for ragweed sufferers to avoid, for example, is early midday, whereas grass pollens are at their peak in the afternoon and early evening.
  • Last, don't fret a rainy day. It washes the pollen away.

Please remember to be courteous and kind to others as we fight to help stop the spread of this global pandemic. Remember that some people sneeze with seasonal allergies. Let’s be kind to one another during this time and work together to stop the spread.

Maxcie Sikora, MD practices with Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center.

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