How to identify seasonal allergy and COVID-19 symptoms

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.-- For some people, spring means blooming trees and flower buds, but that can cause seasonal allergies to flare up. The ongoing pandemic can make it hard to figure if your symptoms are allergies or something more serious.

Asthma Allergy Centers Dr. Giri Dandamudi, said seasonal allergies and COVID-19 have several overlapping symptoms.

“In the springtime, coming very soon, is the tree pollens, and in May and June we get into grass pollens, August and September is the regular pollen, so pollen is very seasonal,” Dr. Dandamudi said.

It's important to keep a close eye on seasonal allergy and COVID-19 symptoms, especially when spring is upon us. Breathing in pollen from plants, especially during this time of year, can cause allergy flare-ups, which people may find slight discomfort. And with the continuous spread of COVID-19, there are some overlapping signs. For instance, a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or congestion, fatigue, and a headache are all symptoms that overlap with COVID-19 and seasonal allergies.

“Similar symptoms are coughing, wheezing. When it gets closer to the lungs, if they have asthma, they also wheeze. Similarly, people with a stuffy nose finally end up in the sinuses, which causes sinuses infections, sinus headaches. Sometimes they have a drip in the back of the throat,” Dr. Dandamudi said.

Dr. Dandamudi said that despite what people think, those who have allergies or even asthma are not at a higher risk of developing COVID-19. The Asthma and Allergy specialist said few symptoms can help differentiate between both COVID-19 symptoms and seasonal allergies.

Dr. Dandamudi said it is important to keep track of your symptoms because it can easily be mistaken for something much more serious. Even when COVID-19 and allergies have some overlapping symptoms, there are a few signs that can signal you have COVID-19, such as muscles and body aches, loss of taste and smell, and nausea and vomiting. As for allergies, watch out for watery eyes and sneezing.

Dr. Dandamudi said it’s better to be safe than sorry. He recommends going get tested to rule out any possibilities.

"Then get a screening test, because a lot of people are asymptomatic. Any times in these days if you have nasal congestion and cold symptoms, it's better to go to get tested to stay on the safe side,” Dr. Dandamudi said.

If you believe you are having any of the following symptoms, its best to contact your primary doctor.

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