How to tell if your regular allergies are actually COVID symptoms

In this time of global pandemics, but also of allergies, it can be difficult to set apart symptoms. In order not to be mistaken, here are some tips.

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We're well on our way to bright summer days, and with it comes the season of hay fever and allergies. In a regular pre-pandemic year, we'd instantly be able to tell when we were suffering from allergies but now COVID-anxiety has got us majorly confused. And while some COVID symptoms do overlap with allergic reactions there are some ways to differentiate between the two.

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An expert's opinion

A COVID infection and your seasonal allergies have a few symptoms in common: loss of smell, headaches, a blocked nose, and an overall feeling of unease. What sets COVID apart is that people who do contract the virus will also most likely get a fever, while allergies do not usually induce high temperatures. Mild allergenic symptoms, that COVID patients will not experience, include: itchy throat, nose and eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing.

The allergist Édouard Sève explained the differences in symptoms:

For allergies, it's going to be more about sneezing, itching, irritated eyes, throat, and nose, but also red eyes, which weep, runny noses

He added:

For the COVID-19, it'll mostly be about fevers, body aches and intense fatigue.

If you are sensitive to allergies this time of year, there is no reason to panic when you feel your regular symptoms. However, it is still important to keep track of your body's responses so that you can tell if you're infected with COVID or just dealing with spring allergies. Clinical Chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr. Gordon Sinclair said:

We don’t want people to get unduly anxious about their hay fever. However, we also want to make sure that they don’t go out and about, assuming they have their usual allergies, when they may actually have coronavirus and should stay at home.
If you have any new cough, fever, lose your sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate as these could be signs of coronavirus. Most people can manage their symptoms at home with paracetamol and plenty of fluids. However, if you feel worse, you should use the NHS 111 checker– or call NHS 111.

How to limit allergies?

In order to limit your allergies as much as possible, you must first thoroughly clean your flat's interior.

For this purpose, it is advisable to clean the filters of your air conditioners, your cooktop hood or your ventilation ducts, to dust regularly, to avoid carpets and not to open the windows too often. The goal? To prevent allergens from settling inside and get into your breathing airspace.

Good luck!

More information in our video at the top of the article.

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