Allergies vs. Coronavirus: What's the Difference?

Allergies vs. Coronavirus: What’s the Difference?

Allergies and Coronavirus

Spring is around the corner, and warmer temperatures are on the way. Typically, this is the signal that cold and flu season is on its way out, and allergy season is on its way in. Unfortunately, the current coronavirus pandemic coincides with the start of the allergy season, which can make distinguishing between the two difficult. The signs of seasonal allergies are similar to those of COVID-19, so, understandably, a person may get a bit anxious every time they experience the beginnings of a cough, sneeze, or sniffle. Others may become concerned as well if they have someone next to them coughing and sneezing, but the reality of it is there’s going to be a lot of sneezing soon, and it’s not because of the coronavirus. It’s predicted that we will see above-average pollen levels this year, which will make it harder to differentiate. Fortunately, there are ways to tell the difference between allergies and coronavirus.

Due to the similarities and overlap of symptoms between allergies and coronavirus, a lot of unnecessary fear can occur. With spring officially starting soon, you must know the difference between the two.

What are the Symptoms?

• Coronavirus symptoms can include a fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, dry cough, body aches, runny nose, and a sore throat.
• Allergy symptoms can include a runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, wheezing, headache, cough, sneezing, rashes, and itchy eyes.

Do I Have Allergies or the Coronavirus?

• If you are experiencing an itchy throat, nose, ears, and eyes, you are experiencing allergies. Itchiness is not a typical sign of coronavirus infection.
• If you are experiencing a sore throat, achiness, or fever, then you might have the flu or the coronavirus, and should be checked out by a physician.

I am Sneezing, is it a Symptom of Allergies or the Coronavirus?

• People infected with the coronavirus appear to sneeze infrequently, while allergy-induced sneezes can occur in rapid bouts where you can’t stop sneezing.
• If you are sneezing and also are experiencing body aches, a fever, and a sore throat, you may have the flu or the coronavirus and should reach out to your medical provider.

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During this time, our office remains open with limited scheduling for urgent ENT care only.
Other patients should not be seen, according to guidelines.
Patients with flu like symptoms or fever or known exposure to COVID-19
should go to urgent care or speak to their primary care physician.

Be well and don’t hesitate to reach out to us as needed.
The Staff and Doctors of The New York Otolaryngology Group