As if there was not enough uncertainty in our rapidly changing world, spring allergy season has also arrived! For allergy sufferers, this may lead to some confusing and anxiety provoking symptoms in the coming weeks.
Here are five tips to help you differentiate your Seasonal Allergies from COVID-19:
1. Check Your Temperature: Fever is never part of an allergic response (even though seasonal allergy is often referred to as “Hay Fever”). If your temperature is elevated above 100F, this would be concerning for a possible infection.
2. Itching:If you are feeling itchy, this is a classic sign of allergy. Common locations for itch caused by environmental allergens include eyes, ears, and nose. Eczema can appear on elbows, knees and around the eyes.
3. Wet or Dry?: Most patients with COVID-19 do not produce heavy mucus. The cough of coronavirus has been described as a “Dry Cough”. Alternatively, watery eyes and runny nose occur in almost all pollen allergic patients. The mucus is thin and clear. If you feel the need to rub your eyes or nose, remember to try and wash your hands before touching your face.
4. Do Oral Antihistamines Help?: If over-the-counter meds like Claritin, Zyrtec, Xyzal or Allegra are helping you to feel better, this suggests a strong role for allergy, as these drugs would be of no benefit in treating coronavirus.
5. Worse Outside? – If symptoms appear only when outdoors, this would support an allergic trigger. However, indoor allergy symptoms triggered by pets and dust mites may also worsen given the amount of time we are currently spending in our homes. As tempting as it may be to open windows as the weather warms up, known seasonal allergy patients should keep windows closed as pollen counts rise.
Please call us if you have any concerns during this unprecedented and challenging season, our doctors are ready and willing to help answer your questions.
Oak Brook Allergists Blog
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