Is My Sore Throat From Fall Allergies or Coronavirus? 4 Major Differences Between Allergies & COVID-19 by Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
As seasons change, people may experience seasonal allergies. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, you may wonder if your stuffy nose or sore throat is an early symptom of your allergies or of COVID-19.
Seasonal allergies are caused by airborne pollen that can lead to allergic rhinitis, affecting the nose and sinuses, and allergic conjunctivitis, which affects your eyes. COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and can lead to major health complications. If you are concerned about your health, reach out to your nurse practitioner or health-care provider, who can help diagnose what is making you feel unwell.
Here are the major differences between allergies and COVID-19:
- COVID-19 can cause a fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies.
- Seasonal allergies do not usually cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, which is a symptom of COVID-19. However, a person with a respiratory condition, such as asthma, may struggle with breathing as a result of exposure to pollen.
- COVID-19 can cause muscle and body aches, which are not common symptoms of allergies.
- Itchy, watering eyes and sneezing are a common sign of allergies and not as common for COVID-19.
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are similar, and it may be difficult to tell the difference between them. Symptoms also vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. If you are concerned you may be sick or struggling with seasonal allergies, reach out to your healthcare provider or NP as soon as possible to help diagnose and treat your illness.
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