Determining if it’s allergies or COVID-19

Some allergies can be so severe, it may have you asking is it coronavirus?

A lot of allergies can be very severe, leading to headaches and congestion, often being mistaken for an illness and, in some cases, may lead to your employer or child’s school requesting you to stay home.

Here are some ways to tell the difference:

COVID-19 symptoms:

- Fever (allergies won’t cause a fever, only infections like a virus can)

- Sore throat

- Loss of smell or taste

Symptom similarities:

- Headache

- Congestion

- Sometimes sneezing

“(Sneezing) certainly isn’t a big factor with corona. It’s not the first thing you think about but there are some reports of people having sneezing,” said Dr. Stacey Silvers, from Aspire Allergy & Sinus.

The respiratory droplets you spread with a sneeze is exactly why you need to wear a mask, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, and ENT doctors say masks worn outside can protect you from the particles in the air that contribute to allergies.

Typically during this time of year brings more allergy sufferers into Aspire Allergy and Sinus. Silvers said more than ever, people will want to stay on top of their health.

“We’re getting it a lot from kids who are going back to school. Some are going to be sent home because they have allergy symptoms and it’s hard to tell the difference between that and potential coronavirus infections,” Silvers said.

Here’s what you can do during school screenings:

- Be honest (now is not the time to lie about symptoms)

- Get an allergy test (this can help you determine what you’re allergic to and get good treatment to eliminate the symptoms)

- Get onto a regimen of antihistamines and nasal steroids (these may take up to a week to be effective, so they’re meant to be used regularly)