Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia

Do I Have Seasonal Allergies or COVID-19?

Do I Have Seasonal Allergies or COVID-19?

As fall allergy season is about to come into full swing, you may be concerned whether your symptoms are related to your existing allergies or symptoms of something potentially more serious: COVID-19. It’s understandable why you’d be confused as there is some overlap in the symptoms, including cough and shortness of breath. However, one symptom that is found in COVID-19 patients but not in those who only have fall allergies is fever. One of the primary symptoms of COVID-19 is a sudden spike in body temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, allergies are not contagious, whereas COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus. Another symptom common in allergies but not in COVID-19 is sneezing.

I Have Seasonal Allergies. Am I More Prone to Getting COVID-19?

While researchers still do not know for sure whether seasonal allergies put you at higher risk of contracting the virus or experiencing more severe symptoms if you get it, there are certain conditions that do put you at risk. For example, the CDC has noted that people with severe underlying medical conditions, particularly those who are immunocompromised, are at higher risk for more severe complications from contracting COVID-19. Other examples of immunocompromised individuals include those with HIV/AIDS, recent organ transplant patients, and those with cancer.

How Can I Control My Allergies While Protecting Myself Against COVID-19?

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 transmission is to wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose. This may also provide some relief from seasonal allergies, as masks can prevent large allergens from penetrating the mask and irritating you when inhaled. Smaller allergen particles, like pollen, may still get through, though. You should wash your masks after each use to remove pollen particles to reduce any irritation and inflammation from fall allergies or use a disposable mask every time you leave home.

You can reduce your symptoms for indoor and outdoor allergens and reduce the confusion you experience if you can’t tell the difference between COVID-19 and your usual allergies. For example:

  • Pre-medicate: Use antihistamines or corticosteroid nasal spray 2 hours before allergen exposure, or use eye drops for eye allergies.
  • Avoid allergens: Late summer and early fall is when pollen particles are out in full force. They are highest in the morning compared to other times of day. Pollen also is blown in the wind and after rainfall. Limit your outdoor time when pollen counts are high. You should also avoid fallen leaves, as these can release million of mold spores into the air and be quite hazardous if you have allergies. If you cannot avoid raking fall leaves, hire someone else to rake the leaves from your yard.
  • Change clothes and shower when coming indoors: Every time you come indoors from an outdoor excursion, it’s important to change your attire so all the potential allergen particles are no longer clinging to your clothing. Wash the clothing as soon as possible. If you can, take a shower and wash your hair after every time you go outside. Dry your laundry indoors rather than hanging it outside.
  • Wear a mask: Mask wearing can help protect you from inhaling large allergen particles, not to mention it is one of the best prevention tactics to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

Concerned About Allergies? Contact the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia Today.

If you’re still scratching your head over whether your hay fever is acting up or you could have contracted COVID-19, you can get tested at any local pharmacy or your doctor’s office. We do not allow patients who have active symptoms of COVID-19 to come to our office for treatment. We can help if you suffer from allergies or asthma and educate you on how to keep yourself same from harm during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To reach the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, please reach out to our clinic by calling (770) 285-5200 now to book an appointment.