Spring is in the air and with it, so are seasonal allergies. As beautiful and regenerative as this season is, many are struggling to stop and smell the roses. Namely, because they can’t stop sneezing – but also because unfortunately Covid-19 is still ever prevalent in our world, the anxiety of spring allergies vs Covid-19 has in fact returned. Today we are providing expert advice on knowing the difference between allergies and Covid-19 to help you find some peace of mind and enjoy the spring season! 

Covid-19 Anxiety

If you’re still finding yourself in a panic with every cough or sniff, you are not alone. There certainly isn’t any “getting-used-to” in the case of a pandemic – especially in one where we are seeing newer strains of the disease emerge as well as constant media coverage of rising cases and death rates. Furthermore, it certainly doesn’t help that as we have learned more about Covid-19 over the past year, some of the symptoms that we have uncovered are quite unusual. As both allergy and anxiety symptoms are now well-known for their similarities to the symptoms of Covid-19, it is important to listen to what the experts have to say on the differences. 

Difference In Symptoms 

The first thing most experts look for when distinguishing symptoms of Covid-19 from that of seasonal allergy symptoms, is the presence of a fever. Fever is not a symptom one experiences with allergies and is often a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, if a fever is present, this is a telling sign that the symptoms the individual is experiencing are likely not due to allergies alone. On the other hand, symptoms such as sneezing, or itching of the eyes/throat are not associated with Covid-19 or other related viruses such as influenza and alternatively occur more often due to seasonal allergies. 

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Although allergies and Covid-19 do sometimes share similar symptoms of cough, fatigue, congestion and shortness of breath, experts point out that even these similar symptoms present differently between the two afflictions. In this Healthline article Dr. M. Cutler states that allergies “are usually chronic, presenting with symptoms off and on for weeks, months, or even years,” meaning that the symptoms one feels with allergies will occur consistently over a long period of time, whereas symptoms from Covid-19 occur acutely for the infected individual. To further explain this concept, Dr. Puja Rajani uses the example of fatigue by making the comparison of the fatigue one experiences through allergies being a slower, more persistent tiredness – whereas the fatigue that comes from Covid-19 is much more rapid and debilitating.

For a more comprehensive list on the differences between Covid-19 and seasonal allergies, check out these charts compiled by the Mayo Clinic.

If you are experiencing symptoms that are of concern to you, it is important to remember to check-in with yourself about how severe the symptoms you’re experiencing really are and whether or not they really fall into the Covid-19 category. If you believe they do, be sure to contact your healthcare provider to be evaluated or tested and of course make sure to follow safety guidelines while you await your results. We hope this article provided some clarity and we wish everyone a safe, sneeze-less, stress-free spring!