Difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19 symptoms


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Spring allergy season is underway, and there’s an additional problem. Several symptoms for allergy sufferers are the same as Coronavirus.
So what do you do?

“Tree pollen is out, and people are starting to feel it,” said Dr. Rajiv Arora with Family Allergy and Asthma in Lexington.

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Tree pollen is the culprit of early spring allergies, bringing a list of symptoms.

“The nasal symptoms like itchy, runny, sneezy,” said Arora. “Eye symptoms like itchy, red, watery eyes. And sometimes breathing symptoms too, and folks will have asthma with allergic triggers. They might notice they’re coughing or wheezing, and short of breath or have chest tightness.”

Coughing, shortness of breath, runny nose, we’ve heard that before. Those are also COVID-19 symptoms, which have people asking, “is it spring allergies or COVID?”

“Some of the big separating features are fevers and the loss of sense of smell and taste,” said Arora. “Allergies won’t cause fevers.”

Arora said if it is allergies, there are things you can do to help. He said over-the-counter medicine and talking to an allergist is a good place to start.

“If you’re outside on a high pollen day when you come in, change your clothes, take a bath or shower, keep the windows clothes in the car or home, use your h-vac system, make sure your filters are changed regularly,” he said.

If your pets have been outside, you should wash the pollen off of them too.

There will be some days the pollen county will be higher than others.

“Pollen floats around for miles,” Arora said. “So, when it’s a nice day, and it’s a little bit windy or breezy, there’s going to be pollen out in the air. When we do get some rain, that does knock the pollen down temporarily, but it’s only temporary.”

Tree pollen typically lasts into May, but unfortunately, there’s more. Grass pollen kicks-in in late April and into May and lasts into June.