The poet Mathilde Blind surely romanticized the coming of spring. For all those unfamiliar with her poems, she called it: April showers bring May flowers.
For some, it also brings the less romantic itchy eyes, tearing, and very runny noses. In many parts of the country, the thawing that occurs in spring coincides with rising pollen counts which persist into May and start to taper right before summer. This wreaks havoc on the nose, leading to some pesky symptoms. Because some allergy symptoms can be similar to COVID 19 infection, this year’s spring allergies can leave many people concerned & confused.
Allergic Rhinitis, or “Allergies”, is caused by a response in the immune system to a variety of allergens (pollen, dust, etc.). Unlike viral particles, allergens are not contagious from person to person. The hallmark symptoms of “allergies” are centered around itching: itchy eyes, itchy noses, itchy ears, and itchy throats. Thankfully, itching is not typical of viral infections.
Viral infections are not typically relieved by tablet or sprays, unlike allergies which often do improve with allergy medications.
Viral infections, such as COVID 19, are typically accompanied by dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches and fevers. These are uncommon symptoms of allergies.
Should you have any of these viral symptoms, COVID 19 testing is readily accessible, and you should get tested.
Below is a table to help you differentiate the common symptoms of allergies and COVID 19.
|Fevers / Chills||No||Yes|
|Nausea / Vomiting||No||Yes|
|Loss of smell||Occasionally||Yes|