Is It Allergies Or Covid
At first glance, it might be hard to determine whats causing your sneezing or sniffles, but according to Erdle, there are a few signs to be on the lookout for.
“Although there are some overlapping symptoms, there are some pretty distinct symptoms between the two of them, she says.
Overlapping symptoms include nasal congestion, stuffy nose and runny nose.
There are a lot of symptoms that are pretty unique, she says. “From the allergy side, the number one thing people complain about is itchiness and you dont usually get that from COVID.
Itchy and watery eyes are very common for allergies but not for COVID-19 symptoms and “stuffiness is most likely seen in people with allergies, not COVID-19.
Kanani agrees the itch is often associated with allergies and not viral infections.
“With COVID-19, you can get a stuffy nose and runny nose. But typically with COVID-19 and other viral infections, you dont get the itch, he says.
Typical symptoms people can experience with COVID-19 and not with allergies include a fever, upset stomach, diarrhea and fatigue.
“With allergies, we dont usually see fatigue, he says.
Another obvious one for the two experts is how long the symptoms last. Allergies will last a few months, whereas if youre vaccinated, your symptoms if sick with COVID-19 would not last very long.
How Can I Ease The Symptoms
There are a handful of ways you can safeguard yourself to avoid a nasty few months of allergies.
Over-the-counter-meds: Antihistamines help to tame symptoms, but make sure youre seeking out options like Reactine, Aerius, or Allegra, Fischer said.
Try to avoid Benadryl or other medications that come with side effects, such as drowsiness.
Prescription medications: If needed, your doctor or allergist can prescribe eye drops, nasal sprays or other medicines to help alleviate symptoms.
Allergy shots: Those with severe allergies receive multiple injections sometimes weekly to tame their allergies.
Environmental factors: You can lessen your risk of encountering severe allergies by being mindful of your surroundings. For starters, dont dry your clothes outside that could bring in pollen thatll trigger your symptoms.
If youre going swimming over the summer in a river or pond, wear goggles and nose clips to keep any allergens out of the way. Once youre out of the water, rinse off.
When youre in the car, keep your windows rolled up and the air condition running, Waserman said. Try to keep your windows closed when youre at home, too.
But dont shutter yourself in during the warm months, Waserman said.
Pollen allergies are a fact of life in this part of the world. We have good things out there now to help you stay prepared, she said.
When Are Types Of Pollen Most Common
While there are many different hay fever causes, they all fall under one of three main categories: tree, grass and weeds. While theres some crossover of the three variants, they each have their own specific hay fever season in the UK.
- Tree pollen season is the first to arrive in January and lasts until June when pine and plane pollen season ends.
- Grass pollen season and oil seed rape both begin in April. Grass pollen is one of the longest running seasons covering around six months , whereas oil seed rape is one of the shortest only lasting until the beginning of June.
- Weed pollen season begins in April and lasts until September. Its one of the last pollen seasons.
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Symptoms Could Be Caused By Allergy Related To Snowy Weather
Dear Mayo Clinic:
Is it possible to be allergic to snow? I have no allergies or problems in spring, summer or fall, but once snow starts falling, my eyes itch and I sneeze repeatedly. Why does this happen?
In allergies, almost anything is possible. So you could be allergic to snow. But that would be very unusual. Much more likely, your symptoms are caused by another condition or a different allergy that’s related to the snowy weather.
The most common cold-weather condition that can result in allergy symptoms is cold urticaria . In people who have this disorder, cold weather or low temperatures cause redness, itching, swelling and hives on the skin. These symptoms result from a histamine release in the body.
Histamine is a natural compound the body produces that’s found in certain types of cells. Most histamine is contained within packets in these cells and is usually not released into the body.However, when an allergic response develops, histamine can be released from the packets. That release can cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as itching, skin welts, nasal congestion and, in some cases, even anaphylactic shock.
Using the results of an allergy test, along with a review of your medical history and a physical exam, an allergist likely can help you find out if you have an allergy or other condition that may be triggered when the snow flies.
James Li, M.D., Ph.D., Allergic Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Mold Allergies In The Winter
Your mold allergy may make you miserable in winter. Airborne molds are well-known causes of allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms. They can be present outdoors and indoors. Indoor mold contamination can be present year-round and often depends on moisture levels in the home.
In colder climates, molds can be found in the outdoor air starting in the late winter to early spring, especially during the rainy season. Additionally, indoor mold levels are higher when outdoor mold levels are higher, and the outdoor environment is a common source of indoor mold.
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What Is Hay Fever
Hay fever is a common allergic reaction which occurs at particular times of the year. It is known as seasonal rhinitis, sharing symptoms with perennial allergic rhinitis, but occurring as a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds during the early spring and summer months. It can affect both adults and children.
What Are Common Winter Allergies
Dust is everywhere. Dust contains skin flakes and hair from people and pets, tracked-in dirt, clothing fibers, crumbs, and insect parts. Carpets, furniture, window treatments, and bedding are dust catchers. Filters in your HVAC ducts get dirty or clogged, poorly sealed windows allow pollen and dirt in, and vacuuming releases dust into the air.
Dust mites feed on the very things that make up dust, such as skin cells, insect parts and animal dander. They are present in almost every home, lurking in bedding, furniture, and carpets. Their feces contain digestive enzymes that allow them to get energy from their waste, but this enzyme can be a cocktail of allergens for humans.
Mold is also lurking indoors. It thrives in dark, moist places like bathrooms, basements and under sinks. Mold spores float through the air and are found even if conditions arent favorable. In the right conditions, they will grow on fabric, paper, wood, glass, and plastic.
- Extra moisturizing use heavy lotion/oil and wear socks overnight
- Bathe with cooler water avoid stripping skin of natural oils
- Eat healthy fats may improve your skins moisture barrier
- Drink plenty of water for supple skin
- Use a humidifier if dry air is a trigger
- Gently exfoliate feet regularly to rid them of dead skin cells
- Avoid scratching or peeling flaky skin
- Wear comfortable shoes allow feet to breathe
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Which Allergies Cause Headaches
Here are some of the common allergies that can lead to headaches:
- Allergic rhinitis . If you have a headache along with seasonal and indoor nasal allergies, its more likely due to a migraine headache rather than allergies. But pain related to hay fever or other allergic reactions may cause headaches due to sinus disease. A true sinus headache is actually quite rare.
- Food allergies. There can be a relationship between food and headaches. For example, foods like aged cheese, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate can trigger a migraine in some people. Experts believe its the chemical properties of certain foods that trigger the pain, as opposed to a true food allergy.
- Histamine. The body produces histamines in response to an allergic reaction. Among other things, histamines decrease blood pressure . This can result in headache.
Treat an allergy headache the same way that youd deal with any other headache. If allergies are the source of the headache, there are ways to address the root cause.
What To Do If You Arent Sure Its Allergies Or Covid
A good start to telling the difference between COVID-19 and allergies is checking your temperature at home. If you have a fever, then most likely you have some kind of infection.
Another thing to consider is your response to allergy treatments. You can manage most of your allergy symptoms with over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. If your symptoms go away with these medications, then you likely had allergies and not anything more serious. COVID-19 symptoms dont respond to or get better with allergy medication.
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Is My Sore Throat From Covid
Sore throat is a common symptom of COVID-19. It may go hand in hand with other symptoms, such as fever and congestion, or it may be the very first symptom to develop. In fact, a sore or scratchy throat is a common early symptom of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. One small study suggests that this strain may first infect the throat instead of the nose.
Many people with allergies also complain of a sore throat due to postnasal drainage when mucus drips down the back of the throat. This can be worse in the early morning after lying down at night. Sore throats from allergies usually occur with other allergy symptoms and dont occur in isolation.
In other words, your sore throat could be due to either COVID-19 or allergies. Your other symptoms can help point to a cause, but the only way to know for sure is to take a COVID-19 test .
What Allergy Treatments Are Available
Treatments can help a great deal, says Dr. Hsu. Allergy treatment has changed over the past 10 years, with a number of first-line medications now available over the counter, she says. So, while we have lots of consultations with patients, we dont necessarily send a prescription to the pharmacy. We often advise people on what to buybut we want to be very specific, because there are certainly a lot of over-the-counter medications that we would not recommend as first-line treatments.
For instance, she might start with antihistamines for itching and runny nose, steroid nasal sprays for nasal passage congestion, and antihistamine eye drops for ocular symptoms. If a patient is still uncomfortable, she might recommend a decongestant, but not for daily use, since its a medication patients can become overly reliant on. Likewise, some patients should avoid antihistamines that are excessively sedating, she says.
The problem is that some people think theyll just grin and bear it. But… you can take steps to minimize those weeks of misery.Yale Medicine pediatric allergist Stephanie Leeds, MD
Its helpful when patients have a skin or blood test to find out exactly what they are allergic to. If you are really symptomatic, its helpful to get tested at least once. I dont think you need to be re-tested year after year, but at some point, establishing the specific triggers can be helpful, because then you can take steps to avoid exposure, Dr. Leeds says.
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How Many People Suffer From Allergies
According to Dr. Eidelman, one out of five people has some sort of allergy and the intensity can range from very mild to severe.
He says people with mild allergies tend to just grin and bear it. They may not have any particular need for medication. If their allergies are a little bit more intense, they may take over-the-counter medications as needed.
But as you get further along that spectrum, the severity of the illness can become disabling. People feel very sick, they cant get out of bed, they cant sleep it can be intense. So, it all depends on where they are on that spectrum of intensity, he says.
You Notice A Seasonal Pattern
If youre the type of person who swears they get the same cold every March, it might be time to reconsider. If you notice its seasonal like clockwork, and every spring or fall you get these symptoms, it might be allergy-related, Dr. Parikh says.
That holds true even if your seasonal symptoms occur earlier than you might think of as allergy season, Dr. Rosenstreich says. In the Northeast, for example, most people are not aware of the fact that the trees begin to pollinate even when theres still snow on the ground. Depending on the weather, people can have allergy symptoms in February.
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What Hay Fever Medications Could I Use
The treatments prescribed for allergy control the symptoms and reactions they do not cure the condition. Find out more about treatments from our Factsheet.
Antihistamines are probably the best known type of allergy medication, and most are readily available from a pharmacy without prescription. However, there are a number of different types of antihistamines some have been used for many years, some are improvements on old drugs, and new antihistamines are being developed all the time. While antihistamines used to have a reputation for making people drowsy, more modern antihistamines only occasionally have those side effects. These can be used on their own for mild hay fever or in combination with an intranasal steroid spray for moderate to severe symptoms You can find out more about how antihistamines work on our Allergy Medications Factsheet.
Runny Noses In Cold Weather
As the weather starts to turn cold and crisp, you might notice that you are packing your pockets with tissues. But having a runny nose in cold weather usually isn’t due to allergiesit is non-allergic vasomotor rhinitis. This non-allergic form of rhinitis may result in a runny nose, post-nasal drip, and/or nasal congestion. It is caused by a number of triggers, including temperature changes, windy weather, changes in humidity, strong odors, perfumes, and smoke.
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Dealing With Seasonal Allergies
Now that you are equipped with a seasonal calendar and knowledge of common allergens, you can prepare for allergy season 2022. Wearing a mask when outdoors will effectively prevent inhaling spores and pollen granules. You could also refer to a physician to know your actual allergies and take appropriate preventive measures. Take your allergies seriously, and you might do good on making 2022 your healthiest year yet!
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What Are Seasonal Allergies
Experienced by 10 and 30 percent of all adults in the United States, seasonal allergies are allergies that occur during any season around the year. These occur mainly due to the spores released by mold and pollen released by certain plants, trees and weeds to pollinate and fertilize other plants. These spores and pollen particles drift in the air and enter our bodies, activating our defense mechanism.
The two worst seasons for seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, across the U.S. are fall and winter.
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Common Symptoms Of Allergies Include:
- Rhinitis itchy, runny, or blocked nose
- Incessant sneezing
- Swelling of lips, eyes, hands, or face
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Anti-allergic medication can treat most of these symptoms. Still, you must seek professional assistance early on to determine the cause of your allergies and the best treatment options available.
Rarely, an allergy can cause anaphylaxis, a body-wide severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. The onset of anaphylaxis is within minutes of exposure to an allergen, and if the correct medical aid is not administered swiftly, chances of survival can be bleak.
Keep Pets Out Of The Bedroom
If you have pet allergies, think hard about having a pet since it can be challenging to manage pet dander. If you have a pet and winter allergies, keep your pet out of your bedroom to limit your allergy symptoms.
Replacing carpeting with hardwood floors can make pet dander more manageable. Grooming pets frequently can also help. However, you may want to have another person do this task or wear a mask while brushing or bathing your pet.
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Could It Be A Cold Or Allergies
Like flu and COVID-19, colds are also caused by viruses and can be passed to others.
Symptoms of a cold tend to be mild. You may have a runny nose, cough, congestion, and sore throat. But you wont usually have the aches and fever that are common with COVID-19 and flu. Often, youll feel better in a couple of days.
Theres no cure for the common cold. Typical treatments include rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines. Some complementary treatments may help with cold symptoms, too. Taking honey may help with nighttime cough for children over 1 year old. Rinsing your nose and sinuses can help with congestion. You can use a neti pot or other nasal rinsing device. Be sure to only use water thats been properly processed, such as distilled or boiled water, not tap water. Nasal rinses can bring relief for both cold and allergies.
Allergies can cause a runny nose and sneezing. But theyre not contagious. If your eyes, nose, or ears itch, that also could be an allergy.
Exposure to things like dust, pets, and tree or grass pollen can trigger allergies, which are caused by the immune systemThe system that protects your body from invading viruses, bacteria, and other microscopic threats. overreacting.
Allergy symptoms tend to stop when youre no longer exposed to the cause. Unless you have asthma, allergies typically do not cause breathing problems. Allergies can be treated with drugs like antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids.