How To Tell the Difference Between Allergies and COVID

Oct 8, 2021

How To Tell the Difference Between Allergies and COVID

5 minute read

COVID-19 changed life as we know it – and for allergy sufferers, the symptoms of the virus can be especially confusing. If you're not sure whether you're dealing with COVID-19 symptoms or allergy symptoms, this post is for you. Let's explore the key differences between allergies and COVID, as well as what to do if you're not sure if you're sick.

What Are the Main Symptoms of Allergies?

Seasonal allergies can cause a wide array of symptoms, and some of them can also be signs of COVID-19. However, there are a few telltale differences between allergy symptoms and COVID symptoms to keep in mind:

Allergies Are Characterized by Irritation and Inflammation

For most people, the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies are sneezes, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and an occasional cough. Exposure to allergens can leave you dealing with nasal congestion and irritation due to what's known as allergic rhinitis, which occurs when you breathe in triggering substances through your nose.

So, what causes these symptoms? At the root, an allergic reaction is caused by an oversensitive immune system.

For a person with seasonal allergies, substances that would normally be relatively harmless are recognized by the immune system as threats. As a result, the immune system gears up to defend itself, releasing chemicals like histamines, which can trigger an inflammatory response – and all the symptoms associated with allergies.

What Are the Main Symptoms of COVID-19?

Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to what you might experience when you have a case of the common cold. Likewise, COVID symptoms often mimic influenza. However, a cold or the flu is likely to be less severe than COVID, which can be a serious illness for many people.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fatigue, chills, body aches, headaches, tiredness, sore throat, runny nose, muscle fatigue, a new loss of taste and smell, and a fever. In more severe cases, complications can arise that make a case of the coronavirus more severe. Risk factors like age, weight, and overall health, can all leave you with the potential for a more severe case of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Diagnosis and Prevention

If you think that you might be dealing with a case of COVID-19, the best first step to take is getting a test. Tests are widely available, and you can get results back as quickly as a few hours from testing with some.

If your test comes back positive, it's essential to stay away from others until you are better. The CDC recommends staying home for at least ten days after you get a positive COVID test. For the speediest possible recovery, stick to the professional medical advice that you get from your doctor. Your healthcare provider may recommend taking over-the-counter medications for relief, but you may just need lots of rest for your symptoms to subside.

If you start experiencing severe symptoms – persistent pain in your chest, bluish lips, shortness of breath, or recurring nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, getting medical help as fast as possible is a must.

Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Above anything else, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting a COVID-19 vaccine to stop the spread of the virus. In general, unvaccinated people are more likely to deal with much more severe cases of the virus. With the rise of the delta variant strain of COVID, it's crucial to get vaccinated – both for your sake and for others.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can help stop the spread of COVID by following these steps:

  • Mask up when you go out. Wearing a mask can stop you from spreading the virus when you don't know you're sick. In addition, your mask serves as a barrier between you and the germs that others spread.

  • Wash your hands. Hand-washing is one of the best defenses against the spread of germs. Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds!

  • Stay at home if you feel sick. If you're dealing with symptoms and waiting on test results, play it safe and quarantine. Once you know for sure that you don't have COVID-19, you can return to work, school, and other shared environments.

How To Get Relief From Seasonal Allergies

If you've been dealing with uncomfortable symptoms in COVID-19 times, getting a test is always a good move. However, if your test comes back negative, it's possible that you're just dealing with run-of-the-mill seasonal allergy symptoms. Allergens like your specific triggers pollen, dust mites, mold, or pet dander might be triggering these symptoms, and the first step in getting relief is figuring out what your specific triggers are.

Getting an Allergy Test

The best way to determine the causes of your allergies – and get started with treatment – is to get a test. Allergy tests can be administered in an allergist's office, but they're also available for at-home use. At Cleared, we offer at-home testing kits for the sake of convenience and accessibility. That way, you can start your journey to recovery from the comfort of your home!

Using the results from your at-home test, one of our experienced allergists can determine what your allergy triggers are and start assembling a hard-hitting treatment plan just for you.

Want to Learn More About How Cleared Can Help You?

If you're tired of dealing with seasonal allergies, you've come to the right place. To learn more about how Cleared can help you tackle your allergy symptoms, check out our step-by-step guide to finding relief.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from Mayo Clinic | Mayo Clinic

Interim Guidance on Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19 | CDC

Vaccines for COVID-19 | CDC




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