Allergy symptoms can include runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes and nasal congestion. While some symptoms are similar to COVID-19, one way to distinguish is the presence of fever – which is not associated with allergies.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has put together a helpful chart that breakdowns the various symptoms of COVID-19, the common cold, the flu and allergies. View the symptom chart here.
Allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines, through mouth or through the nose, nasal steroids, and antihistamines for the eyes. Limit exposure outdoors on high pollen count days; which you can track via the news or on childrensmercy.org. Keep windows and doors shut in the home and while riding in the car.
There have been reports of concerns of steroid use during COVID-19. These reports deal with systemic steroids – given through a vein or by mouth – and do not apply to inhaled steroids. It’s important to continue use of inhaled steroids daily to control asthma.
One symptom of COVID-19 is shortness of breath. If you have asthma, you may have shortness of breath – but with some wheezing because of an asthma exacerbation. You can always try albuterol to see if that helps alleviate shortness of breath.
Given COVID-19, there have been some concerns with the use of nebulizers. Using a nebulizer may increase the droplet spread in the air about 1-2 feet, for up to 1-2 hours after use. For individuals concerned that they may have COVID-19, try to use an albuterol with a spacer. If this is not an option, utilize the nebulizer somewhere where the air doesn’t recirculate in the home.
Watch this video, featuring Allergy, Asthma and Immunology physician Dr. Bridgette Jones and Pulmonology physician Jade Tam-Williams, to learn more about how to distinguish symptoms.