COVID or allergies? Knowing the difference and when you should get tested

Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 7:36 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s that time of year when you may starting sniffling, sneezing and getting other things associated with spring allergies.

Pollen levels are expected to go up for our part of the world and it may be hard to know the difference between allergies and COVID-19 symptoms.

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Dr. Henry Barham, a Rhinologist at Baton Rouge General, said signs of allergies are nasal congestion, stuffiness and itchy eyes. Symptoms of COVID-19 are more worrisome symptoms like fever, shortness of breath and significant fatigue.

Barham said you should look back on your history with allergies. Most people know what they’re allergic to, whether it’s dust mites, dogs or cats. If you’re having the same type of symptoms you’ve had in the past, your allergies are probably back.

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“Obviously, if you have any concerns that you’re having more severe symptoms that you’ve had in the past than just normal allergies, go to your doctor, go to your primary care doctor, or your ear, nose and throat or your allergist to try to see if there’s any concerning symptoms for COVID,” said Dr. Barham.

If you’re dealing with the typical seasonal allergy symptoms, you can try over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin and Zyrtec. Barham also suggested using nasal steroid sprays from time to time can also be very helpful.

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