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Saturday, November 26, 2022

How to Tell the Difference Between COVID-19 and Spring Allergies

When it comes to contraindications, Dr. Anne Ellis says that a sore throat is a “hallmark feature” of COVID-19 and that people should be more concerned about the virus at that time.

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks and spring allergy season accelerating, it can lead to some confusion as to what separates the symptoms of each – especially if it comes with access to rapid and/or PCR tests. Difficult to do.

Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Dr. Anne Ellis pointed out several similarities between the situations.

“Spring seasonal allergies present with symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy (and) watery eyes, itchy nose, sometimes a runny nose can also cause a mild cough, and obviously you can see That’s when there are too many overlapping tick boxes. It comes down to the symptoms of COVID-19, especially with the Omicron variant presenting with a milder form,” she said.

When it comes to contraindications, she said a sore throat is a “hallmark feature” of COVID and that people should be more concerned about the virus at that time. She also said that malaise and feeling “completely wiped out” are more typical of COVID-19, while itchy and watery eyes are not a common symptom.

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Ellis encourages people to think about past years to see if their similar symptoms are synonymous with seasonal allergies.

“Statistically it’s more likely that it’s your allergy reoccurring,” she said.

Ellis said that with snow in the past few weeks, snow mold has caused “catastrophe” by causing early symptoms with recently exposed grass. He said that with early tree pollen development, there would be a “strong response” by the end of April followed by the grass season in May.

“There [are] “There are a number of potential triggers that can cause problems for people who suffer from springtime allergies,” Ellis said.

“Certainly birch pollen is the number one tree allergy locally and then as we move into spring, grass pollen is another strong trigger for people.”

If a specific trigger is unknown, she said allergists can perform skin tests and recommend more specific treatments.

When it comes to treating allergy symptoms, Ellis encourages people to choose “second generation” antihistamines that are non-drowsy. She said that they are more effective than the older ones.

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Ellis said doctors have the potential to provide prescription drugs that can treat seasonal allergies and allow people to save money by not having to purchase over-the-counter drugs.

For those who don’t want to use prescription or over-the-counter medications, he encouraged people to buy saline rinse kits (this ensures the fluid is sterile) to flush nasal cavities.

“It’s really important for people with seasonal allergies not to suffer in silence. Feel free to contact your primary care provider. Ask for a referral to see an allergist,” Ellis said.

“We can take you from simple drugs that help suppress your symptoms to specific immunotherapy that can actually change your underlying immune system so that you no longer react to things you’re allergic to, but actually you Can tolerate exposure to them.

“We have a number of different ways that we can do this for people, either through a series of injections or through new … tablets.”

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