With the spring season upon us, it can be even more difficult for people to figure out why they may be feeling strange, sneezy, or ill. Seasonal allergies are at a high during springtime, making it harder to know what exactly is causing unwanted symptoms. These allergies come about due to changes in the weather and an increase in pollen being released from trees and plants.
As seasonal spring allergies increase, the latest flu season is winding down. In addition, COVID-19 variants are still spreading around the country and causing a rise in cases. Thousands of people are being impacted by this trio of allergies, flu infections, and COVID-19 variants. With all three converging at the same time, how can someone tell if they are being affected by any of these conditions?
When it comes to seasonal allergies, the sources are typically things like tree pollen, grass, mold, and ragweed. Allergy symptoms are usually found from the head up and include the following:
- Watery eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Itchy skin
- Scratchy throat
During this time of the year, it is very common for people to mistake respiratory viruses for allergies or even COVID-19. This is also true the other way around, as allergy season brings lots of pollen that gets distributed in the air. You can identify allergy symptoms if you’re experiencing them from the head up only. Additionally, any mucus that may develop from allergies is generally clear and thin.
Flu symptoms can be similar to allergies in that both can cause runny noses and coughing. However the flu can also cause a fever with high temperatures of 100-102 degrees Farenheit. In addition to head symptoms, the flu can cause muscle or body aches and fatigue as well. These types of symptoms generally last up to four days.
While flu symptoms are generally short-lived and quickly realized, Covid symptoms can come on more slowly and last for weeks. Covid is also more contagious than the flu and can lead to serious complications for certain individuals. Covid and flu symptoms have lots of overlap so it’s important to get tested if you think you may have been exposed. Vaccines are essential in helping reduce the risk of serious and long-term health damage from Covid-19.
With allergies, flu season, and Covid-19 converging, it is more important than ever to stay healthy and protected. A great way to increase your protection levels is by getting vaccinated. Reach out to your doctor to get an annual flu shot if you haven’t done so already.
Flu vaccines are meant to protect against the four main types of flu that scientists expect to circulate within a certain year. Additionally, make sure to get vaccinated for Covid-19 as well. Booster shots can also increase protection against Covid-19 when the time calls for them.
Wearing masks can help protect against many respiratory viruses, such as the flu and Covid-19. This is especially helpful when indoors or in crowded spaces with lots of strangers or unknown people. Additional helpful measures include washing hands often, avoiding close contact with an infected person, and covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
For allergies, make it a point to avoid allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and certain foods. Your doctor can help by prescribing antihistamines or decongestants as well.
In conclusion, although it may be difficult to tell the difference between allergies, the flu, and Covid, there are some ways to distinguish them. Allergies tend to cause symptoms from the head up and are caused by allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Flu symptoms can include muscle and body aches and tend to last for about four days. Covid symptoms can last much longer and also be more contagious.
The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated for Covid-19 and to also get your annual flu shot. If you have seasonal allergies, avoid allergens that may cause you to suffer common symptoms and talk to your doctor if you need a prescription. Wearing a mask and hand washing can also be helpful in avoiding the flu and viruses in general.