Asthma & Allergies vs. COVID-19: What’s Your Diagnosis?

In this day and age, when you think you’ve come down with something, whether a mild fever or a case of the sniffles, you may not know what to think at first. Is it as minor as allergies or perhaps asthma? Or, what if you’ve contracted COVID-19? The problem is that symptoms of allergies, asthma, and COVID-19 might appear similar for most in the beginning, and can be hard to differentiate between the three. Let us dive a little deeper to pinpoint some key differences.

Seasonal Allergies Florida: What Time of Year Is the Worst?

Contrary to popular belief, allergies aren’t limited to the springtime. For those of us in Florida, the warm climate allows certain allergens to circulate all year.

Climate change is another factor affecting the seasonal allergies Floridians worry about. Due to warmer temperatures, allergy season is starting 20 days earlier than a decade ago. Pollen counts have risen by up to 20% as well.

Florida Ragweed Allergies

Ragweed is common across the United States, and the Sunshine State is no exception. Those with Florida ragweed allergies start feeling the symptoms during the second half of summer, although it can happen as early as May. Ragweed counts peak around the middle of September and decline from there.

Grass Allergies

Grass pollen season begins in April and lasts through October.

Oak and Pine Allergies

These allergens tend to rise twice a year. The first rise happens in December and lasts through May. The second hits around October and tends to last about a month.

Common Allergy Symptoms

Exposure to allergens can cause the following symptoms:

  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Burning, itching, or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing, wheezing, or asthma attacks in severe cases

When looking at allergies vs. asthma symptoms, you’ll see there’s some crossover. Asthma is often triggered by allergens. Attacks can present worse symptoms, such as breathlessness, chest tightness, or loss of appetite. If you’re concerned about whether what you’re experiencing is allergies vs. asthma, don’t hesitate to find out more. The caring team of healthcare professionals at MD Now can help you develop an asthma action plan to stay healthy.

Prevention and Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Whether it’s Florida ragweed allergies or something else, you aren’t helpless or doomed to suffer all season. Try the following tips to help prevent allergies or lessen your symptoms. 

  • Watch local weather reports, which will provide information about allergen counts.
  • Stay indoors with the windows closed as much as possible when counts are high.
  • Run your HVAC system with a special filter designed to trap allergens.
  • Change and wash clothes after returning home, and shower to remove allergens from skin and hair.
  • Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging your laundry outside.
  • When it comes to treatment, you can use over-the-counter allergy medicines, such as Allegra, Zyrtec or Benadryl.

Allergies vs. COVID-19 Symptoms: How to Tell the Difference

At the beginning of the pandemic, we were watching out for a dry cough as a first sign. Only 5% of people experienced nasal symptoms with early variants. Now that Omicron is circulating, nasal symptoms like stuffy or runny nose are common. Also common is a scratchy or sore throat. This makes it even harder to determine whether you’re experiencing allergies vs. COVID-19 symptoms.

There are some key differences between allergies vs. COVID-19 symptoms. COVID symptoms often include body aches, fever, chills, fatigue, nausea, abdominal discomfort, ear pain, and headache. Allergy symptoms will persist for a longer period of time, worsening or lessening depending on your exposure on a given day. COVID-19 will progress with more symptoms over time.

Asthma vs. COVID-19: What to Watch Out For

Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways may become swollen and inflamed, making breathing difficult.  This is called an Asthma attack. Asthma attacks can result from allergen triggers, but they can also be triggered by viral infections like COVID-19. You may experience wheezing, which is a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when you breathe in and out. You may also experience chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Asthma attacks need prompt medical attention. Visit your local MD Now for a proper diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment.  Our state-of-the-art clinics are equipped to manage your asthma symptoms to get you feeling better right away.

Allergies, Asthma, or COVID-19: Know Now at MD Now

Whether you’re dealing with symptoms of asthma, allergies, or COVID-19, the physician-led team of healthcare professionals at MD Now is here to help. We’ll diagnose the problem and provide treatment if necessary, giving you peace of mind. We also offer PCR testing that can take the guesswork out of determining whether it’s asthma versus COVID-19. No appointment is necessary, just walk in — for Superior Healthcare Right Now.

For more information or to find an MD Now location near you, visit MDNow.com.

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