Is it Allergies or the Coronavirus?

Pollen is in the air—and that means it’s allergy season. During the pandemic, however, it can be hard to tell the difference between your average allergy and the coronavirus.

With allergy season up and running in the during the coronavirus pandemic, many are wondering how to tell the difference between allergy symptoms and coronavirus signs. Allergists offer some advice on how to tell which one might be bothering you.

Typical symptoms of seasonal allergies include itchy eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, runny nose and post-nasal drip. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea and, sometimes, a sore throat, explains a WebMD piece.

The biggest fact in differentiating the two are the “itchy” symptoms: the itchy eyes, itchy nose and sneezing. Some combination of those are likely due to allergies, not the coronavirus.

While some people with coronavirus might be asymptomatic, here is a breakdown of symptoms between the two, according to another article:


  • sneezing
  • running or stuffy nose
  • water and itchy eyes
  • itchy sinuses, throat or ear canals
  • ear congestion
  • postnasal drainage
  • rarely: headache, shortness of breath and coughing


  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • chills
  • muscle pain
  • sore throat
  • loss of taste or smell

Other less common symptoms of coronavirus have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, says the CDC.

If you are unsure about if you have coronavirus or allergies, ask your doctor. Also, anyone exhibiting coronavirus symptoms should self-quarantine immediately and alert those they have been in contact with within the last two weeks.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2020

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