Allergy season can cause symptoms that also occur with Covid-19, but watch for other symptoms and a quick onset of them

Covid-19 has made allergy season confusing for people with runny noses and nasal congestion. Telling the difference between Covid-19 and a common cold can be hard, but according to Dr. Jessica Grayson of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, “knowing when to get tested and when to see a physician” are important.

Rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal airway that can be caused by viruses, allergens or other irritants, and Grayson said it “can be seen in Covid-19, as well as nasal congestion and a runny nose.” Rhinitis can be treated with over-the-counter steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines if allergies are the cause, and potentially allergy immunotherapy.

Covid-19 symptoms include congestion and runny nose, but also loss of smell loss, fever and cough, and the symptoms appear more quickly. If you have one of those symptoms or another possible Covid symptom, such as headache or gastrointestinal problems, Grayson says you should consider the possibility that it is Covid-19 and get tested.

Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of hospitalization, Grayson says.

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