In the age of a global pandemic, every little cough, sneeze or sniffle is sure to set off alarm bells. But at the tail-end of spring, it’s likely that the symptoms you’re experience are, fortunately, just seasonal allergies. Below is a guide to help you identify whether you’re feeling ill because of hay fever or coronavirus.
Allergy Symptoms Vs. COVID Symptoms
Allergies and coronavirus both affect the respiratory system; however, the main symptoms present differently.
If you have COVID-19, symptoms include fever, body aches and chills. Allergy sufferers should not have these issues.
Instead, allergies are associated with postnasal drip, watery eyes and sneezing. COVID patients will not experience symptoms such as these, unless they are experiencing allergies in addition to the virus.
Overlapping symptoms include cough, headache and loss of smell.
Coronavirus Impact on Office Procedures
Dr. Gavin Setzen, President of Albany ENT and Allergy Services, says that the timing of various tree pollens having high counts and increasing grass pollen, alongside the emergence of COVID-19, has made it challenging to treat patients.
“We had concerns about seeing patients,” he explained. “Patients had concerns about coming out and being in a medical environment. In short order, we closed the office to all but urgent visits.”
Fortunately, due to the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases in the Capital Region, we have opened our doors to those seeking allergy relief. However, new protocols are in place, including screening patients for symptoms before arrival and moving intake paperwork online.
“When making an appointment, we have a series of questions. When they come into the office as well including checking temperatures on the way into the office. So there are a lot of measures that one can take to help differentiate, to reassure patients,” said Dr. Setzen.
“Patients are waiting in their car, coming in so we can ensure that we’re socially distancing and so on,” Setzen continued. “And a whole lot of measures to ensure sanitization, hygiene, no crowding.”
At this point, though we will continue taking precautions to keep our staff and patients healthy, we feel that it is safe to be seen for allergies and other conditions causing you discomfort.
Don’t let your allergies get out of control. If you’re suffering from allergy symptoms and have not been exposed to COVID or experienced fever, body aches or chills, schedule an appointment with our expert allergists today.