Allergy, Cold, Flu or COVID19?
Spring is bursting out all over. Bloom season has just begun. We can smell not only spring odours in the air but also flower, tree pollen. The number of people visiting their physicians with allergic reaction has increased recently. Many of us may doubt if it is a usual allergy or COVID-19.
Murat Topak, MD, Professor of ENT, NP ISTANBUL Brain Hospital University of Uskudar will help us to sort out a way to differentiate pollen allergy from a flu, a cold and COVID-19.
Spring is known for singing birds, buzzing bees, blooming flowers and … sneezing, runny noses and itching eyes. Allergy symptoms may vary from sneezing, hay fever, an itchy throat and a runny nose to urticarial, loss of smell, generalized weakness, ears itching and a dry cough.
Pollen Allergy with Children
Preschool children get sick about 5-7 times per year, while adults in general catch a cold about 2-3 times annually. Children tend to have a high temperature and other complications. A cold typically starts with a sore throat, a runny nose and chills. Later, nasal discharge can change colour and become yellow.
So, how can one differentiate COVID-19 from the flu? First of all, if you have a runny nose, with no fever, sneezing and itching eyes, while all those complaints start in springtime, then it is more likely an allergy.
Is It COVID-19 of Flu?
Professor Murat Topak says that the flue, i.e. influenza type A and B, becomes active annually. Its main symptoms are headache, generalized weakness, sore throat, chills and shivering, a fever, a runny nose, sweating, a stuffy nose. Therefore, it is quite easy to differentiate an allergy from a cold or a flu. As for the symptoms of a flu and COVID-19, they are basically intertwined. So, to diagnose COVID-19 or a flue, laboratory tests should be performed. That is why, any suspicious case should be evaluated and examined by a doctor.
Professor Murat Topak highlights that one of the efficient ways to stay safe is to wear a facial mask, pay attention to our personal hygiene and, ultimately, keep social distance no matter whether one is in a room or in an open air. However, the most powerful method to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 is to be vaccinated.
How to Reduce Pollen Allergy Symptoms?
Pollen concentration in the air is significantly higher in the morning than in the evening. So, it is better to plan your workouts or going out for other times of the day when pollen levels are lower. Elevated concentrations of airborne pollen can be hazardous for allergic patients and cause unpleasant symptoms. To decrease the risk of possible complications, it is recommended to take a shower and change your clothes after coming home, washing your hair and travelling by car only with a window up. It could be a good idea also to install home air filters and avoid drying clothes and bed linen outdoors in spring.