Thursday, February 25, 2021

Pollen allergy or Covid-19: this is how you distinguish hay fever from corona


Pexels / Engin Akyurt

Updated

The nice weather is currently favoring the pollen count. Some symptoms of a pollen allergy are similar to those of a corona infection – we will show you the differences.

Lots of sun, no rain and warm, spring-like temperatures are currently causing high levels of pollen in the Swiss plateau. The pollen season began at the beginning of February, high levels of hazel and alder pollution were achieved at the weekend and the poplars are already starting to bloom in Ticino this week.

The old game now begins for allergy sufferers: close the window during the day, shower off the pollen before going to bed and put on sunglasses. When visiting the pharmacy, many also stock up on an antiallergic drug of choice, as well as nasal sprays and eye drops.

Covid-19 or pollen allergy?

But this year is different: since the corona pandemic, a scratchy throat or a dry cough can suddenly make you feel quite insecure. And could the sneeze attack be a symptom of Covid-19? Even if corona symptoms are very diverse: “Sneezing attacks, itchy, watery and reddened eyes as well as itching in the palate, noses and ears are typical for an allergy”, says Sereina de Zordo, Head of Specialist Services at aha! Allergy Center Switzerland.

In the following table we have compared some pollen allergy symptoms with those of a corona infection.

Symptoms of a pollen allergy (left) and a corona infection (right) in comparison.

Symptoms of a pollen allergy (left) and a corona infection (right) in comparison.

Philippe Grüebler / 20min

For both corona and hay fever, the symptoms can differ from person to person. However, anyone who has suffered from a pollen allergy for years usually knows his or her typical symptoms very well. If they improve or even disappear after taking an antiallergic drug, a Covid 19 infection is very unlikely. However, if you are unsure, according to the Swiss Allergy Center, it is better to consult a doctor by phone and have yourself tested.

Also clarify allergy symptoms

Anyone who suspects hay fever but has never had an allergic reaction to pollen should also seek medical advice at an early stage. Because if a pollen allergy is not treated, it can lead to allergic asthma. It can also be helpful to know which types of pollen and grass are causing the symptoms. You can then inquire about the current Swiss-wide pollen count online and arm yourself accordingly.

“Antihistamines in the form of drops, tablets or sprays are usually sufficient, and cortisone preparations also reduce the symptoms,” says de Zordo. With a so-called desensitization, you are going to deal with hay fever in the long term. Your body will slowly get used to the allergens and the symptoms can be reduced by up to 80 percent.

Do you also suffer from pollen allergy and do you have an insider tip? What will give you relief? Let us know in the comments.





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