It’s perfectly normal to worry about COVID-19, an illness that has persisted in our country for months now, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Even the slightest cough or tingling in your throat may make you a little anxious.

But the reality is: Fall is here, and with it, fall allergies. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson offers some insight about allergy symptoms and how they differ from COVID-19 and other common fall health issues like the flu.

How Can I Tell if I’m Experiencing Fall Allergies?

When considering this question, think about whether you usually experience allergies in the spring. If so, you’re at a much higher risk of also experiencing fall allergies. In fact, 75% of people who have spring allergies also react to ragweed, which triggers fall allergies.

Ragweed pollen begins emerging in late August and will continue to be present through October, so your symptoms may stick around for a bit, if you have allergies.

Fall Allergy Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Sneezing

What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 and Allergies?

While the two conditions share many symptoms, they are very different from each other. COVID-19 is a viral illness—a type of the coronavirus. Fall allergies are your immune system responding to an allergen, in many cases, ragweed.

Symptoms do overlap some between the two illnesses, but there are some distinctions. Itchy and watery eyes, along with sneezing, are much more common with seasonal allergies. On the other hand, fever and chills, muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea are symptoms more likely to be connected with COVID-19.

How to Alleviate Allergy Symptoms

  • Keep windows and doors closed to keep pollen outside.
  • Remove clothing and shower promptly after spending time outside.
  • Take an OTC antihistamine to prevent symptoms.
  • Try an OTC decongestant or nasal spray to alleviate symptoms, if needed.

Not feeling your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment or stop by AFC Urgent Care Hixson to get the care you need!