Health Experts: Knowing the differences between allergies and COVID-19

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:39 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Tomorrow is the first official day of Fall and with that for some comes seasonal allergies.

With the pandemic still being around, the symptoms are causing confusion for some.

Health experts say with recent COVID-19 strains, symptoms are looking even more similar to allergies.

Allergy A.R.T.S. is seeing more patients coming in with worse allergies because of the Panhandle’s dry air and a rise in weeds.

“We are seeing a lot of ragweed, tumbleweed allergies, so we are seeing more than usual because of that,” said Dr. Constantine Saadeh, allergist and immunologist, Allergy A.R.T.S.

Some doctors are also seeing some who thought they were suffering from allergies actually testing positive for COVID-19.

“You should be mindful of the fact that the COVID that we’re seeing circulating now for a lot of people, the symptoms are exactly mirror what you might normally think of as your allergy symptoms,” said Dr. Rodney Young, Texas Tech Physicians Family Medicine Physician.

Those symptoms that can look similar include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Congestion

One major difference is with allergies, symptoms persist.

Dr. Saadeh also mentions the center is seeing more patients coming in impacted by recent wildfires.

“The notorious irritants can cause damage to lining of nose and allow more of the pollen to go in than previous years and therefore they have more symptoms,” said Dr. Saadeh.

Doctors say if you are unsure of your symptoms to use an at-home COVID-19 test just to make sure.

If you test negative and your symptoms continue, doctors say it is still important to be checked out.

“Allergies is a serious thing, it can lead to sinus infection, it can lead to asthma, if the sinus is not treated it can penetrate to the brain, cause brain abscess and so on,” said Dr. Saadeh.

Whether its allergies, COVID-19 or just a common cold, doctors say something can be done for each of these.