Is it allergies or COVID-19? How to tell the difference


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – When your allergies are bad, that puts you at risk for infections like the coronavirus.

This week, KSNT’s sister station KSN News spoke with local health professionals and asked about the different symptoms between COVID-19 and allergies.  

Doctors say the main difference between the two is the stuffy nose and watery eyes for allergies, and the headaches and body chills for COVID-19.

Both medical professionals say the first question people should ask themselves is, “Do I usually suffer from allergies?”

If your seasonal allergies are not normal for you, then the next thing to do is analyze your symptoms. Try taking over-the-counter allergy medication if you believe it could be allergies. If that does not help, then write down your symptoms and talk to a doctor.

“A couple of symptoms that could be part of allergies that can kind of get a little bit blurry and run into COVID as well are a headache or a little bit of shortness of breath or feeling tired or excessively tired. Some of those things start to get a little bit blurry,” said Melanie Asmussen, manager of Respiratory Care Wesley Medical Center.

“Typically, allergies have more issues with itchy eyes, itchy throat–maybe a postnasal drip and these symptoms are less common with COVID-19,” said Callie Wentling, director of Primary Care at Hunter Health.

Remember it’s always better to talk to your care provider first about your symptoms to tackle the problem. This will help avoid being hospitalized.

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