It’s finally Spring! With the coming of Spring, we are greeted with warmer weather, and nature’s transformation from grey and brown to vibrant green and other bright colors. Trees, grass and floral blooms are all coming back to life. As they do, they bring along with them that pesky yellow dusting of pollen. And while warmer weather, sunshine, and brighter surroundings are definitely worth celebrating, spring also brings an array of new health concerns including seasonal allergies. The symptoms of seasonal allergies include coughing, headaches, itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes a sore throat or shortness of breath. Oddly enough, seasonal allergies, the common cold, and COVID-19 all share many of the same symptoms. So how can we tell the difference between allergies, a cold and COVID-19?
Let’s take a closer look at COVID-19, allergies and the common cold. Both COVID-19 and the common cold are caused by a virus. Both COVID-19 and the common cold are contracted and spread in similar ways. Allergies, however, are caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a substance. In the spring-time, we see more allergic reactions in response to tree and grass pollens. Allergies are not contagious or spread from person to person. That being said, the symptoms of COVID-19, allergies, and the common cold can sometimes look very similar, but there are differences. Take a look at this chart to compare the symptoms between a cold and COVID-19.
Allergies, Cold or COVID-19 – Symptom Comparison
How to Prevent the spread of Cold and COVID-19
- Maintain a healthy social distance (6 feet) from anyone outside of your immediate household
- Wear a cloth face mask when you are in public spaces
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, cell-phones, etc.
Allergies are the most prevalent spring health concern, as researchers believe that nearly 50 million Americans are affected by nasal allergies. While mild allergies can be treated with medication, AppleCare physicians suggest that avoidance is the best strategy. Try to stay indoors (if possible) when the pollen counts are high for the day.
We hope you enjoy this new season, and that any of the ailments it brings with it don’t affect you or your family. However, if they do, AppleCare is just around the corner and ready to help.