Distinguishing Allergies and Asthma from COVID-19 Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 Overlapping symptoms can make it a challenge to figure out if you’re sick or not, especially with illnesses like COVID-19. As a disease that affects the respiratory system, COVID-19 can present some of the telltale signs of allergy and asthma flare-ups. Here, Brunswick Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine discusses the symptoms of these conditions and provides guidance on how patients can gauge whether they have asthma, allergies, or COVID-19. When Your Symptoms Indicate Asthma or Allergies When allergy season rolls around, sufferers can feel it. Just like COVID-19, allergies can affect people differently. The symptoms of allergies typically include: Itchy, watery eyes Sneezing Runny nose Post-nasal drip Congestion Asthma is a respiratory condition that can be triggered in several ways and even caused by seasonal allergies. The telltale signs of an asthma attack may appear gradually or suddenly. They typically include the following symptoms: Coughing or wheezing Shortness of breath Rapid breathing Chest tightness As an asthmatic, one of the best things you can do is learn your triggers, do your best to avoid them. Keeping track of when you feel the onset of symptoms may help determine if they’re caused by one of your known triggers. It’s also important to consistently take your asthma medications as directed by your physician. If you have allergies, it’s also important to know what causes them and take steps to reduce exposure. Managing allergy symptoms consistently can help you find some relief and be better able to distinguish between allergies and illnesses like COVID-19. Know the Symptoms of COVID-19 While COVID-19 may affect anyone of any age, older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for developing serious complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients may experience a variety of symptoms or no symptoms at all. Some of the signs of this disease include: Loss of smell Loss of taste Fever or chills Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Fatigue Congestion Nausea or vomiting Diarrhea Typically, allergies and asthma don’t cause a fever. Since the hallmark symptom of this virus is typically a fever, this could be used as a distinguishing factor in determining your health. However, some patients don’t have a fever immediately after being infected, so getting tested is the best way to find out if you may have COVID-19. Get Tested If you haven’t been diagnosed with a condition and are truly not sure if your symptoms are related to asthma, allergies, or COVID-19, you can always stop by your local clinic for a COVID-19 test. If you test positive, it’s likely the symptoms you’re experiencing are related to the virus, and you should consult your physician for further guidance on what to do next. At Brunswick Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, we know how scary it can be for a patient who feels unwell and is unsure of the cause. If you’ve ruled out COVID-19 and think you may be suffering from allergies or a pulmonary disorder, get tested at our state-of-the-art clinic. We serve patients in Franklin Township and West Orange, as well as Essex and Somerset Counties in New Jersey. Request an appointment today.