Allergies or COVID? Louisville doctor explains symptoms to look out for

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Spring is allergy season in Kentuckiana, but with COVID-19 on the rise, how do you know if you’re sick or just need an antihistamine?

Experts at Family Allergy & Asthma of Louisville said allergies are hitting some people hard right now. The duration of this congestion and sneezing depends on the allergies you have.

Dr Stephen Pollard said tree pollen and grass are peaking now. Grass will continue throughout the summer and ragweed will become a problem later in the summer months.

“The data shows that when the planet warms and CO2 increases, not only do we get more pollen, but it’s stronger,” Pollard said. “So there can be variability from season to season. It’s a robust season.”

While vaccinations against COVID-19 are a big step in the right direction, Pollard said increased immunity can make symptoms of the virus harder to detect.

“It’s extremely difficult right now because we have so much immunity,” he said. “At first it was pretty standard. Because they’re immune, their COVID symptoms are much milder.”

Pollard said there was some overlap between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms, but allergies would not cause fever or body aches.

He also said allergy medication won’t do anything for COVID-19, so if you’re taking allergy pills and you’re not feeling better, that’s a good sign you might have the virus.

COVID-19 affects each person differently and can have a large number of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. With the coronavirus, you may have fever, chills, fatigue, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea or shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Family Allergy & Asthma doctors say it’s best to know what allergies you have and what time of year bothers you the most.

Many people can manage symptoms with over-the-counter medications. There are also steps you can take to help reduce symptoms during allergy season, including keeping windows and doors closed to keep pollen out, replacing your HVAC filter, and wearing a mask when mowing or doing yard work. gardening.

The good news is that pollen levels drop after the first frost, and in Kentuckiana that first frost usually occurs in late October.

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