Odds are that in the past couple of months you’ve had to deal with a runny nose, cough, muscle aches, and/or congestion at least once. As spring allergies often share signs and symptoms with other illnesses such as cold, flu and even the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s helpful to take a closer look at how allergies typically present.
Here is a handy list to help you out when you don’t feel your best and aren’t quite sure if it’s because of allergies, potential symptoms of COVID-19, or a cold.
1. How Long Have You Had The Symptoms?
A cold lasts for about 7-10 days, with mild symptoms potentially lingering for 1-2 weeks after symptoms start to improve. Mild cases of COVID-19 are lasting for approximately 2 weeks. Allergies though, can last for months at a time. As long as you’re exposed to the allergen responsible for your symptoms you’ll keep having them. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor to find out what’s going on.
2. Do You Have Aches and Pains?
Oftentimes you’ll have some muscle aches and pains with a common cold. This has also been seen as a symptom of COVID-19 for some. However, if you are experiencing allergies body aches and pains are not likely.
3. Do You Have a Fever?
Sometimes you may experience a fever with both a cold and COVID-19, although not everyone will. Allergies do not cause a fever.
4. What Does Your Mucus Look Like?
With both a cold and allergies you’ll have some mucus and drainage from your nose. With allergies, the mucus is thin, watery, and clear. If you have yellow or green mucus, this may indicate a viral or bacterial infection. It is important to note that yellow or green mucus is not a sure sign of bacterial infection and therefor does not always necessitate antibiotics, as this is a common misconception. Notify your doctor if you’ve had green-tinged mucus and cold symptoms that aren’t going away to help determine if this is the result of a viral or bacterial infection.
5. Are Your Eyes Itchy and Watery?
Itchy, watery eyes are very common with allergies, but not so much with a cold or COVID-19. Allergies can also make your eyes appear puffy and swollen.
How to Treat Allergies3
If you’ve determined that what you are experiencing is a seasonal allergy, here are a few things you can do to ease your symptoms.
- Reduce your exposure to the allergen and be prepared when pollen counts are high
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days
- Remove clothing exposed to the allergen
- Dry laundry inside and avoid hanging outside to dry
- Wear a pollen mask if needed
- Use a HEPA air filter in your home
- Over the counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays
- Sinus rinses
- Talk to your doctor to see if prescription treatment options are right for you
Is a Cold or Allergy Getting You Down?
While colds and allergies can sometimes be unavoidable, we understand you don’t have time to be sick or feeling crummy. That’s why we’re open from 8 am-8 pm, 7 days a week, ready to serve you. If you have persistent or severe cold symptoms or allergies that are disrupting your day to day life, stop into one of our locations, or schedule a Virtual Urgent Care appointment so we can get you back on track to feeling your very best.
Do You Need COVID-19 Evaluation?
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, ConvenientMD is offering evaluation via Virtual Urgent Care, and COVID-19 testing if necessary. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, tiredness, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Some may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste and smell, and diarrhea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 1-833-263-0131 to make an appointment to be evaluated for COVID-19.