Allergies vs. COVID-19 Symptoms - Which Is Which?

By the team at Speedoc,
October 15, 2020

Having a runny nose, cough, or itchy eyes could make you anxious about whether you have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, especially with everyone on high alert. However, these symptoms could have been triggered by a simple allergic reaction. It is therefore important to know the difference between COVID-19 and allergies.

Allergies are reactions by the immune system in response to substances in the environment that are usually harmless to other people. The substance, or allergen, that triggers an allergic reaction differs from person to person.

What triggers an allergic reaction?

Common allergens that could trigger an allergic reaction include:

  • Animal dander (dried skin flakes from cats, dogs, or even birds)

  • Certain foods like peanuts, shellfish, and soybeans

  • Dust mites

  • Insect stings from bees, hornets, and fire ants

  • Latex

  • Mould

  • Pollen

Unsure of whether what you're experiencing are symptoms of COVID-19 or just an allergic reaction? Call us at +60 11 4166 1178 today to schedule a quick and affordable teleconsultation with a doctor, who can help answer your queries and relieve anxiety.

How can I tell if I’m just having allergies or if I’m down with COVID-19?

Aside from a cough, the symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 are vastly different. The biggest difference is that you will not develop a fever from an allergic reaction. If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, especially if you have a fever, see a doctor immediately. Severe allergic reactions can also cause shortness of breath or chest tightness. The bottom line is, if you are in doubt, always consult your doctor.

Treatments for allergies

Antihistamines can provide effective relief for allergy symptoms. They come in liquid form or in tablets and are available over-the-counter at pharmacies. Make sure to follow the dosage instructions that come with the medicine and do not take more than what is recommended unless advised by your doctor.

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a common form of allergy. It is characterised by nasal symptoms, such as sudden and repeated sneezing, an itchy or blocked nose, and runny nose with clear discharge. Antihistamines and steroid or decongestant nasal sprays will help provide relief. Nasal washes are also a drug-free option to clear blocked nasal passages and remove allergens.

Let Speedoc help alleviate your COVID-19 anxiety

Have peace of mind with a COVID-19 rapid test. Speedoc has collaborated with the Ministry of Health to offer home sample collection and testing. Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours.

Stay home and let our team of 24-hour on-demand doctors and nurses come to your home any time of the day.

Call us today at +60 11 4166 1178 to book a COVID-19 rapid test or house call.