What’s the difference between COVID-19 and hay fever?

FG Contacts Feel Good Team
Thursday, 13 August 2020 Share this blog: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy link Copy Link

We go through the symptoms of coronavirus as well as the symptoms of hay fever to see what the differences are, as well as the similarities.

Whether you’re at home relaxing with family or adjusting to the new normal in the office. When you randomly sneeze violently into the air, you know everyone is thinking the same thing: is it hay fever, or corona? With symptoms being relatively similar (and with everybody hyper-aware of COVID -19) it’s no longer uncool to be a hypochondriac.

Hay fever symptoms

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an allergic response to allergens such as pollen, dust and animal fur. People who experience hay fever will generally have some of the following symptoms:

  • Itchy nose and/or eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Tiredness

There are many ways in which you can ease the symptoms of hay fever. For example, an anti-allergy eye mask such as The Eye Doctor Allergy eye compress can help to relieve itchy eyes. The Eye Doctor Lid Wipes can also be used to soothe and refresh irritated eyes from hay fever.

Why might people confuse the symptoms of COVID-19 and hay fever?

COVID-19 can present many symptoms and as a result, it is easy to confuse these symptoms with other conditions including the cold, flu, asthma or hay fever. For example, eye-related symptoms such as watery eyes are a symptom of both coronavirus and hay fever. In addition to this, they share many other symptoms.

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • A new and persistent cough
  • Losing your sense of taste and/or smell
  • A high temperature

Some less common symptoms include:

  • headache
  • diarrhoea
  • sore throat
  • conjunctivitis
  • loosing sense of taste or smell
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
  • aches and pains

With the coronavirus going around, its best to take precautions in order to protect yourself and the people around you. Wearing a face mask such as the AB Mask by The Body Doctor is highly recommended. These masks ensure maximum comfort and protection and are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-pollution.

You can alleviate some of the symptoms of coronavirus such as conjunctivitis by using cold compresses such as our Thera-Pearl Eye Mask.

woman wearing mask sat at a desk next to a man blowing nose

Tips for hay fever sufferers during Coronavirus:

  • Make sure you sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue away into a secure container
  • Take your allergy medicine early and consistently. For example, you should use nasal sprays a couple of weeks before hay fever season starts
  • Pay attention to the pollen count in your area as this may help you decipher if your symptoms are due to hay fever or coronavirus
  • If you are unsure about your symptoms and do not have a diagnosis or treatment, stay at home


What are the biggest differences between hay fever and Covid-19?

One of the biggest differences is a high temperature. Hay fever sufferers do not typically experience a high temperature or achiness whereas a fever is a common symptom of coronavirus. People with hay fever will often experience itchy eyes, nose and throat. These symptoms have not been reported in those with COVID-19.


Is sneezing a symptom of coronavirus?

No, sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19, however, if you do sneeze you should always cover your mouth and nose because if you are infected and sneeze into the air, you could infect the people around you. Allergy-induced sneezes in cases such as hay fever often occur in bouts and are uncontrollable. Those with coronavirus won't sneeze as frequently and will experience other symptoms in addition to sneezing.


Do I have coronavirus?

For the most up-to-date symptoms of coronavirus, please visit the NHS website. These symptoms will feel more severe than hay fever.

If you suspect you have symptoms of coronavirus then you and anyone you live with must self-isolate for at least two weeks.


Can I have both hay fever and COVID-19?

It is possible to have both hay fever allergies and COVID-19. If you typically suffer from hay fever, you should pay close attention to your symptoms and their severity. If your symptoms feel different to usual or your allergy medications are not helping to relieve symptoms, this could be a reason for concern.


How can doctors confirm that patients have hay fever and not COVID-19?

It is fairly easy for doctor to tell the difference between coronavirus and hay fever. They can do this by looking into your nose for symptoms of an allergic reaction relating to hay fever. They can also look for the immune cell responsible for allergic reactions by taking a nasal swab. This type of cell is called eosinophils.


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