Allergies present a unique dilemma in the current scenario of COVID-19. With too much information out there on COVID-19 these days, many patients are actually confused regarding their symptoms. Below is a checklist that might guide you to take appropriate action.
- Length of symptoms: Allergic patients usually have a history of several weeks of symptoms whereas, in the case of COVID-19, the symptoms are acute in onset and can last up to 3 weeks.
- Dry cough: It is a common occurrence with COVID-19. It can also occur with allergic conditions but it is rare.
- Shortness of breath: It can occur sometimes in patients with COVID-19 but is extremely rare in allergic patients unless the patient is a diagnosed case of asthma.
- Sneezing: Sneezing is a hallmark of allergic rhinitis and is usually not seen in COVID-19 patients.
- Runny/ Stuffy nose: It is quite common with allergies but can also occur with COVID-19.
- Fever: Patients with COVID-19 may present with fever, but fever is never a symptom in case of an allergy.
- Weakness and body ache: They might be present in COVID-19 but never associated with allergic conditions.
- Diarrhea: COVID-19 infection may occasionally present with diarrhea. However, it is never present in patients with allergic conditions (barring food allergies).
However, one must remember that more than 80 percent of COVID-19 cases have very mild or no symptoms at all. So one must stay vigilant and follow all appropriate hygiene and social distancing measures.
Consult an ENT if you develop any of the symptoms mentioned above. Tele-consultation, if possible is the best way at this hour as it reduces your as well as the physician's risk of contracting the infection.
Stay home, Stay safe!