Allergy season is upon us, and New York Times reporter Tara Parker-Pope, who’s been covering the pandemic for the Times, wrote an article to help her readers distinguish between garden variety respiratory allergies and COVID. We thought our readers might also like some added clarity on the differences between the two. Here’s what she said:
1. If you generally have allergies in the spring, are your symptoms the same as always? If they’re different, especially if you’re getting sicker or have had a potential COVID exposure, get tested.
2. Although typical allergy symptoms—sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes—can occur with COVID, that’s generally not how it starts. COVID can start in different ways, but dry cough, fever, fatigue and loss of sense of smell are four common symptoms. Unlike flu, which typically comes on fast, COVID symptoms may emerge over several days. It often starts with fatigue or a minor cough.
3. COVID symptoms that aren’t common allergy symptoms include chest tightness, feeling out of breath with activity, chills, aches, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain. COVID symptoms that would not be caused by allergies include fever, severe fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
4. COVID and allergy symptoms that may be the same: Coughing, runny nose and congestion; conjunctivitis (pink eye).
5. Sneezing, by itself, is uncommon with COVID. It can happen, but it usually would be accompanied by other symptoms.
6. We tend to feel respiratory allergies in our head, nose, eyes and throat. While mild COVID can cause just upper respiratory symptoms, it is often a whole-body illness.
7. Another question to ask yourself is How bad is it? Allergy symptoms are generally consistent or get worse only if pollen counts increase. If you’re getting progressively worse, it’s probably not just allergies.
If you do get respiratory allergies, don’t resort to over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines. They may provide temporary relief, but a common side effect is often drowsiness. Not a good thing if you’re driving or need to be alert for work. And negative side effects from pharmaceutical antihistamines don't stop with sleepiness. Reported reactions include high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, dizziness, and sleep problems. Also, prescription and over-the-counter drugs can’t be taken for extended periods of time.
We have some great allergy products that provide relief, without negative side effects, by addressing the roots of the problem. Beyond Health’s Allergy Defense Formula contains 13 ingredients that target 13 different aspects of allergy—a truly comprehensive formula.
Quercetin is known as “nature’s antihistamine.” Allergy symptoms occur when mast cells “degranulate” releasing histamine. Quercetin stabilizes mast cell membranes, which prevents degranulation and moderates histamine release. Beyond Health’s Quercetin Pro presents quercetin in its most absorbable and bioavailable form: quercetin dihydrate.
To be maximally effective as an antihistamine, quercetin needs to be paired with adequate amounts of its synergist vitamin C.
Don’t suffer through another allergy season. Fortify your immune system with these three products and remember what it’s like to revel in the flowering abundance of the spring.