​Do I Have COVID, a Common Cold, or Just Allergies? How to Tell the Difference.

Posted by Source Ortho on 15th Mar 2021

​Do I Have COVID, a Common Cold, or Just Allergies? How to Tell the Difference.

How To Tell The Difference Between COVID, a Cold, and Allergies.

With allergy season in full swing, many are left wondering: is it COVID, a cold, or is it just allergies? Anyone who experiences seasonal allergies will tell you, allergy symptoms and those typically associated with the common cold as well as the beginning stages of COVID-19 have some major overlap. A sore throat, cough, runny nose, and fatigue are all symptoms common with each which can make deciphering which you may have difficult and a little scary.

In this blog post, we are going to go over the similarities and difference between seasonal allergies, the common cold and COVID-19 to help you better understand which you may be experiencing.

Before we get too deep, we do want to mention that it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, you should always take the proper precautions, contact your doctor, and get a test to be sure. Additionally, wearing a face mask may help reduce your seasonal allergies as well as your chance of contracting a cold or COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19

By now, most of us are very familiar with what to look for if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. For most, many of these symptoms are non-life threatening but may cause some discomfort.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Body Aches
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Fatigue

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or you think you may have been exposed to the virus, call your doctor and schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 test. While it is always important to make sure you have not contracted the coronavirus, differentiating between its symptoms and those associated with a cold or allergies can be quite tricky.

What is the Difference Between COVID 19 and the Common Cold?

Under normal circumstances, the common cold is not a major cause for concern. However, due to its symptoms overlapping with those commonly related to COVID-19, even the slighted tickle in your throat can be alarming.

While both the novel coronavirus and the common cold are viruses with overlapping symptoms, they do have distinct differences in onset of symptoms, the duration of symptoms, as well as some of the symptoms themselves.

Common Cold Symptoms

  • Caugh
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Lost of taste or smell

How To Tell The Difference?

One of the main and most important ways to tell the difference between a cold and the corona is knowledge of exposure. If you have come into contact with anyone who may have contracted COVID-19 and begin to feel ill or under-the-weather, contact your doctor immediately to schedule a test.

In addition to possible symptoms of COVID-19 vs a cold, the onset of illness may also provide a clue for which you may have. Symptoms from COVID-19 typically set in 3-14 days after exposure, whereas cold symptoms begin to show themselves 1-3 days after exposure.

What is the Difference Between COVID 19 and Allergies?

With Spring quickly approaching, many people are beginning to feel the effects of seasonal allergies. Whether it be slight fatigue, runny nose, or a slight tickle in the throat, any of these typically allergy symptoms can make you think twice due to the ongoing coronavirus.

Common Allergy Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Headache

As you can tell, there are a few seasonal allergy symptoms that can overlap with symptoms of coronavirus; most notably a cough, fatigue, and potential for loss of taste and smell. The biggest tip-off for if you are coming down with seasonal allergies vs COVID-19 is if you have experienced allergies regularly in the past. If these symptoms are brand new to you, call your doctor and get tested immediately.

How Masks Can Help Prevent Covid, A Cold, And Allergies

KN95 Face Masks, 3 Ply Masks, and N95 Face Masks are all able to effectively filter out 95% of virus and common allergen particles, meaning that they not only keep you protected from COVID-19, but the cold, flu, and allergies as well!

As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, it is important to continue wearing our masks. Even with the rollout of the vaccine, it will still take some months for the majority of the U.S. population to get vaccinated and develop herd immunity.

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