Allergic Rhinitis or COVID-19: How to tell the difference?

Allergic Rhinitis or COVID-19: How to tell the difference?

From a sudden sneeze and consecutive coughs that feel like the usual allergies to chilling fevers and severe body pains that strike every cell in your body, the overlapping symptoms between allergic rhinitis and coronavirus seem to cause unnecessary fear among people nowadays. 

Since sniffles and coughs are already considered as a precursor to COVID-19, innocent allergy sufferers, triggered by some external factors, have become used to cold-eyed stares and subsequent shame brought by their symptoms. 

To draw the line, The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) stressed key differences between the two help everyone get a clearer picture of what ails them. 


Commonly known as "hay fever," allergic rhinitis is the result of the body's immune system overreacting to external factors like pollen, dust mites, mold, and animals. Once triggered, those who have it experience a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, post-nasal drip, and itchy water eyes.

To ease overthinking and decrease confusion about your symptoms, health professionals suggest taking antihistamine medication. If the symptoms improve by using allergy medication, then you're likely reacting to allergy. However, if antihistamines failed to control your symptoms, then you should seek further help. 


The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by infection with a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Almost six months ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic due to its widespread transmission. 

The most common symptoms that develop between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue or weakness, and body aches. If home care and self-quarantine measures didn't work and you still have COVID-19-like symptoms, you must submit yourself to testing immediately after several days of isolation. 


While there are identical symptoms between allergies and COVID-19, the CDC said the huge differences between the two help us identify our sickness. 

"For example, COVID-19 can cause fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies, meanwhile, do not usually cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing," said the CDC.

Itch is a common symptom of allergies but is not typical of COVID-19. COVID-19 usually infects patients with high fever, but hay fever, despite its name, does not increase body temperature. 

As for coughing, you might want to check how frequent you are wheezing. A new continuous cough is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19 yet the same can also happen to hay fever. But if you're having difficulty breathing, then you really should get in touch with a doctor.

Itchy, watery eyes and nose? That's typical of allergic rhinitis. However, people have to be careful since this symptom will make them more inclined to touch their faces. And facing touching is one of the ways you can catch coronavirus. 


By washing your hands, cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and practicing social distancing in a time of the pandemic, we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in case you may have unknowingly acquired it. 

Also, the risk of transmission will significantly decrease if everyone wears a mask in public spaces. To find masks that breathe comfortability and protection, head over to Cottonique to find the softest and most breathable face coverings for all-day use. 

The allergy-free apparel provides customers various hypoallergenic face masks without compromising high-end fabrics, aesthetics, and the consumers' health. Free from chemicals and latex, these masks are 100% organic cotton masks that fit snugly and protect the face from further contact with the hands.

In Cottonique, the right masks matter in fighting the pandemic.

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  • Nathan Mariano
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