Due to the pandemic, many of us have spent more time at home than usual and are looking forward to the summer months where we can go outside to enjoy the sunshine.
However, those who suffer from hay fever will be well aware of the troubles they will face during the sunnier seasons. As well as a higher pollen count, there is now the added issue that some hay fever symptoms are similar to those of coronavirus. It is therefore essential to understand the differences between hay fever and COVID-19 and what you can do to stay safe.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to pollen. The most common cause of hay fever is grass pollen, which leads to the majority of symptoms of hay fever between May and July, when the pollen count is at its highest.
Symptoms vary from person to person and some struggle with them much more than others. Common symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat and itchy or watery eyes.
What is COVID-19?
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a new, continuous cough, a lack of taste or smell, and a high temperature. If you have any of these symptoms, it is vital to immediately get a free COVID-19 test and stay at home until you get your result.
If the test comes back as positive, you should self-isolate for at least ten days or longer if symptoms persist. Anyone else within your home or support bubble should also get a test and isolate for two weeks if they test positive.
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to hay fever in that cases can vary, with some individuals struggling with the effects in much worse ways than others.
Why could hay fever and COVID-19 be confused?
It is understandable to be confused between the symptoms of hay fever and COVID-19. Both leave you with a general feeling of being unwell and symptoms linked to your chest and throat.
Most people who are long-term sufferers of hay fever will know what time of the year they are likely to get symptoms. But, if you’ve never had hay fever before and suddenly develop serious nasal or respiratory symptoms, you’re going to need to know the difference.
If you need to clarify whether you have a pollen intolerance or coronavirus, a Test Your Intolerance test kit will help give you a better understanding of your symptoms and their cause. Explore our allergy testing options to get the definitive answers you’re looking for.