COVID-19 symptoms playing a role in patients’ access to care for allergies

Apr 20, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Pexels photo)...
(Pexels photo)
(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX – Seasonal allergies are striking this year at the worst possible time – in the midst of continued concerns over the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you have an itchy nose and watery eyes? Or maybe a fever and a sore throat? Is it COVID-19 or just your usual allergies?

Those questions continue to be asked, but many patients are having a hard time getting the answer.

“It’s been a challenge for sure with COVID and all the precautions,” Banner Health’s Dr. Russell Horton told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Horton believes many of the safety measures and symptom checks put in place to keep doctors’ offices free of COVID-19 during the pandemic have also resulted in limited access for patients with seasonal allergies to receive care.

“When patients call and say yeah I’m stuffy and have a dry cough, that raises a lot of red flags for COVID symptoms,” Horton said.

If you are still trying to decipher between what is allergies and what is COVID-19, it helps to look at how long you’ve had symptoms. A sudden onset of symptoms is more likely with COVID-19.

The amount of time you have been sneezing, sniffling and coughing is a big clue as to whether you have COVID-19 or are simply dealing with pollen allergies.

Horton described more common allergy symptoms to include an itchy, runny nose or itchy and watery eyes.

Other symptoms that are more common with COVID-19 include chills, muscle or body aches, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

“If it’s just the runny nose and sneezing, and you know you’re an allergy sufferer, then don’t be afraid to go out there and get help from your doctor,” Horton said.

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COVID-19 symptoms playing a role in patients’ access to care for allergies