COVID-19, Spring Allergies, Or Something Else?

March 6, 2023

Spring Allergies Or COVID-19? AFC Urgent Care Vernon Explains The Differences

Spring allergies usually occur when your immune system overreacts to an outdoor allergen, such as pollen. The most common allergens are pollen from wind-pollinated plants, such as trees, grasses, and weeds in the springtime. Pollen is the grains or tiny seeds of flowering plants, trees, and grasses. These seeds can be carried on the wind and can cause various symptoms, or none at all, in individuals who are exposed to them. For people with hay fever, also known as “allergic rhinitis,” breathing in pollen can cause sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. Pollen exposure can also result in “allergic conjunctivitis” in some individuals, causing red, watery, or itchy eyes.

AFC Urgent Care Vernon is here to guide you this spring with information on how to tell the difference between spring allergies and COVID-19.

What Triggers Spring Allergies?

Climate change can be one of the reasons why allergies can be triggered. Due to the warm weather, the pollen levels can be stronger and they can last longer than previous years. Our changing climate has caused shifts in precipitation patterns, more frost-free days, warmer seasonal air temperatures, and more carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. These changes can affect:

  • when the pollen season starts and ends and how long it lasts each year,
  • how much pollen plants create and how much is in the air, and
  • how pollen affects human health.

You can take extra precaution by checking the daily pollen levels online or on your local weather channel.  

What's The Difference Between Allergies and COVID-19?

Possible COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms may vary. Some people may not even experience any symptoms. 

Spring allergies can cause:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

Tips On Managing Spring allergies

If you are allergic to pollen, or if you have asthma you can take steps to protect yourself:

  • Check pollen forecasts on local news and online sources and plan to spend less time outdoors when pollen levels will be high.
  • Take your allergy and/or asthma medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Don’t touch your eyes while you are outside, and wash your hands when you go back inside (before you touch your eyes).
  • Shower after being outside to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Change your clothes after being outdoors.
  • Keep windows closed during pollen season.
  • Stock up on inhalers. Asthmatics may have trouble this spring season!

AFC Urgent Care Vernon Can Help Treat Spring Allergies And Asthma

If you find yourself suffering from allergies, or want to find out if you have them, AFC Urgent Care Vernon offers appointments, and walk-ins, any day of the week! 

We also have multiple COVID-19 testing options readily available on a walk-in basis too. We can provide you with a Covid-19 antigen or PCR test, to help you rule out if your sneezing is from COVID-19 or spring allergies.

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