Coronavirus or hay fever symptoms: The key difference in the two conditions

Hay fever season is here – and it will remain until September. With gradual easing of lockdown, how do you know if you can enjoy more freedom or need to self-isolate?

The UK’s lockdown began on March 23, with people urged to “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives”.

Now, after two months of mainly staying indoors during the hot weather, it’s starting to ease up.

People within England are now able to spend unlimited amount of time outdoors.

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And this includes meeting with one other person from a different household – two metres apart.

This means two people – previously restricted from seeing each other – can now take a walk, or do a picnic at the park together.

And people can now play golf or tennis with members of their household or one other person from outside your household.

Garden centres have been reopened, house moves are back on track, and property viewings are going ahead in person.

While, at the same time, England is trying to avoid a second peak of infections from coronavirus.

As such, the government’s measures will continued to be reviewed every three weeks.

The main symptoms of hay fever

The NHS lists the main symptoms of hay fever as follows:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired

The main symptoms of coronavirus

The NHS lists the main symptoms of coronavirus as follows:

  • High temperature
  • New, continuous cough
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

These two lists of symptoms would indicate that sneezing is reserved for hay fever.

In the beginning of the global pandemic, coronavirus was described to bring on “flu-like” symptoms, which caused a lot of confusion.

This is because “flu-like” symptoms, at one stage did include sneezing, as more was being learned about the new virus.

Now, though, through mounting evidence, sneezing isn’t linked with coronavirus.

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Sneezing isn’t regarded as a symptom of the virus by the NHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Managing hay fever symptoms

Allergy UK points towards antihistamines as the best known allergy medication.

In addition to using antihistamines to relieve symptoms of the condition, Allergy UK has some other tips.

“Monitor pollen forecasts,” it states. Generally warmer, dry days have a higher pollen count and it’s recommended to stay indoors.

On high pollen days, the charity advises to “shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing”.

It also recommends to avoid drying clothes outside, and to apply “an effective allergen barrier balm around the edge of each nostril”.

This is to trap pollen – and other allergens – to help prevent a reaction.

One effective allergen barrier balm would be petrolatum (Vaseline).

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