DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The trees are green and the flowers are blooming, which means allergy season is in full swing.
Unfortunately this year it’s colliding with COVID-19.
Dr. Lara Gross, an allergist with Texas Health Dallas, said they’ve had virtual visits with a number of patients who are having trouble discerning allergy symptoms versus something more serious.
She explained the big giveaway that you’re dealing with allergies is itching.
“If you’re having itchy nose, itchy eyes, sometimes people have itching in their ears and the roof of their mouth,” said Dr. Gross. “That is not typical of a viral illness, that’s typical of allergies.”
Dr. Gross said if you combine that itching with nasal congestion, a running nose and sneezing, the culprit is likely seasonal allergies.
That’s especially true if you’ve battled allergies before. Dr. Gross said anything new, like a cough or muscle pain, is a little more concerning.
“Cough can be a symptom of allergies,” she explained.
But she said if cough is a new symptom, and you don’t have any other allergy symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to call your primary care doctor.
While there’s no evidence allergies put you at a higher risk for the virus, the doctor did say the side effects, like lack of sleep and fatigue, can affect your immune system.
Dr. Gross recommended taking an allergy medication daily.
Here are a few other ways she suggested to help ease your symptoms:
– Shower when you come inside.
– Change your clothes
– Use a saline nasal spray and lubricating eye drops.
– Bathe your pets frequently, or at least wipe them down daily.