Sometimes the symptoms of an allergy can mimic the symptoms of COVID-19. If there is any doubt about which one it is, use the guide below to see how you can find out.
Symptoms that are common to both conditions include:
Covid is also associated with shortness of breath, fever and general body aches and pains. These are not usually seen in allergy sufferers.
How to spot the difference
Your medical history
This is probably the easiest way to spot the difference. If you have a history of allergies and the symptoms you are experiencing are very similar to ones that you have in the past, this is a good indication that you might be suffering from allergies
Timing of your symptoms
If your symptoms only pop up during certain times (i.e., when you’re only outdoors or when you’re only indoors) and disappear when you are not in that environment then this is likely an allergy.
New recent travel or gatherings
If you have gathered with a group of people in the past few weeks and the symptoms mentioned above appear a few days after that gathering, there is a possibility this might be COVID-19. Remember, just because you do not know if anyone at that gathering had COVID-19, it does not mean that no one at the gathering had COVID-19.
Err on the side of caution. Stay at home and isolate as per the CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html).
Get tested for COVID-19 but only if it can be done so safely without risk of infecting others.
Diagnostic testing for COVID-19
The only way to be 100% certain that you have COVID-19 and not allergies is through testing. However, in the interests of safety, it is important to only get tested for allergies or COVID-19 when there is no chance that you will transmit a possible infection to others.
If you suspect that you have COVID-19 then immediately follow CDC quarantine guidelines.
Diagnostic testing for allergies
If you would like to get tested for allergies, be sure that you do not have COVID-19 (either through a negative COVID-19 test or after you have quarantined as per CDC guidelines). Then make an appointment to see one of our doctors about formal allergy testing.
Doctors at Complete Psychiatry and Medical Care can test patients (in a safe and convenient manner) to find out if they truly have an allergy. We use a number of diagnostic tests such as blood tests or patch tests to help find out the cause of your allergy.