According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. The most common reactions include sneezing, coughing and itching.
However, with concerns of COVID-19 happening at the same time — how can you tell the difference in symptoms? Dr. Carter Davidson of WellSpan Ear, Nose, Throat and Hearing Services explains the differences and how you can effectively manage your allergies:
The biggest difference in symptoms between allergies and COVID-19 is a fever. Allergies are not typically associated with having a fever. Instead, with allergies we’re looking for the nasal congestion, sneezing, dry cough and itching.
Most commonly, reactions to pollen, dander, dust and mold typically result in nasal symptoms like congestion, sneezing and itchy or watery eyes. These symptoms are not consistent with COVID-19. If you are concerned about symptoms you are experiencing, consult the coronavirus assessment tool at:
Most people, when they know they have an allergy, just avoid what is bothering them. Some seasonal allergies, like hay fever, are tough to avoid.A few small changes can make a big difference: Wear sunglasses to help keep pollen out of your eyes. Wear a mask while working outside and quickly change out of your clothes after going back indoors. Take potted plants out of the home since some potting soil can harbor triggering molds. Eliminate dust mites from your home by washing your sheets in hot water.
Most of the time, seasonal allergies can be treated with over-the-counter medication. If symptoms persist, specialists at WellSpan ENT and Hearing Services can take that treatment farther with allergy testing and treatment. We can order a panel of allergy tests for the most common allergies including grasses, trees, weeds, mold, dander and food. Treatment includes immunotherapy, which can be a shot or a drop you put under your tongue.
We are a self-refer office, so if you have allergy problems or questions, you can call and schedule an appointment without a referral. Right now, many of our office visits are being done remotely either through video or over the phone. We’ve taken significant steps to keep people out of our waiting room while the coronavirus continues to spread in our communities.
For patients who receive allergy injections, we’re now delivering allergy medication and injections at a drive-thru allergy clinic. Patients can drive up to the rear of the Chambersburg office and receive their injection through their car window. After brief monitoring in the parking lot, patients can drive off without ever exiting their vehicle.
WellSpan Ear, Nose, Throat and Hearing offers locations in Chambersburg, Waynesboro, Greencastle and Carlisle, for more information on practices and hours, visit: