Fall allergies, a cold, or COVID-19? What to do about each one.

Fall allergies, a cold, or COVID-19? What to do about each one.

In the COVID-19 era, a fever can start a panic. It’s all-too-easy to forget that illnesses other than COVID-19 exist. However, as we prepare to enter cold and flu season this fall, the illnesses that affect millions of people annually will return. Fall allergies triggered by ragweed and other pollens are also on the rise.

The combination of cold weather and more time spent indoors helps viruses spread in the fall and winter. This is certainly something to keep in mind when it comes to COVID-19 and the common cold.

These three conditions obviously differ in severity but share many of the same symptoms. It can be very difficult to tell them apart—especially when you first start feeling sick.

Let’s break down the similarities and differences of COVID-19, the common cold, and allergies as well as look at when you should seek medical care.

Lookalike Symptoms for Fall allergies, a cold, or COVID-19

As mentioned, it can be very difficult to determine if your symptoms are being caused by something concerning like COVID-19 or something mild like a cold. Now more than ever, guessing simply isn’t enough.

If you’re unsure, the best approach is to play it safe. While you don’t have to automatically assume that you have COVID-19, taking precautions as if you did can help keep others from being infected. If you start to feel sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others until your symptoms clear. Practice good hand hygiene, including washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

Both allergies and the common cold typically present with symptoms like a runny nose, facial pain, headache, and a sore throat. Of course, these symptoms can also occur with a COVID-19 infection.

A cough is a common symptom for all three conditions. The type of cough may differ but determining that at home is difficult for those without a medical background.

What are the Differences?

Despite their many similarities, COVID-19, the common cold, and allergies do have differences that make it possible to tell them apart.

For instance, COVID-19 is often accompanied by a fever, severe fatigue, and shortness of breath. Many patients also experience nausea, diarrhea, and lose their senses of taste and smell. Meanwhile, the cough associated with COVID-19 is much more severe than a cough caused by allergies or a cold.

People suffering from allergies can tell their nasal drainage apart from a cold because it is often clear and thin. By contrast, a cold causes the “snot” to become colored, typically green or yellow, and thicker.

How to Treat Each Condition at Home

In most cases, allergies, colds, and even COVID-19 can be managed safely at home. The latter is the most concerning since cases can be severe enough to warrant hospitalization. However, it takes time to reach that stage and most people will only experience mild to moderate symptoms.

For all three conditions, proper hydration is key. Drinking plenty of fluids helps the body fight back against infection and inflammation while also preventing dehydration. Be sure to get at least eight glasses of water daily but don’t be afraid to drink more.

Another key to treating all three conditions is getting enough rest. When you’re battling an infection, this is extremely important.

When to Visit Velocity Urgent Care

Regardless of if you’re dealing with allergies, a cold, or COVID-19, you want to start feeling better. If managing your symptoms at home isn’t working, Velocity Urgent Care has your back. Our providers will perform a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your illness so it can be treated appropriately. We can prescribe medications on-site, saving you a trip to your primary care doctor. If your symptoms reflect those of COVID-19, our facilities are also equipped for rapid testing.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking serious safety precautions to ensure that our locations are as clean as possible. We’ve put strict sterilization protocols into place and are carefully handling patients who may be contagious to ensure that each one of our clinics is safe for those who need urgent medical care or testing.

Don’t put your health at risk by waiting to seek out treatment!

Velocity Urgent Care offers convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during a visit. You can sign up for a check-in time online and we even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment.

Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible. All of our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome.

To find out more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.