COVID-19 Or Hay Fever?

COVID-19 Or Hay Fever?

During this period, I was convinced I had COVID-19, because I had almost all the symptoms. Allergic pink eye which I mistook for conjunctivitis, constant sneezing and a stuffy nose. What seems to confirm my fears was the the look that comes my way anytime I sneeze or cough during the early outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Everybody was sure on the lookout for themselves considering the fact that the COVID-19 virus had strucked more than fear in their minds and I totally understand but how do I tell people around me ‘oh, sorry I don’t have Coronavirus, it’s just my allergies – Hay Fever also known as Allergic rhinitis -which has almost the same symptoms as COVID-19 when the looks sent my way was a enough affirmation of them not wanting to hear anything.

COVID-19, a novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans and is knwon for causing illness ranging from the common cold , fever,
dry cough, headache, tiredness, conjunctivitis, to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The virus is spread through contact and respiratory droplets which is why it is essential to cover your mouth with your hands or dab whenever you sneeze or cough.

I knew it is that time of the year when I have itchy, red and watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing as a result of my Hay Fever which is an overreaction of the immune system to particles in the air such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander or mold and it
Symptoms includes, sneezing, runny-stuffy-itchy nose, red-itchy-watery eyes, frequent headaches, wheezing and excessive fatigue. Most likely, a person with Hay Fever feels one or more of these symptoms immediately after coming into contact with an allergen. Hay Fever can affect anyone, but an individual is majorly at a high risk of developing it, if there is a history of allergies in his/her family.

Hay Fever is however not contagious. as I was able to differentiate Covid-19 from Hay Fever through my contact with people, during this COVID-19 period. Some differentiating factors include but not limited to; COVID-19 can last 7-25 days while hay Fever comes on suddenly and can last for several weeks. Hay Fever can be managed by reducing exposure to triggers. The question now is, does that mean you don’t get to go about your daily activities? Of course not. However, If it’s not important to be outdoor, staying inside during periods of high pollen and keeping the window closed helps a lot. And if you are outdoors, wear sunglasses or glasses to protect your eyes from pollen.

Washing the hands after handling or petting an animal is very essential, I know it feels very good but refrain from rubbing your eyes with that hand. Antihistamine medication and eyes drop can reduce symptoms. Change your bedding often to keep pollen and dust mite at bay. Regardless of COVID 19, you should still cover your mouth whenever you cough and sneeze, washing of hands should also be a habit cultivated among the young and old. Diet also matters a lot, it shapes the health of every individual.

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