'Is this COVID?': Recognizing allergy symptoms amid the third wave of the pandemic
KITCHENER -- A case of the sniffles during allergy season can bring different stress during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the symptoms of seasonal allergies are similar to those of COVID-19, meaning it's important to self-monitor and keep allergies under control.
Nathan Costa has seasonal allergies every spring, but said this year it's more stressful.
"A lot of times I'll wake up and have a sore throat," he said. "One of the things you wake up to thinking is 'Is this COVID?'"
Costa said he's keeping a close eye on every sniffle and sneeze these days.
"It can make the morning a little bit stressful," he said. "So usually what I'll do is, I check my temperatures, see if I feel achy or sore and then pop an allergy pill."
Pharmacist Connie Phillion said people who know they suffer from allergies every year should start treating their symptoms before they start.
"Allergies tend to just affect more local, so ears, nose and throat," she said. "Concerning something like COVID, it's entire body, so fever, body aches, stomach. Those would be more red flag symptoms."
People can also get a COVID-19 test if they're concerned.
"If the symptoms are progressing, worsening or changing, that would be a time to go for a test," Phillion said. "Allergies tend to stay very similar, so runny eyes, itchy nose, but the symptoms don't progress."
Zahid Butt with the University of Waterloo's School of Public Health said it's important to keep allergy under control.
"If your allergy symptoms are not controlled and you have sneezing and somehow you get COVID-19 as well, then there's chances of you spreading the virus because you're sneezing more."
Costa said he's taking things very seriously to try to stay healthy this allergy season.
"It's important to make sure you are feeling well and be a little more in tune with your body and they symptoms you have," he said.