Have you been stocking your medicine cabinet with the latest flu season home essentials? It’s that time of year again – the colder months where several illnesses seem to be circulating around town all at the same time. Though buying over the counter cold medicine can help you prepare should you fall sick, another complicating factor, especially this upcoming season, is that it can sometimes be tricky to identify exactly what illness you’re dealing with. For example, based on your symptoms, you might not be sure if you’re dealing with the common cold, COVID-19 or simply allergies. Here’s how you can spot the difference.
COVID-19 Symptoms May Vary, But Often Include Coughing and Shortness of Breath
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is likely on everyone’s mind this upcoming cold and flu season. While the symptoms may sometimes appear to resemble the seasonal flu, there are some key symptoms that may help to differentiate COVID-19 from other illnesses. These include:
- Constant coughing, perhaps requiring Brillia cough control and other treatments to control
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Loss of smell or taste
- High fever
- Occasional headache
- Occasional nasal congestion
If You Have a Cold, You Likely Won’t Have a Fever
At first glance, a cold may share several factors in common with COVID-19 or the seasonal flu. For example, you may experience bodily aches or wheezing in both COVID-19 and the common cold. However, a cold also has some highly identifiable hallmarks that may indicate that you’re not actually dealing with the novel coronavirus. For example, while COVID-19 patients often report experiencing a fever, having a high temperature as the result of a cold is relatively rare. Additionally, you may experience loss of smell and taste with COVID-19, while this is unlikely to occur with a cold.
Itchy, Watery Eyes and Sneezing Are the Hallmarks of Allergic Reactions
Finally, if your primary symptoms have to do with constant sneezing, watery, puffy eyes and an itchy or runny nose, you might be dealing with allergies. Although allergic reactions can have different manifestations in different people, it’s not uncommon to experience a variety of nasal symptoms, including post-nasal drip after the initial reaction has started to wear off. If what you’re dealing with is indeed an allergic reaction, you’re unlikely to experience a fever like you might with COVID-19 or cold sweats like you might with a typical cold. In this situation, you could try taking an antihistamine and seeing if that helps relieve your symptoms.
The wintery season is made even more difficult by the similarities some common health conditions seem to share. When the cold months hit and different illnesses start spreading around, it’s important to understand what the common symptoms are so you can differentiate between them and treat them appropriately. Though COVID-19, the common cold and allergic reactions may have some facets in common, they each also have their own hallmarks that can make them easier to identify. You can use these facts to spot the difference and find the right solution.