major rain or precipitation, especially if a big storm like a hurricane comes through. Cases of severe allergy or asthma can skyrocket.”
Some studies suggest that changes in humidity levels might also trigger allergies, possibly because the change can cause the nose to dry out, which can lead to allergic rhinitis (hay fever) symptoms, he notes.
Is it COVID or allergies?
Figuring out whether your symptoms are due to allergies or COVID-19 is a new issue.
Allergies mainly cause itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion and sneezing. The main differences between allergy and COVID-19 symptoms are a fever, sore throat and itching, such as itchy eyes, nose and ears, Corry shares.
Allergies also are unlikely to cause profound tiredness, fatigue, and muscle and joint aches.
“Viruses, including the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the common cold, can first appear like allergies, but there are certain symptoms that help distinguish the two,” Corry adds. “You almost never get prominent itching with a virus, and COVID often produces fever, which you never see in allergies. A prominent sore throat also indicates a virus.”
What is the best way to treat your allergies?
Corry recommends treating allergies by using over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays (like fluticasone [Flonase]) for up to two weeks. A person can also take oral antihistamines (like loratadine [Claritin]), and see a primary care provider or allergist if symptoms aren’t relieved.
Treating allergies during the winter
By winter, most outdoor allergens lie dormant, according to Healthline. If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, you may also react to indoor allergens, such as mold, pet dander, dust mites, or cockroaches.
Indoor allergens can be easier to remove from your home than outdoor pollens. Try these tips to get common allergens out of your home:
- Wash your bedding in very hot water at least once a week.
- Cover your bedding and pillows with allergen-proof covers.
- Get rid of carpets and upholstered furniture.
- Remove stuffed toys from your children’s bedrooms.
- Fix water leaks and clean up water damage that can help mold and pests flourish.
- Clean moldy surfaces and any places that mold may form, including humidifiers, swamp coolers, air conditioners, and refrigerators.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture.