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Health & Fitness: Can hay fever cause a cough or sore throat? How the symptoms compare to Covid-19

Covid symptoms: Is it hay fever or coronavirus? A doctor tells all

  Covid symptoms: Is it hay fever or coronavirus? A doctor tells all COVID symptoms can include coughing, loss of smell, and a headache - all signs that may occur when hay fever flares up. How do you know when it's time to self isolate and book a Covid test? A doctor tells all.He identified the three main symptoms of coronavirus as:

As the weather gets warmer, it signals the start of hay fever season, but this year once again it also coincides with Covid-19.

a group of people in a garden: As weather heats up, it signals the start of hay fever season (Photo: Getty/ Jo Hale) © Provided by The i As weather heats up, it signals the start of hay fever season (Photo: Getty/ Jo Hale)

The symptoms of both hay fever and Covid-19 can overlap, so it’s important to understand the differences.

Here’s what you need to know about hay fever symptoms, as summer gets under way.

What is hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically brought on by grass pollen, which is most prevalent from May to July.

Tree pollen can also cause symptoms, as well as weed pollen, from June until September.

Should you consider the hay fever injection?

  Should you consider the hay fever injection? Is it worth getting the hay fever injection to beat the pollen count?As anyone who suffers from acute bouts of hay fever will tell you, this pesky pollen allergy can be all-consuming and make life extremely difficult. There's no cure for the condition, also known as allergic rhinitis, so treatments are the only way to keep symptoms in check.

Most people will only experience mild symptoms which can be easily managed, whilst others are badly affected.

Hay fever symptoms vary from person to person, but the most common ones include a runny or blocked nose, an itchy nose, sneezing or feeling sniffly, itchy and watery eyes or an itchy throat.

How are the symptoms of hay fever different to coronavirus?

Some of the symptoms of hay fever could also be present in coronavirus.

These include a loss of smell, headache, blocked nose and generally feeling unwell.

The most common coronavirus symptoms include:

  • high temperature
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Typical hay fever symptoms include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired

Yet Dr Gordon Sinclair, Clinical Chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP in Headingley, West Yorkshire explained why it’s important for people to understand the difference between the symptoms:

Hay fever treatment: Liz Earle says ‘stop tea and coffee' - three alternative remedies

  Hay fever treatment: Liz Earle says ‘stop tea and coffee' - three alternative remedies HAY FEVER season is in full swing and while antihistamine tablets and sprays are effective treatments for many, health and wellness guru Liz Earle has recommended some more natural remedies - stop drinking tea and coffee and opt for foods like red-skinned apples."The first way to look at it is, 'what's going on outside?'" said Liz.

He said: “We don’t want people to get unduly anxious about their hay fever. However, we also want to make sure that they don’t go out and about, assuming they have their usual allergies, when they may actually have coronavirus and should stay at home.

“The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss of smell or taste. People may also feel quite unwell.

“While the symptoms of coronavirus and hay fever can overlap, people with hay fever don’t experience a high temperature and most won’t feel unwell.

“Hay fever and allergy symptoms tend to be milder, for example, itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing. Symptoms  may vary over the course of the day or depending on the weather, as the pollen count changes. They can also usually be controlled through antihistamines or nasal sprays.

“If you have any new cough, fever, lose your sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate as these could be signs of coronavirus. Most people can manage their symptoms at home with paracetamol and plenty of fluids. However, if you feel worse, you should use the NHS 111 checker – https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ or call NHS 111.”

Can hay fever make you cough, or give you a sore throat?

A dry, itchy or sore throat can sometimes be a debilitating symptom of hay fever, and is typically associated with having a blocked nose.

However, it is more likely if you have a sore throat that you may be suffering from a cold or virus.

Hay fever can also make you cough, and it usually comes with a constant tickling feeling in the throat, and may be worse at night.

Hay fever treatment: A brief history of tackling the illness – from opium to antihistamine .
Early treatments ranged from taking opium to removing bones from the noseHay fever symptoms are caused from an allergy to pollen, and today can be treated with antihistamines. But the links to pollen weren’t established until the early 19th century, and it was more than hundred years later before allergies were understood with the term first coined in 1906.

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