Medical City Healthcare - March 23, 2021

Take Care magazine and video page

In addition to an overlap of COVID–19 and flu over the fall and winter, we are now experiencing another overlap of COVID–19 and seasonal allergies in North Texas. With many common symptoms among these respiratory conditions, it may be hard to tell them apart. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 and allergies.

“With allergies, you’re typically going to have issues related to your sinuses or your eyes,” says Bryan Thibodeau, MD, a Medical City Healthcare emergency medicine physician who was interviewed for NBC DFW’s Health Connection segment. Dr. Thibodeau says that common allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing

With COVID-19 or flu, you’re more likely to have these symptoms:

  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Unique to COVID-19 is a change in or loss of your taste or smell.

Overlap of symptoms for COVID-19, allergies and flu

Dr. Thibodeau says it gets confusing because of the overlap of so many of the symptoms of COVID-19, allergies and flu, including:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • Malaise (general discomfort/fatigue)

“Between the three ailments—a flu-like illness, COVID-19 and seasonal allergies—I think you really go for the shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to the point where you just can’t keep any fluids or food in you and then you’re going to get really dehydrated, really weak. That’s when you need to seek medical attention,” Dr. Thibodeau says.

COVID-19 testing

Because the symptoms can be confusing, if you suspect COVID-19 or flu, you may want to consider getting tested. CareNow Urgent Care locations in DFW offer the following tests and immunizations for your safety and convenience:

Keep in mind that, just as with COVID-19 and flu, it is possible to have COVID-19 and allergies at the same time. It’s helpful to stock up on antihistamines for your seasonal allergies. And if symptoms become severe or unmanageable, call your physician or head to the nearest ER.

Medical City Healthcare provides comprehensive emergency services across North Texas.

At Medical City Healthcare, we’re dedicated to the care and improvement of human life. So, we hope you’ll Take Care!

For more information, call our Ask a Nurse hotline 24/7 or use Find a Doctor online.

You can also get care for minor injuries or illness at one of the many DFW CareNow® Urgent Care locations, with convenient Web Check-In® so you can wait in the comfort of your home.

Originally published 9/28/2020 on Take Care.