Allergies or COVID-19?

By Patricia Apr 14, 2020

Allergies or COVID-19?

At Detroit Sinus Center in Michigan, we see hundreds of cases of sinusitis and common allergies that affect the sinuses and breathing patterns of people here in the Greater Detroit area. In the past, we have provided resources that describe the difference between sinus infections and allergies. 

However, given the current state of our country, due to COVID-19 or “coronavirus,” there is a lot of misinformation floating around about various symptoms and what may actually be the cause of your breathing issues. Some people may be experiencing the tail end of winter sinus issues, some people may be experiencing allergies due to the amount of allergens in the air, and unfortunately, some people may have COVID-19. We acknowledge that all of these conditions are uncomfortable in the moment, and if you give us a call, we would be happy to discuss your symptoms with you. In the meantime, here are some of the differences that you can keep an eye out for in relation to COVID-19. 


If you are experiencing either allergies or a sinus infection, it is likely that you may experience itchy eyes and be sneezing excessively. However, according to the World Health Organization, sneezing is rarely a symptom of COVID-19. 

Shortness of Breath

People who are experiencing shortness of breath will have a difficult time breathing. However, it is important to recognize that with COVID-19, this is a respiratory issue that originates in the lungs. If you have a sinus infection or are experiencing seasonal allergies, you may find that breathing has also become more difficult. However, this is due to the blockage of airways in your nasal system, often times with dark colored mucus with sinus infections, and it is not related to the respiratory system. 

Chronic Symptoms

According to Dr. David M. Cutler, who has been staying on top of coronavirus symptoms and happenings from a health center in Santa Monica, California, one of the easiest ways to differentiate allergies from COVID-19 is chronic symptoms. COVID-19 is an acute illness, which means people will feel fine until symptoms start showing up. Allergies are a chronic illness, and can present symptoms off and on for years. If you have experienced allergies in the past, you likely know the feeling of congestion, sneezing, itchy throat, and occasional coughing. A fever, body aches, and even coughing are very rare symptoms of allergies. If you are experiencing a combination of those three things, it may be COVID-19. 

Coronavirus Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Cough

Allergy Symptoms 

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Postnasal drainage


Consult Detroit Sinus Center for Nasal Issues

Whether you are experiencing allergies or a sinus infection, we understand the pain that you may be going through. However, if your symptoms match either of these conditions, you can rest assured that it is unlikely that you have contracted COVID-19. If you would like to discuss your ear, nose, and throat symptoms with one of our specialists, please give us a call today, and we can arrange for a time for you to stop by our offices in Allen Park or Southfield, Michigan. Beyond that, continue to take care of yourself, wash your hands frequently, and stay up-to-date on the latest government recommendations for social distancing to help minimize the effects of coronavirus in our communities. 

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