KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — As allergy season kicks into gear, those experiencing symptoms may worry that they have contracted the coronavirus.

During a time of hyper health awareness, concern over the slightest cough or sneeze is understandable, and such symptoms will only increase as spring arrives and pollen fills the air.

As the pandemic lingers, it’s important to know when to quarantine and when to just buy some Benadryl or other allergy medication. Here are the symptoms specific to allergies versus COVID-19 as well as a few that exist for both.


  • Irritated eyes, including itching, watering and burning symptoms. This can be treated with basic over-the-counter eye drops or general allergy medication.
  • Sneezing


  • Fever and chills. Fevers can range from low-grade temperatures to more than 100 degrees.
  • Body aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Shared symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing is more complicated, according to the Kansas City Health Department. Both COVID-19 and allergies can cause difficulty breathing, but with allergies, it’s mostly in people who already have a breathing or lung condition. With COVID-19, breathing issues can happen even in those who don’t have prior conditions.

Anyone who may be concerned that they have COVID-19 and are showing related symptoms should get a coronavirus test and self-isolate until receiving a negative result, according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To keep allergies under control, the Mayo Clinic suggests the following tips:

  • Reduce your exposure to things that trigger your allergies, such as grass and pollen.
  • Be aware of how much pollen is in the air by checking local media.
  • Keep your indoor air clean by using such things as portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or humidifiers.
  • Try an over-the-counter remedy to ease symptoms.
  • Rinse your sinuses with saline solution.
  • Consider alternative treatments.

If more help is needed, consult your doctor.