They share many of the same symptoms.
But pharmacists say there are some easy ways to recognise the difference between hay fever and Covid-19 – and the list is worth studying as the pollen count is already on the rise.
Met Éireann has warned there is a high tree pollen risk this weekend, particularly in wooded regions, as dry sunny weather looks set to continue until early next week.
With one in five Irish people living with hay fever, it is important that people understand how to recognise the key differences; for example, a fever or chills is common with Covid-19 but isn’t seen in those suffering from hay fever.
“With everyone on high alert for Covid-19 symptoms, it can be difficult to rationalise which symptoms could be hay fever and which are associated with Covid-19.” said community pharmacist Ann Marie Horan.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has issued the following table so sufferers can check their symptoms:
Pharmacists also warn that as hay fever is a significant trigger for asthma, asthma patients should ensure they carry their inhaler at all times and use it as prescribed.
“Sufferers should monitor the pollen forecast and take particular care when the count is high. You can reduce hay fever symptoms by doing the following:
- Keep doors and windows closed at home and when driving;
- Apply a little Vaseline inside the nose to trap pollen and stop it from being inhaled;
- Wear sunglasses, preferably wraparound glasses which prevent pollen from entering the eyes;
- Don’t mow the grass and avoid working in the garden;
- Don’t dry clothes outside if possible
- Wash your hair, hands, and face when you come back indoors and change your clothes to get rid of any pollen.”
Up to date information on pollen forecasts in your region can be found at met.ie/forecasts/pollen.