Caution, Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis May Confuse With Covid-19

Caution: Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis May Confuse With Covid
Caution, Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis May Confuse With Covid-19

Pointing out that the symptoms of pollen and mites, which increase with the warming of the weather, can be confused with the symptoms of coronovirus in susceptible people, Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association, Head of Allergic Rhinitis Working Group Prof. Dr. Figen Gülen said, "Allergies typically cause complaints such as runny nose and nasal congestion, they do not cause fever as in coronavirus and flu infections."

With the onset of the pollen season, patients with allergies also worry that their complaints may be related to Covid-19. Especially with the warmer weather, the increasing amounts of pollen and mites in the environment cause the nose, eye and respiratory complaints, which are typically seen in allergies, and these findings can be confused with the symptoms of Covid-19.

The Frequency of Allergic Diseases Is Increasing!

Stating that allergic rhinitis affects 20-40% of the world's population, Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association, Head of Allergic Rhinitis Working Group Prof. Dr. Figen Gülen said, “As in the whole world, the incidence of allergic diseases is increasing in our country. The data show that 4 out of every 1 people in our society is affected by allergic diseases. Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of non-infectious rhinitis.

Is it allergic rhinitis? Is it covid? A cold?

Pointing out that the symptoms that occur in sensitive people with the effect of pollen and mites increasing with the warming of the weather, can be confused with the symptoms of coronovirus. Dr. Figen Gulen; “Fever, dry cough, weakness, headache, dry throat and shortness of breath” are seen within 2-14 days after exposure to the coronavirus. While allergies typically cause complaints such as runny nose and nasal congestion, they do not cause fever as in coronavirus and flu infections.

Underlining that the only definitive treatment for allergies today is vaccination, Prof. Dr. Figen Gülen made the following statement: “Tolerance is achieved by administering increasing doses of a sensitive and clinically responsible allergen to the patient. It is most often made with pollen and mites. This treatment, which can only be applied by an allergist, can be done in two ways, subcutaneously and sublingually, and lasts at least 3-5 years.

Do drugs used in allergy treatments predispose to infection?

Stating that antihistamine drugs will not increase the risk of infection by affecting the immune system, Gülen said, “There is no evidence that steroid-containing drugs increase the risk of coronavirus transmission. Patients should continue their oral, nasal or inhaled steroid-containing drugs at the doses they use. It should not be forgotten that discontinuing medications may increase the risk of allergy and asthma attacks.

prof. Dr. Figen Gülen lists the difference between allergic rhinitis and the common cold as follows:

What is the difference between allergic rhinitis and the common cold?

Allergic diseases are non-contagious conditions that result from the response of our immune system to various allergens. While allergic rhinitis is not contagious, viral infections, including coronavirus, are transmitted by coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact.

Allergic rhinitis is hereditary, that is, there are usually allergic complaints in parents, infections are not hereditary.

While allergic rhinitis develops when faced with allergens such as house dust mites and pollen, infections such as colds develop as a result of inhalation of microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can last longer than fifteen days and recur every year, while symptoms of infection usually last less than 7 days and do not recur at the same time each year.

When should a patient with allergic rhinitis suspect a coronavirus or viral infection?

Pointing out that the patient with allergic rhinitis, who had close contact with a person who has recently been diagnosed with Covid-19, may be infected, Gülen said, "The patient with allergic rhinitis, who has complaints such as fever, cough, headache, postnasal drip, and weakness that develop differently from the usual allergy complaints, may be a sign of infection. In such symptoms, allergic rhinitis patients should apply to the nearest health institution and be examined for cold, flu and coronavirus infection.

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