Healthcare & Fitness

Itchy Throat, Signs and Differences



POLLEN COVID. Pollen allergies are back this April! And the Covid-19 outbreak is still with us. How do you tell the difference between the common cold from allergy or Covid? When your nose stings? When you cough? Practical information.


[Mise à jour le 15 avril 2022 à 16h48] Runny nose, sneezing, cold, itching, itchy throat... Allergic symptoms can be mistaken for an infection Covid-19. And as the pollens are back at the moment, not easy to find your way? List of recommendations for allergy sufferers in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What are the differences between the symptoms of an allergy and Covid?

A pollen allergy May resemble a Covid-19 infection when manifested by:

  • sneezing,
  • a runny nose,
  • a tiredness,
  • a cough,
  • respiratory problems for asthmatics.

But the Covid infection causes other symptoms that are not found in allergies, mainly “flu-like syndrome with pain, aches and pains and presence of fever“explains Dr Albanne Branellec, allergist in Paris. “Fever is a witness to infection, allergy causes fatigue but never fever or muscle pain.”

Can you get a fever from an allergy?

No, says our interlocutor. “Fever is a sign of infection, allergy causes fatigue but never fever or muscle pain.”

Can an allergy cause a sore throat?

An allergy can cause pain in the throat and is usually accompanied by itching of the palate (the famous “scratchy throat” feeling). It can be caused by pollen, dust mites, animals or dust. Covid-19 can also cause it. If a sore throat persists, we might as well make a antigenic test in pharmacy (the fastest) or PCR (in the laboratory) if other symptoms are present (fever, cough, aches, etc.). Self-tests should be repeated to be more reliable.

A cold means a blocked nose. A symptom that can occur when you are allergic to pollen and when you are contaminated by the Sars-Cov-2 virus. “The loss or reduction of smell with nasal obstruction (blocked nose) in case of allergy is well known and recognized by allergy patients used to their symptoms” confirms the association Asthma and Allergies. But the difference is that in case ofallergy, one has no sense of smell because the nose is blocked. While in case of infection Covid, the loss of smell is noted without nasal obstruction or a cold. It is also possible to have a real cold and Covid, but other symptoms are usually associated with it, such as headache, fever, chills…

Can you take antihistamines if you have Covid?

People with allergies have increased susceptibility to respiratory viral infections, making them more fragile patients. “Patients with pollen allergy should continue their background treatment more than ever (even during the Covid epidemic, ed. note). Inhalers of course, but also antihistamines oralwhich limit the release of histamine in the body. It is in fact this histamine that promotes inflammatory mechanisms.” explains Dr Albanne Branellec, allergist in Paris. In case of allergic manifestations (rhinitisIf you have rhinitis (e.g., watery eyes, sneezing attacks), it is possible to make an appointment with an allergist in order to be prescribed a suitable treatment.

Individuals who are continuously treated with corticosteroids tablets should not stop them.

→ In your nose, you can make yourself Prescribe an antihistamine without corticosteroidse.g., Allergodil, and Opticron eye drops if needed. “We recommend theDiscontinuation of nasal corticosteroids, because they are not essential” says Dr Branellec.

Can asthmatics take cortisone?

Asthmatics are considered at risk for infection Covid-19 Due to underlying respiratory pathology.

  • Continue to treat in crisis: Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs systemic corticosteroids Are not associated with worsening of COVID 19″ infections. explained the Asthma and Allergy Association in a March 30, 2020, statement. It is therefore important to maintain the same attitude as usual towards asthma attacks and exacerbations, and to treat them with a few days of systemic corticosteroids. The priority is to stabilize the respiratory statusas long as a asthma underlying unstable is a real risk factor for complication of any viral infection, including Covid-19. This also makes it possible to avoid hospitalizations more than ever in this epidemic context (risk of contamination and lack of space in the intensive care unit).
  • Systemic corticosteroids are : Solupred®, Celestene®, Prednisolone®, Prednisone®.
  • Corticosteroid tablets (oral) for a few days should be taken if your asthma is destabilized as usual. But in view of the coronavirus epidemic it is important and essential to contact your doctor again.
  • We advocate theDiscontinuation of nasal corticosteroids, because they are not essential“Dr. Branellec adds.

Can we get desensitized?

  • If you have no signs of Covid-19 infection:

→ If you have ongoing desensitization, that desensitization is effective and well tolerated, there is no reason to discontinue it based on current data. If in doubt, you can take the advice of your allergist (many of them offer teleconsultations during this lockdown period)

→ If your desensitization causes you to have more severe reactions, and you cannot reach your allergist, it is best to interrupt it for the time of the outbreak, and then gradually resume with the advice of your allergist. An interruption of a few weeks is not catastrophic, you can then gradually resume without losing the benefit of the treatment.

→If you were to start desensitization, it is better to postpone the start of treatment and wait for the end of the epidemic.

  • If you are affected by Covid-19stop your desensitization until you are cured.
  • Ventilate the house without leaving the windows open too long. Air preferably early in the morning and late in the evening, when it is colder, or when it rains. Close tightly when it is windy.
  • Vacuum regularly to remove hair,
  • Continue their background treatment well.


COVID-19 Special Page – Asthma & Allergies.

Bulletin of the National Aerobiological Surveillance Network – RNSA.

Seasonal allergies are back, even in confinement! Prevention advice from Hubert Bigot, ENT doctor – Thermes de Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. 9 April 2020.