(WFSB) – Anyone who is starting to feel congested and itchy, their allergies may be flaring up.

Some of the symptoms overlap with COVID-19, which can lead to confusion and worry.

There are ways to spot the difference and get relief.

“Patients may very well start experiencing symptoms as early as late march, early April,” said Dr. Jeffrey Factor, allergist, CT Asthma and Allergy Center.

The season of sniffling has arrived.

“This time of year, is the tree pollen season, so even before the trees start to bloom, the pollen can start becoming an issue and it’s usually followed by the grass pollen later on in the spring,” Factor said.

Congestion, along with itchy eyes, nose and throat, are some of the telltale signs of allergies.

Factor said he’s heard from many patients in the last year who were worried it could be COVID.

“There are a lot of the symptoms that do overlap, so for the observers it’s sometimes difficult to discern the differences,” he said.

Factor said some of the biggest differences are that COVID comes on fast, and people who have allergies won’t get a fever.

So, if a patient starts to suffer and thinks it is allergies acting up, Factor said over the counter medicines are very effective.

“If started early on in the season, it often helps,” he said. “But obviously if they are not getting relief or historically those medications are not enough, they should see their doctor, possibly an allergist for evaluation.”

Prescriptions or allergy shots are other options that can provide relief.

“It’s hard to predict what is going to be a more difficult allergy season as opposed to one that is fairly normal,” Factor said. “I think people are itching to get outside, no pun intended, so they are going to be more involved in activities than they were in previous springs, and that’s going to result in more symptoms.”

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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