Hay fever affects around one in four and there are many symptoms to recognise in diagnosing it. Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it is warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is higher than usual. However this year due to the outbreak of coronavirus, some symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of the coronavirus – like a sore or itchy throat.
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Experts warn, amidst the current pandemic, some people may mistake these symptoms for those of coronavirus.
According to the NHS website, hay fever can come with an itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears.
Hay fever typically causes an itchy throat when pollen irritates the lining of the nose, it then triggers nasal passages to produce mucus which trickles down to the throat.
This is called postnasal drip and can also cause a cough.
Eating certain fruits like apples can also result in an itchy mouth.
This reaction can occur because the proteins found in some fruits and vegetables are very similar to those found in pollen.
Treatments including antihistamines can help hay fever by reducing swelling and inflammation.
These can be bought over-the-counter from a pharmacy but if symptoms including an itchy throat are persistent, it would be useful contacting your GP for stronger medication.
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A sore throat can be a sign of a coronavirus infection, according to the World Health Organisation.
This symptom is usually mild and begins gradually.
It is not considered to be one of the most coronavirus symptoms although some people with the disease may suffer with it.
Many people can also carry the virus and don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell says the World Health Organisation.
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Sore throats are usually caused by viruses, such as cold or flu, and can cause pain when swallowing.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are a fever, tiredness and new dry cough.
The normal body temperature according to the NHS website is around 37 degrees but can vary from person to person.
If you have a high temperature, it could be a sign or coronavirus.
The NHS urges people to protect others, and not to visit places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or a hospital.
If people are unsure on what to do they can phone 111 for the best advice.
A main difference between the throat symptoms in hay fever and coronavirus is that hay fever tends to be an itchy sore throat and comes along with other symptoms including itchy eyes and sneezing.
A coronavirus throat, although not the main symptom and not everyone suffering from the virus will get one, is more of a sore throat.
A hay fever itchy throat may be more prominent when the pollen count is high.
You can check the accurate pollen count here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast#?date=2020-04-22
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