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Consumer Reports: Allergy season in the time of COVID-19

There is some overlap in the symptoms, but if your eyes, nose and throat itch, it's probably that all-too-common seasonal scourge

Sometimes it seems like every season is allergy season. And with coronavirus still a concern, you might wonder if it’s something more than just an allergy. Consumer Reports has some simple ways to tell the difference, and offers some advice on overcoming annoying allergy

With COVID-19 still around, any sign of illness, such as a lingering cough, is nothing to sneeze at! There is some overlap in COVID-19 and allergy symptoms. One big difference is a fever and loss of taste or smell. Those can be signs of COVID-19, so quarantine and get tested right away.

But if your eyes, nose, and throat are itchy and you’re sneezing, it’s more likely allergies.

No one wants to hear they’re allergic to a family member, but as much as you may love your pet, he or she shouldn’t sleep on your bed, or even in your bedroom. Sorry! Pets not only shed dander, but they can carry pollen on their fur.

“To destroy things like pet dander, dust mites and pollen, wash your bedding in hot water that’s at least 120-degrees,” said Sara Morrow, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

Your pets aren’t the only ones carrying outside irritants into the house. Move your shower to bedtime to wash off pollen that’s collected on your hair and skin so you don’t go to sleep with allergens.

Lots of irritants collect on your floors, so vacuum them at least once a week to keep particles under control. Be careful of vacuums that can introduce dust back into the air.

Morrow said, “Allergy sufferers should avoid a vacuum that collects debris in a bin, since particles can float back into the air when you empty it. A better choice would be a bagged model with a HEPA filter.”

A portable air purifier that can handle a large room can clean dust, smoke, and pollen from the air.

Your allergies might make you feel like staying inside, but mowing your lawn can help you feel better because short grass is less likely to release pollen than long. Wearing a mask and sunglasses will help protect you from irritants and sunglasses will keep irritants out of your eyes.

Opening windows may let in fresh air, but also pollen. Instead, run the air conditioner. It will help to lessen humidity and allergens like mold and fungus that thrive in moist, warm conditions.