HSE advises on differences between hay fever and coronavirus
Hay fever is making an early appearance this year.
As Ireland remains mired in the grips of the worst pandemic in living memory, it's easy to forget the hay fever season is also afoot.
The last few days have seen Met Éireann warn of high pollen counts in all four provinces for several days, meaning that plenty of people will be feeling the effects.
While hay fever is typically far less serious than Covid-19, there could still be confusion for some people around the symptoms of either illness, especially where there is overlap.
The HSE is seeking to clarify the differences between the two conditions, noting factors that separate hay fever from coronavirus: "Hay fever symptoms get worse when you are exposed to certain triggers. For example pollen, weeds or grass. Hay fever does not cause a high temperature and most people with hay fever do not feel unwell."
The most common symptoms of coronavirus, on the other hand, are a fever, a cough and shortness of breath.
"While coronavirus can cause symptoms in your upper airways such as loss of smell or a blocked nose, it is usually associated with a high temperature, aches and pains and a cough," the HSE said.
Hay fever can also result in a cough, but this is usually accompanied by symptoms like sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, itching or watery eyes, and an itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears.
The HSE advises: "Over the counter medicines from your pharmacy can help to treat the symptoms of hay fever. If you take steroid nasal sprays you should continue to do so."
More information can be found here.