Mighty Blog

COVID-19, winter allergies and asthma: How can I tell the difference?

Winter can be a time for fun, family outdoor activities like ice skating, sledding and playing in the snow. But for many people and kids, winter can bring on allergies and asthma. You may be wondering: How can I tell the difference between winter allergies, asthma and COVID-19 symptoms?

What are common triggers for winter allergies?

Because of the cold temperatures, people tend to spend more time inside. With that, we are surrounded by more indoor allergens that can trigger our allergies. Here are common winter triggers:

  • Mold.
  • Dust and dust mites.
  • Pet fur and dander.

How are winter allergies connected to asthma?

Allergies are extremely annoying, and they can also cause other health issues like asthma. Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe.

Young child outside blowing his nose in the winter.

When someone’s allergies act up, it can cause an asthma flare-up. Parents should always be prepared for asthma flare-ups by having quick-relief medications on hand.

For either allergy symptoms or asthma, call into your provider to discuss what your child is experiencing–there is much that can be done over the phone for medications and refills.

What’s the difference between COVID-19, allergies and asthma?

COVID-19 can look like a lot of different illnesses including the common cold, influenza, and even allergy and asthma symptoms. Because of that, it can be difficult to tell the difference. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) offers examples of each:

COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms of both

Allergy/asthma symptoms

  • Fever and chills.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Muscle and body aches.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Cough, congestion or runny nose.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (more common with asthma).
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache and sore throat.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Sneezing.

*Always check back on the CDC’s website for updated information.

Please note: This is not a complete list of symptoms as symptoms can very from person to person.

Children’s Minnesota Primary Care and asthma program

Primary Care

Our pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners care for babies, toddlers, children, teens and young adults. And it’s our mission for every child in our care to grow up happy, healthy and fit. If you think your child has allergies, see your primary care provider for help.

Asthma program

If you child has allergies and asthma, your primary care provider will refer you to our asthma program. It’s our goal to help you and your child understand as much as possible about asthma. Once you understand your child’s asthma, it will be easier to control.

Alexandra Rothstein