Is it hay fever or is it corona?

In Speech Hour, a specialist answers general questions from readers about the coronavirus every week. This time: Daphne Philips, nurse specialist at the ABC Deventer Hospital.

My son is allergic and snorts and sneezes. Hay fever. At school he is addressed about it. So am I as a parent, by the way. Many ask me if he has corona. Can my child go to school safely and what can we say?

Philips: It‘s estimated that around 20-30% of the population suffers from hay fever. They often don’t go to their family doctor, while good treatment improves their quality of life. If you sneeze, snivel or cough, you are indeed looked at with fear. These complaints fit (partly) of course with the complaints that are now called corona.

The big difference, however, is that hay fever involves itching. Itching on/in the nose, but especially itching on the eyes, accompanied by tearing red eyes. Itching and eye complaints are symptoms we do not see in corona. If you treat hay fever well, many complaints disappear. The medicines prescribed for this have relatively few side effects if used properly.

Our advice is to treat hay fever well, so that children can go to school without skewed faces. Most parents know that their child has hay fever and the complaints that go with it.

Keep talking to the school as well. Indicate that your child has hay fever and that he or she is receiving medication for it. Medication suppresses most complaints, but if it is ‘code red’ on the pollen calendar, it may of course be that they sneeze once or that there are more snot bubbles in a nose.

In addition to medication, hay fever complaints can be reduced by simple solutions. Wear sunglasses when you go to school. That helps with eye problems.

If you are following distance education in your room, make sure that you only open your window in the morning. The amount of pollen increases in the course of the day. And take a shower before going to bed. This way you wash the pollen out of your hair