Understanding Respiratory Symptoms

You know the feeling. You start to sniffle, feel a scratchy throat, experience sinus pressure or even have a slight fever. Under normal circumstances you might have ignored these symptoms, but with COVID-19, the alarm bell rings. Might I have “the virus?”

Berkeley Wellness has put together a helpful table to compare seasonal allergies vs. a sinus infection vs. cold/flu symptoms vs. COVID-19, and how to better understand what you might have and how to treat. In no way is this meant to be a self-medicating recipe, but hopefully it can provide some context and guidance as you assess your symptoms and potentially seek medical advice. Not surprisingly, the best route is prevention through preparation:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Take medication (ie, allergy medicine) early, preferably when you know the season is about to begin
  • Get a seasonal flu shot
  • Eliminate risky behavior like smoking
  • The more serious your symptoms, the more urgent it is you seek immediate medical attention

On the COVID-19 front, if you’re not sure whether you have it, the best path is to get a test at a local medical facility. If you have it, but address it early on, it has proven to be treatable. If you wait until serious breathing issues occur, the risks escalate dramatically.