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Pollen allergy

1) I have pollen allergy. Am I at increased risk of catching Covid-19?

Post by on Saturday, June 19, 2021

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1) I have pollen allergy. Am I at increased risk of catching Covid-19?

The answer is NO. If you have allergic symptoms you are not at greater risk of catching SARS CoV-2 infection. People with allergic conditions do not have a reduced immunological defense and their defense against bacteria and viruses is considered normal.

2) Should I modify or stop my current medication?

Children and adults on maintenance medications for allergies such as inhaled corticosteroids and/or bronchodilators (inhalers), antihistamines (allergy tablets) should continue their treatment as prescribed by their doctor. Discontinuation of regular treatment is not advisable and patients should use the same medications they have used so far.

3) What about intra-nasal corticosteroid sprays?

Intra-nasal corticosteroid sprays should be continued in allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergy/hay fever) during the pollen season or as long as your allergy lasts in the current season at recommended dose. Some patients fear that local intra-nasal corticosteroid sprays may make them more susceptible to Covid-19. They do not. Moreover, unnecessary SARS-CoV-2 testing and doctors' visits will be avoided if you take your medication regularly and in prescribed doses. If you are symptom free from your allergies you will be less likely to mistake your allergic symptoms with those of Covid-19.

4) What about asthmatic patients using inhaled corticosteroids?

Your anti-asthmatic inhalation medication dose is individually adjusted and prescribed by your doctor for you. Do not change or self alter your dose. This could lead to unnecessary doctors' visits or even hospitalisation - including possible contact with Covid-19 patients. Speak with your doctor if you have any doubts.

Dr Maajed Jehangeer MBBS MS (Gen Surg) FACS

Consultant Surgeon, J&K Health Services

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