PLEASANTON (KPIX) – There will be a lot of outdoor dining especially in this nice weather. It’s a good way to help curb the pandemic but if you have allergies, good luck. Spring has sprung.

“It’s been really bad,“ said one East Bay resident. “My eyes get very itchy and very swollen.“

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Along with the pretty flowers, there is a pretty good chance many will be suffering from seasonal allergies.

“They are say ‘oh I don’t know what’s wrong with me’ and I’m like, ‘it’s allergy season! The pollen is out,’” said one Pleasanton mom. “I’ve been experiencing a lot more headaches and congestion. Normally it’s sneezing, itchy eyes.”

Some of the symptoms of allergies are similar to those of COVID-19. So how can you tell them apart?

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“Allergies cause itchy, watery eyes and puffy eyes and itchy throat, whereas fever and cough and shortness of breath with COVID-19,” said Dr. Ronald Labuguen with UCSF.

Doctors say if you suffer from seasonal allergies, it doesn’t make you more of less of a candidate for COVID.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that people who suffered from seasonal allergies have any different outcomes from COVID. It’s not really thought to cause more severe disease than people who have seasonal allergies,” according to Labuguen.

Doctors recommend wearing a mask outdoors to protect you from being exposed to allergens, along with keeping windows closed when you are inside.

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On the bright side, doctors say allergies can be a sign your body is trying to fix you and make you healthy. It’s an annoying sign of a healthy immune system.

Juliette Goodrich