Allergies au pollen ou infections respiratoires ? Comment faire la différence ?

As the seasons change, many people begin to experience symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, stuffy noses and fatigue. These symptoms can be caused by both pollen allergies and respiratory infections. However, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. This article will provide an overview of the symptoms of pollen allergies and respiratory infections, as well as tips on how to tell them apart.

Symptoms of Pollen Allergies

Pollen allergies, also known as seasonal allergies or hay fever, are caused by an immune reaction to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. Symptoms of pollen allergies are usually the following:

  • Sneezing: This is one of the most common symptoms of pollen allergies. Sneezing is a reflex reaction that expels irritants from the nose.
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose: Pollen can cause inflammation of the nasal passages leading to a stuffy or runny nose.
  • Itchy eyes, nose or throat: Pollen can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.
  • Watery eyes: Eyes may become red, watery and puffy due to irritation from pollen.
  • Fatigue : Les allergies au pollen peuvent provoquer de la fatigue en raison de la réponse immunitaire de l’organisme et de l’effort nécessaire pour combattre les allergènes.

Symptômes des infections respiratoires

Les infections respiratoires sont causées par différents agents pathogènes et peuvent affecter le nez, la gorge, les sinus et les bronches. Les symptômes des infections respiratoires sont généralement les suivants :

  • Toux : La toux est un symptôme courant des infections respiratoires.
  • Maux de gorge : La gorge peut devenir douloureuse et irritée en raison de l’inflammation causée par l’infection.
  • Stuffy or runny nose: Respiratory tract infections such as colds and flu are often associated with a stuffy or runny nose because these infections attack the lining of the airways and can lead to inflammation.
  • Fever: Fever is a sign that the body is fighting an infection. Fever is a typical symptom of an influenza infection (winter flu / summer flu).
  • Muscle pain and headaches: Respiratory tract infections trigger inflammatory reactions which in turn can cause muscle pain or headaches.
  • Fatigue: While fighting infection, the body releases different substances into the body, which in turn can cause fatigue. In case of influenza infection, the body increases its temperature as a defense mechanism. This can increase fatigue.

How to tell the difference between pollen allergies and respiratory infections?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a pollen allergy and a respiratory infection, as many symptoms overlap. Besides the duration of symptoms, which can be much longer in case of pollen allergy than in case of infection, the following list gives a good indication. Please note, however, that each person may react differently to pollen or infections and therefore symptoms may vary from person to person. A consultation with a trusted pharmacy or drugstore or with your doctor during your next visit could, if necessary, provide even more clarity.


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