VANCOUVER -- Sometimes it seems like every season is allergy season. And with the coronavirus still a concern, you might wonder if it’s something more than just an allergy. There are some simple ways to tell the difference, and to overcome those annoying allergy symptoms.

With COVID-19 still around, any sign of illness, like a lingering cough, is nothing to sneeze at. There is some overlap in COVID-19 and allergy symptoms, but one big difference is a fever and a loss of taste or smell. Those can be signs of COVID, so if that happens to you, self-isolate and get tested right away.

But if your eyes, nose, and throat are itchy and you’re sneezing, it’s more likely to be allergies, and the source could be in your own home. 

No one wants to hear they’re allergic to a family member, but as much as you love your pet, they shouldn’t sleep on your bed or even in your bedroom. Pets not only shed dander, but Sara Morrow with Consumer Reports says they can also carry pollen on their fur. 

“To destroy things like pet dander, dust mites and pollen, wash your bedding in hot water that’s at least 120 degrees,” she recommends. That’s just under 50 degrees Celsius. 

Your pets aren’t the only ones carrying outside irritants into the house. You are too. Move your shower to bedtime to wash off pollen that’s collected on your hair and skin so you don’t go to sleep with allergens. 

Lots of irritants collect on your floors too, so vacuum them at least once a week to keep particles under control. And be careful of vacuums that introduce particles back into the air. 

“Allergy sufferers should avoid a vacuum that collects debris in a bin, since particles can float back into the air when you empty it,” Morrow says. “A better choice would be a bagged model with a HEPA filter.”

A portable air purifier that can handle a large room can clean dust, smoke and pollen from the air. 

Your allergies might make you feel like you should stay inside, but mowing your lawn can make you feel better because short grass is less likely to release pollen than long grass. Wearing a mask and sunglasses will help protect you from irritants, and sunglasses will keep them out of your eyes. 

With files from Consumer Reports