Sinusitis versus Allergies: How to Tell the Difference

If you’re dealing with “head cold” symptoms that just aren’t going away, or persistent “allergies” that aren’t responding to antihistamines, you might be treating the wrong problem. Sinusitis can cause similar symptoms, but it requires more than Benadryl and bedrest. If you’re struggling to determine whether your stuffy, runny nose is caused by allergies or something more serious, it might be time to visit an expert. 

SLENT has several locations, in Slidell, Hammond, and Mandeville, Louisiana. Each one is staffed with otolaryngology specialists who can tell the difference between a recurrent sinus infection and the seasonal sniffles. If you do have sinusitis, it’s important to treat it properly and promptly.

Sinusitis symptoms 

31 million people experience sinusitis each year, but many of them don’t realize their severe symptoms aren’t caused by allergies until later. Sinusitis is kickstarted when your sinuses become inflamed and infected. They begin overproducing mucus as a result, leading to congestion, discharge, a headache, and pressure and pain in your face. 

Acute sinusitis can be caused by viral infections or bacterial infections. Acute cases can last anywhere from a week to a month. After a few weeks, your sinusitis is considered subacute, and it can begin seriously affecting your life and mood. 

Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when the inflammation and infection persists for over three months. This can be caused by blockages in the nasal passages. If you have chronic sinusitis, you may need to create a preventive plan.

While sinusitis and allergies are different things, the beginning of a sinus infection can be connected to irritation caused by severe allergies. Although sinusitis may be linked to seasonal allergies in this way, they aren’t the same thing, and not all cases of sinusitis are caused by allergy irritation. Treating allergy symptoms won’t make sinusitis go away, but it can cut down on allergy-related sinus infections.

Sinusitis versus allergies

While allergies might go away once the season is over, or respond positively to antihistamines, sinusitis is more resistant to treatment, mainly because antihistamines don’t treat the real problem. There are also a few key differences between sinusitis symptoms and allergies: 

Sinusitis and seasonal allergies can happen at the same time, which makes it difficult to tell them apart. If you’re suffering from both sinusitis and allergies, your SLENT professional can separate your symptoms and identify the infection. You’ll need treatment for both conditions.

Sinusitis can usually be identified by a medical professional after a consultation and examination. To get in touch with the experts at SLENT, call the office closest to you or contact us online.

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