What allergies cause sinus problems

Here’s a breakdown of which symptoms belong to which ailments.

The Common Cold — «Cold and allergy can present similarly,» says Silvers, so the defining difference is the length: If your congested nose and breathing difficulty final longer than seven to 10 days, it’s probably not a freezing. Most likely, it’s allergies, and needs to be treated with an antihistamine, not a decongestant.

Seasonal Allergies — If your sinus congestion is accompanied by watery or itchy eyes and it tends to final several weeks, it’s may be allergies, says Silvers.

The problem is, numerous often treat their allergies love a freezing, with over-the-counter decongestants, which will work in the short run but are not advisable. «When someone is taking a daytime decongestant every day and a nighttime one to sleep, for weeks and weeks, this is not good,» she says. Especially when their allergy might be due to an environmental trigger, such as a feather pillow, that could be easily eliminated.

Sinusitis or Chronic Sinusitis — With sinusitis, the nasal passageways become inflamed and the liter or more of mucus created every day by your body gets backed up in the sinuses.

What allergies cause sinus problems

«This is when you get patients complaining of headache, pressure or pain in their face and chronic fatigue,» Silvers says.

A headful of mucus is an exhausted head, one that’s hard to lift off the pillow and patients can be irritable and fatigued on most days,» says Silvers. If you suffer from facial tenderness, pressure or pain, headache behind the eyes and forehead, or loss of taste or smell and fatigue, you may own sinusitis.

If you experience this three or more times a year, you may own chronic sinusitis, love Burley, and should consult with your physician or an ear, nose and throat specialist.

What most people don’t know, Silvers says, is that you can own sinusitis without having a runny or stuffy nose or difficulty breathing, because the mucus is congested further back in the sinuses.

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms and they do not resolve within a week or so (and hence are unlikely to be a freezing or flu), you should consider seeing your physician, who may refer you to an allergist or an ear, nose and throat specialist.


The Best Research Resources

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

This academy’s website provides valuable information to assist readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis.

A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a «virtual allergist» that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)

In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology. The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis.

It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat.

What allergies cause sinus problems

It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

The U.S. National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library. As part of the National Institutes of Health, their website provides the basics on sinus infection. It also contains a number of links to join you with more information on treatments, diagnostic procedures, and related issues.


Sinus Infection

Sinusitis, or known more simply as a sinus infection, is an inflammation and swelling of the tissues that line the sinuses.

This inflammation interferes with normal mucus drainage, leading to breathing difficulties, pain and pressure.

A sinus infection is generally caused by a freezing or allergies but may be the result of a number of things such as nasal polyps, a deviated septum, trauma to the face, hay fever, complications from immune system disorders or tumors.

The most common symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  1. Facial pressure and swelling
  2. Nasal congestion and discharge
  3. Fever
  4. Postnasal drip
  5. Sore throat
  6. Loss of smell and taste
  7. Headache
  8. Fatigue
  9. Bad breath


Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist

American Rhinologic Society

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders.

Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites. It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Cleveland Clinic

Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.

ENThealth

ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip.

As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.

May 23, 2011— — The pollen count is through the roof and once again, you own a stuffy nose, sinus pain, fatigue and reduced sense of smell and taste. Oh grand, another bad allergy season, you ponder.

And you’d be incorrect. These are the hallmarks of a sinus infection, not allergies, though most allergy patients can’t tell the difference, according to a recent survey by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

In an online survey of more than 600 asthma and allergy patients, researchers found that about half self-diagnosed their symptoms as allergies when really they had a sinus infection, or sinusitis.

What allergies cause sinus problems

Despite the fact that 70 percent of those surveyed most believe a primary care physician to correctly diagnose allergies or sinusitis, only 36 percent reported consulting a physician when they had symptoms of these conditions.

«This study highlights how often people diagnose themselves. We’re human. It’s a natural response to go online and come up with our own diagnosis, but 10 to 15 times a day I get patients coming in convinced they own X, when really they own Y,» says Dr. Stacey Silvers, an ear, nose, and throat doctor at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.

For years, New Yorker Dawn Burley, 27, figured her headaches, facial pain and fatigue were just the signs of seasonal allergies and migraines.

But allergy medication didn’t lessen her symptoms, and she hated treating the pain of her migraines without knowing their cause. She had such severe pressure and pain around her eyes that she would become sensitive to light and had difficulty sleeping.

«It was really ruining my life. I’d own so numerous days where I could barely function,» she says. It wasn’t until she saw Silvers that anyone put her symptoms together and realized she had sinus problems. Though she had been diagnosed with acute sinus infections in the past, no doctor had recognized that Burley had chronic sinusitis because of the way her sinuses were formed.

After undergoing a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure in which a balloon is inflated to open her sinus passageways — a more extensive treatment than most require — Burley says she could breathe easier, sleep sounder and had more stamina. «I didn’t even realize that these things could get better,» Burley says.

This is not unusual of those with untreated sinus or allergy problems, Silvers says. «I’ve had patients tell me they didn’t know it wasn’t normal that their nose was always clogged at night.

They didn’t realize that most people can breathe out of both sides of their nose. People get used to these things, and they don’t ponder it’s abnormal or treatable,» she says.

Sinus Infection vs. Allergies — How Do You Know?

Thirty-five million Americans suffer from nasal allergies and 7 million suffer from chronic sinus infections, yet most people can’t tell the difference between these two conditions.

«There is abundant confusion between freezing, sinus and allergy symptoms,» says Dr. Clifford Bassett, medical director of the Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.

This means that often these conditions get mistreated or go untreated, which can lead to «chronic nasal congestion and associated symptoms» that can affect quality of life as well as daytime performance, he says.


Seasonal Allergies

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies, is a condition in which your nasal passages become swollen and inflamed. Symptoms are caused by your immune system’s response to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds; dust mites; mold and fungi spores and smoke or pollution.

The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

  1. Itchiness (nose, throat and eyes)
  2. Sneezing
  3. Sinus pain and pressure
  4. Watery eyes
  5. Runny/stuffy nose
  6. Sinus Infection


So what is the difference between allergies and a sinus infection?

In order for your Murrieta doctor to determine what you are suffering from, they will review your symptoms and act out a physical exam.

There are two telling questions your doctor can use to differentiate between the conditions:

Do you own a headache, pressure or pain in the face and chronic fatigue?

Do you own watery or itchy eyes?

Pain and pressure in the face is the telltale sign of a sinus infection, while itchy, water eyes are most often a symptom of allergies.

You may be asking yourself why it’s so significant for your Murrieta doctor to make the distinction between the two since numerous of their symptoms overlap.

The reason is because the diagnosis affects the treatment plan.

Allergies are treated with antihistamines, decongestants and nasal or oral corticosteroids. For those looking for a longer-term treatment solution, they should talk to their Murrieta allergist about immunotherapy.

Sinus infection treatments depend on the severity of your symptoms. Saline nasal sprays and corticosteroids can be used to rinse out your nasal passage, relieving the inflammation.

Decongestants are useful for short-term relief; excessive use of these drugs can actually worsen the symptoms. Antibiotics will be prescribed if you are suffering from a bacterial infection.

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Now is the time to do something about it. Contact your local Murrieta doctor to schedule an appointment today.

What causes allergic rhinitis?

The most common triggers for people with allergic rhinitis are pollen, dust mite, pet and mould allergens.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is generally triggered by wind-borne pollen from trees, grass and weeds. Early spring symptoms point to tree pollen, while nasal allergy in tardy spring and summer indicates that grass and weed pollens are the culprits.

And overlapping the grass season is the weed pollen season, which generally starts in tardy spring and extends through to the finish of summer.

In New Zealand the seasons are not extremely distinct and they vary throughout the country because of the diverse climates. The season starts about one month earlier at the top of the North Island than the bottom of the South Island. Thus the hay fever season is not extremely well defined.

Allergic rhinitis that persists year-round (perennial allergic rhinitis) is generally caused by home dust mites, pets, or mould.

People with allergic rhinitis are often allergic to more than one allergen, such as dust mite and pollen, so may suffer from symptoms for months on finish or every year round.

Irritants such as strong perfumes and tobacco smoke can aggravate this condition.

Foods do not frolic as large a role as had been thought in the past.

So what is the difference between allergies and a sinus infection?

In order for your Murrieta doctor to determine what you are suffering from, they will review your symptoms and act out a physical exam.

What allergies cause sinus problems

There are two telling questions your doctor can use to differentiate between the conditions:

Do you own a headache, pressure or pain in the face and chronic fatigue?

Do you own watery or itchy eyes?

Pain and pressure in the face is the telltale sign of a sinus infection, while itchy, water eyes are most often a symptom of allergies.

You may be asking yourself why it’s so significant for your Murrieta doctor to make the distinction between the two since numerous of their symptoms overlap. The reason is because the diagnosis affects the treatment plan.

Allergies are treated with antihistamines, decongestants and nasal or oral corticosteroids.

For those looking for a longer-term treatment solution, they should talk to their Murrieta allergist about immunotherapy.

Sinus infection treatments depend on the severity of your symptoms. Saline nasal sprays and corticosteroids can be used to rinse out your nasal passage, relieving the inflammation. Decongestants are useful for short-term relief; excessive use of these drugs can actually worsen the symptoms. Antibiotics will be prescribed if you are suffering from a bacterial infection.

Experiencing any of these symptoms?

Now is the time to do something about it. Contact your local Murrieta doctor to schedule an appointment today.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Hay fever is the common name to describe allergic rhinitis and involves a recurrent runny, stuffy, itchy nose, and frequent sneezing. It can also affect your eyes, sinuses, throat and ears.

Love any other allergy, allergic rhinitis is an inappropriate immune system response to an allergen – most commonly home dust mite, pet, pollen and mould. The allergen comes into contact with the sensitive, moist lining in your nose and sinuses and sets off the allergic response.

Hay fever is often considered a nuisance rather than a major disease and most people will self-treat.

However, recent studies own revealed that hay fever has a huge impact on quality of life.

How do you diagnose allergic rhinitis?

Your doctor will confirm the specific allergens causing your rhinitis by taking a finish symptom history, doing a physical examination, and performing skin prick tests.

What is the impact?

About 20 per cent of the general population suffers from rhinitis. Of these people, about one third develops problems before the age of 10.

The overall burden of allergic rhinitis is better understood when you consider that 50 per cent of patients experience symptoms for more than four months per year and that 20 per cent own symptoms for at least nine months per year.

Those affected by hay fever suffer more frequent and prolonged sinus infection, and for those who also own red, itchy eyes, there is the risk of developing infective conjunctivitis due to frequent rubbing.

Persistent symptoms and poor quality sleep can result in lethargy, poor concentration and behavioural changes and impact on learning in young children.
Allergic rhinitis may predispose people to obstructive sleep apnoea, due to the upper airways collapsing during sleep.

This results in reduced airflow, a drop in oxygen levels and disturbed sleep.

Patients with allergic rhinitis also suffer from more frequent and prolonged respiratory infections, and asthma has been shown to be more hard to control unless allergic rhinitis is also managed.

What is the link between allergic rhinitis and asthma?

Allergic rhinitis has been found to be an extremely common trigger for asthma in both children and adults. Allergic rhinitis can also exacerbate asthma, and it can make the diagnosis of asthma more difficult.

Around 80 per cent of people with asthma suffer from allergic rhinitis, and around one in four with allergic rhinitis has asthma.

There is now extremely excellent evidence to support the thought that asthmatics who glance after their upper airways well need less asthma medication and fewer hospital or GP visits.

When treating both asthma and allergic rhinitis, the first step is to discover out the cause of your problem.

Once the causes own been identified, management regimes can be put into put to minimise the impact of the allergy, and this then reduces the need for medication.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be any combination of itching in the back of the throat, eyes or nose, sneezing, runny eyes or nose, and blocked nose.

A person may own any or every of the following:

  1. rabbit-like movements of the nose
  2. stuffy nose every the time or during specific seasons
  3. headaches because of pressure from inside the nose
  4. reddened, pebbly lining in the lower eyelids
  5. breathing through the mouth
  6. watery discharge from the nose every the time, occasionally or during certain seasons of the year
  7. frequent throat-clearing
  8. repeated nosebleeds
  9. chronic freezing without much fever
  10. dizziness or nausea related to ear problems
  11. frequent earaches, fullness in the ear, ear infections or hearing loss
  12. snoring
  13. bouts of sneezing, especially in the morning
  14. a horizontal crease across the nose as a result of constant rubbing
  15. nasal voice because of blocked nasal passages
  16. dark circles under the eyes as a result of pressure from blocked nasal passages on the little blood vessels.

    Also known as "allergic shiners".

When does allergic rhinitis develop?

Allergic rhinitis typically develops in childhood. It is part of what we call the Allergic March, where children first develop eczema in infancy, sometimes followed by food allergy, and then go on to develop allergic rhinitis and then asthma.

The onset of dust mite allergy occurs often by the age of two, with grass pollen allergy beginning around three to four years of age. Tree pollen allergy develops from about seven years of age.

It is not unusual to develop hay fever during adulthood.

What allergies cause sinus problems

It can take as few as two to three seasons to become sensitised to pollen, but it depends on the individual.

How is allergic rhinitis treated?

It is useful to identify your triggers and attempt and avoid them. This can be difficult.

Pets: Make certain you hold it exterior and never let it in the bedroom. It is never simple trying to decide on a new home for a pet, but in some cases this might be the best option.

Even after you own removed your pet from your home, the allergens remain in furnishings for endless periods afterwards and can cause symptoms. You will need to thoroughly clean your walls, floors and carpets to remove the allergen.

Dust mites: Home dust mite reduction measures include mite-proof covers for the mattress, duvet and pillows. Removing items that collect dust from the bedroom will assist. A excellent quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter for the exhaust air is essential to ensure that allergen is not disseminated in the atmosphere.

Bedding should be washed frequently in water hotter than 55ºC. If you own soft toys, freeze them overnight and air in the sun.

Pollen: It is hard to avoid pollen, however you can avoid going exterior when pollen counts are high. The quantity of pollen in the air is highest:
• In the morning
• Outside
• On windy days
• After a thunderstorm

See our pollen calendar for more information.

Medication

Non-sedating antihistamine tablets or liquid are useful in alleviating some of the symptoms of rhinitis.

They are helpful in controlling sneezing, itching and a runny nose, but are ineffective in relieving nasal blockage. They can be used alone or in combination with other medications, such as nasal sprays.

Corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) nasal sprays reduce the inflammation in the lining of the nose. They work best when used in a preventative manner, just love preventers for asthma. For example, they may be used for weeks or months at a time during an allergy season. Enquire your doctor about the appropriate medication for your condition.

Decongestant nasal sprays can be used to unblock the nose, but should not be used for more than a few days at a time.

Prolonged use may result in worsening of the nasal congestion.

Eye drops: The eye problems that sometimes happen with allergic rhinitis may not always reply to the above medications.

What allergies cause sinus problems

Eye drops containing decongestants alone or in combination with antihistamine are available for mild to moderate eye problems. Eye irritation is one side effect. Prolonged use of decongestant eye drops can also cause rebound worsening when stopped. Some brands of eye drops can be used preventatively and are safe to use for prolonged periods — enquire your doctor for more specific information.

Saline washes may assist to clear your nose and soothe the lining of your nose.

These are available from most pharmacies.

Desensitisation, or immunotherapy, is used to 'turn off' the abnormal response of the immune system to an allergen if medication does not work. It is mainly used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergic asthma to pollen, mould, home dust mite and pet allergen, as well as to control severe reactions to insect stings.

To start, a extremely dilute dose of the substance you are allergic to is istered by injection once or twice a week. This dose is gradually built up over three to four months on average, until a maintenance dose is achieved.

Shots are then given monthly for at least three years.

This method of treatment is the only one that deals with the underlying cause of allergic rhinitis. Not everyone benefits from treatment, however the vast majority of patients show at least some degree of improvement. Enquire your allergy specialist about whether you are a excellent candidate for immunotherapy.

Sublingual immunotherapy is another method, where drops of the allergen solution are taken under the tongue.

It is not widely used exterior of Europe.

This information is available as a fact sheet.


December 2008

This fact sheet is based on information available at the time of going to print but may be subject to change.

What allergies cause sinus problems

It is significant to remember that we are every diverse and individual cases require individual medical attention. Please be guided by your GP or specialist.

Acknowledgments: We would love to Associate Professor Rohan Ameratunga, Clinical Immunologist, Auckland Hospital, for assistance in writing this information. This fact sheet is also based on information provided by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and the National Asthma Council Australia.

How to Stay Healthy, Breathe Easier, and Feel Energetic This Winter

Indoor allergies, freezing weather, less sunlight — winter can make it hard to stay well mentally and physically.

Discover out how to protect yourself against seasonal allergies, the winter blahs, freezing winds, comfort-eating traps, and fatigue this year.

Learn More About the Ultimate Winter Wellness Guide

Sinusitis can be a confusing thing to treat for anyone. Because a sinus infection can be so easily confused with a common freezing or an allergy, figuring out the best way to alleviate your symptoms can be difficult.

Even more challenging, a sinus infection can evolve over time from a viral infection to a bacterial infection, or even from a short-term acute infection to a long-term chronic illness.

We own provided for you the best sources of information on sinus infections to assist you rapidly define your ailment and get the best and most efficient treatment possible.


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