Colds And Allergies Are The Main Risk Factors For Developing Sinusitis
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses, commonly caused by bacterial infection following a viral infection such as the common cold. Other risk factors for developing sinusitis include untreated allergies, crooked nasal anatomy, smoking, nasal polyps and overuse of decongestant nasal sprays.
Sinus Infection Vs Allergies: What’s The Difference
Both sinus infections and allergies cause symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose and fatigue.
Sinus infection is inflammation of the sinuses, caused by infection from bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi . A sinus infection that lasts three to eight weeks is considered acute. Sinus infections lasting longer than eight weeks are considered chronic. A sinus infection is often contagious and may be mistaken for the common cold. When sinus infections are caused by bacteria, an antibiotic treatment may be prescribed.
Signs and symptoms of sinus infection include runny or stuffy nose, greenish nasal discharge, cough, postnasal drip, tenderness of the face under the eyes or at the bridge of the nose, sinus headache, fever, tooth pain, fatigue, and bad breath. Home remedies for sinus infections are aimed at reliving symptoms and include staying hydrated, using a steam vaporizer, taking over-the-counter sinus or pain medications, and nasal irrigation with devices such as a Neti pot.
Allergicrhinitis occurs when certain allergies cause nasal symptoms. When a person with allergies breathes in an allergen, such as pollen, dust, or animal dander, symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, itching, sneezing, and fatigue occur. Allergic rhinitis that is a result of allergic reactions to plant pollens is commonly called hay fever or seasonal allergies. Limiting exposure to allergy triggers can help reduce allergy symptoms.
Breathe Easy Spring Summer Winter And Fall With Balloon Sinuplasty At Sinus Solutions Of South Florida
The side effects of medicines can be frustrating, and many patients with chronic sinusitis and allergies dont find relief with allergy medications. However, staying cooped up indoors isnt a sustainable allergy and sinus treatment. Balloon sinuplasty offers a chance for long-lasting relief to these patients.
Dr. Bequer, a leading ENT doctor with locations in both West Palm Beach and Tampa, is one of Floridas premier balloon sinuplasty physicians. Call Sinus Solutions of South Florida at to request a consultation today and give your seasonal allergies the boot.
Related Sinus Conditions & Problems
Also Check: Do Lymph Nodes Swell With Allergies
How Your Allergies Can Cause A Sinus Infection
If youve ever had a sinus infection, you know the pain and discomfort it can cause. Medically termed sinusitis, a sinus infection occurs when the cavities around your nose become swollen and inflamed.
Sinusitis is most often caused by a virus and often lasts long after the other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. Rarely, fungus or bacteria may cause a sinus infection. Allergies, nasal polyps, a tooth infection, and a deviated septum are other ways in which sinusitis may be triggered.
Sinusitis is acute if it lasts for a short period of time. The acute infection is usually part of a cold or allergies. If your sinus infection lasts for more than eight weeks, or continues to reoccur, you have a chronic infection. Many symptoms of a sinus infection are common to both the acute and the chronic forms. The best way to know for sure if you have an infection, to find the cause, and to get treatment, is to see your doctor.
An infection of the sinus cavity close to the brain can be life threatening, if not treated. In rare cases, it can spread to the brain.
Normal sinuses are lined with a thin layer of mucus that traps dust, germs and other particles in the air. Tiny hair-like projections in the sinuses sweep the mucus towards openings that lead to the back of the throat. From there, it slides down to the stomach. This continual process is a normal body function.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is an infection and/or inflammation of the sinuses that persists longer than three weeks. It can be caused by allergies or may be caused by an infection. This inflammation of the sinuses can occur suddenly or follow after a respiratory infection like a common cold.
If your sinus infection is chronic, our physicians can help identify a cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatments for chronic sinusitis may include:
- Nasal steroid sprays
Don’t Miss: Can You Drink On Allergy Meds
Can A Cat Allergy Cause A Sinus Infection
Can a cat allergy cause a sinus infection
- Will allergies to cats cause sinus infection?
- Yes. Unchecked allergy symptoms can turn into infections. See your doctor.
Can Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis Be Prevented
Currently, there are no vaccines designed specifically against infectious sinusitis or sinus infections. However, there are vaccines against viruses and bacteria that may cause some infectious sinusitis. Vaccination against pathogens known to cause infectious sinusitis may indirectly reduce or prevent the chance of getting the disease however, no specific studies support this assumption. Fungal vaccines against sinusitis are not available, currently.
If you are prone to recurrent bouts of a “yearly sinus infection” it may be important to consider allergy testing to see if this is the underlying cause of the recurring problem. Treatment of the allergy may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections. In addition, sinus infections may be due to other problems such as nasal polyps, tumors, or diseases that obstruct normal mucus flow. Treatment of these underlying causes may prevent recurrent sinus infections.
Read Also: Does Twix Contain Peanuts
What Causes Mucus In Eye And How To Get Rid Of It
Eye discharge is a combination of oil, mucus, skin cells, and other debris accumulating at the corners of your eyes during sleep. Sometimes it can be wet and sticky, and at other times it may be dry and crusty.
Although eye discharge may gross you out and be annoying to clean every morning, it actually has a protective function, removing waste products and potentially harmful debris from the tear ducts.
Eye discharge is formed while youre asleep because, during the day, frequent blinking bathes the eyes, preventing the mucus from accumulating. When we sleep, we do not blink, so the mucus piles up.
A small amount of eye discharge upon awakening is normal, but excessive mucus or a weird coloryellow or greencould indicate a serious eye problem.
Diagnosing A Sinus Infection
When you visit one of our allergist offices, our staff will take a patient history, and our providers examine your throat, nose, and sinuses. In addition to looking for polyps or changes in the anatomy of the nose, we will likely conduct skin testing to determine if allergies are causing nasal swelling. A computed tomography scan or CT scan of your sinuses can also tell us where your inflammation is occurring and if any structural problems exist.
Read Also: Can You Eat Twix With A Peanut Allergy
Why See An Allergist For A Sinus Infection
If you get sinus infections often, then it is important to identify the cause of the inflammation. Chronic sinusitis that is not treated can cause ear and upper and lower respiratory infections. When these infections start to interfere with your enjoyment of life, then its time to get help. An allergist is trained to identify allergy triggers that may be making your sinus infections occur more often. Our highly trained staff can help you find a solution that helps you take back control and live sinus infection-free.
Schedule an appointment at one of our local offices with a board-certified allergist to start a path to living without sinus infections.
When Things Get Chronic
If you’ve had a sinus infection and suffered from inflammation for three months or more, you may have chronic sinusitis. This can lead to scarring, and can actually trigger pain and problems in your ear and upper jaw.
To avoid developing chronic sinusitis, take care to:
- Avoid people with colds
- Stay on top of your allergy medications
- Avoid polluted air
Read Also: Kaiser Food Allergy Testing
When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Tips For Sinus And Allergy Relief
When allergy symptoms lead to sinus pressure and pain, you can take the steps below to avoid common allergens. If symptoms become severe, contact your doctor for allergy treatment.
Weather services and the local news often have pollen forecasts. When you know allergens in the air will be high, stay inside or limit your exposure to the outdoors during certain seasonal periods of the year. The best time to go outside is after it has rained.
Wash Allergens Away
When you come inside, change clothes and consider taking a shower to remove allergens from your hair and skin. If not immediately, do this before sleeping so that you do not transfer allergens to your bed.
Filter Your Air
Air conditioners, especially when set to recycle internal air, can help limit outdoor allergens. You can also try a portable HEPA filter at home or work to reduce allergens in the air around you. Remember that open windows can let allergens in.
Chill Out & Relax
Try cooling your face to ease sinus pressure and pain by using an ice mask, bag of ice or cold compress on your eyes, nose and forehead. Relieving stress by gently massaging your neck and shoulders can help you relax and prevent sinus symptoms from feeling worse.
Try SUDAFED® for Symptom Relief
Also Check: What Is In Mucinex Allergy
Is Sinusitis Always An Infection
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often persists even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria, or rarely fungus, may cause a sinus infection. Other conditions such as allergies, nasal polyps, and tooth infections can also contribute to sinus pain and symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
Don’t Miss: Kaiser Permanente Allergy Test Cost
Which Types Of Doctors Treat Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
Many sinus infections can be treated by your primary care physician or an Internal Medicine doctor. However, it is not unusual to consult an ENT specialist, Infectious disease specialist, Allergist or Immunologist. With some complex sinus infections, a surgeon who specializes in sinus surgery may be necessary to consult.
Is The Sinus Infection A Virus Or A Bacteria
Virus or bacteria? The first thing to realize is that all sinus infections are not the same. A sinus infection, a.k.a. sinusitis, can be either a viral or bacterial infection. The term sinusitis simply means that theres irritation in your sinuses, which make up the lining around the air spaces between bones that surround your nose.
Don’t Miss: What Is In Mucinex Allergy
What Are The Types Of Sinusitis
There are two types of sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis is a temporary inflammation of the sinuses. The mucous membranes of your nose, sinuses and throat swell. This could happen when you have a cold or allergies. Swelling blocks the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus drainage. This causes mucus and pressure to build up.
Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms become more frequent or worse. Sinus infections may cause chronic sinus inflammation and symptoms. If you have more than three sinus infections in a year or have symptoms longer than 12 weeks, you could have chronic sinusitis. More than 50 percent of people with moderate to severe asthma also have chronic sinusitis.
Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
Read Also: Can You Develop Seasonal Allergies Later In Life
Whats The Difference Between Allergies And A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections plague 31 million Americans every year. More than 50 million have some type of allergy. The symptoms of both are similar, so it can be hard to know if youre sneezing and have a headache from an infection or an allergic response. How can you tell the difference between allergies and a sinus infection?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. today. Indoor and outdoor allergies cause sinus swelling, itching, runny nose, and a host of other symptoms caused from:
- Rodent dander
- Tree, grass, or weed pollen
An allergic response is triggered when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance. It could be something youve consumed, touched, or just breathed in. Youll experience a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing, and, if the reaction is severe, asthma, rashes, low blood pressure, and even death. There is no cure for allergies but they can be treated by your doctor.
Rhinosinusitis , or a sinus infection, happens when your sinuses become swollen, inflamed, and infected. A virus is the usual culprit, although bacteria or fungus can sometimes be the cause. However, common allergies can even lead to a sinus infection.
Both illnesses can make you feel awful, but they arent the same thing, and shouldnt be treated in the same way.
Dont Rush To Antibiotics
The sinuses are small, hollow spaces inside the head. They drain into the nose. The sinuses often cause problems after a cold. They can also cause problems if they get blocked up from hay fever and other allergies. The medical name for sinus problems is sinusitis.
Sinus problems can be very uncomfortable. You may feel stuffed up. You may have yellow, green, or gray mucus. And you may feel pain or pressure around your eyes, cheeks, forehead, or teeth.
Each year, millions of people use antibiotic drugs to treat sinus problems. However, they usually do not need antibiotics. Heres why:
You May Like: Can You Eat Twix With A Peanut Allergy
What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Headaches
Many sinus headaches, especially those that recur, are actually migraines. But its smart to see your healthcare provider to figure out the cause of your headaches.
You may find that the best long-term solution is figuring out what triggers your migraine headaches so you can avoid them. Its helpful to keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Triggers you can control include:
You May Like: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec
Treatment For Chronic Sinusitis
Antibiotics: The usual method of treatment for bacterial sinusitis is through a prescription for antibiotics. The length of the antibiotics course depends partially on the type of medicine that is taken, and also it depends on how severe or lengthy the case of sinusitis has been. The normal experience for a patient is that the medicine is taken for 3-28 days.
In light of common issues connected with antibiotics, such as abuse and overuse, there has been an obvious decrease in the effectiveness of these medicines. If a patient has only been experiencing symptoms for a few days, it is likely antibiotics will not be prescribed. If the symptoms are persistent , or worsening, a patient should then acquire a prescription for antibiotics from their doctor.
The purpose of antibiotics is not to alleviate symptoms, but to attack the bacterium that causes the infection in the first place. Therefore, when the antibiotics are taken, the effects may not be felt for a few days until the bacteria have been fully attacked.
If a patient needs immediate pain or symptom relief, there are various over-the-counter medications that can help.
Nasal Decongestant Sprays: Nasal decongestant sprays are not designed to fix the overall issues pertaining to sinus infections, but as a symptom reliever, to reduce swelling in the nasal passages, helping the flow of bacteria and mucus to be facilitated and clear the sinuses.
Surgery for Chronic Sinusitis
Don’t Miss: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec
What Are The Types Of Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on its duration and the type of inflammation . The term rhinosinusitis is used to imply that both the nose and sinuses are involved and is becoming the preferred term over sinusitis.
- Acute sinus infection usually lasts less than 3-5 days.
- Subacute sinus infection lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinus infection is greater than three months. Chronic sinusitis may be further sub-classified into chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps, or allergic fungal sinusitis.
- Recurrent sinusitis has several sinusitis attacks every year.
There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.
- Infected sinusitis usually is caused by an uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of a sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
- Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general timeline for acute, subacute, and chronic as infectious sinusitis.