Do I Have Fall Allergies or a Sinus Infection?

NY Sinus Center Fall  AllergiesIf you think spring is the only allergy season…think again. The fall weeds have arrived, ready to plague those 30 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis.

The first step in managing symptoms is understanding if those symptoms are really the result of allergies, or if they’re perhaps caused by a sinus infection. The effects of both conditions can be similar — but the treatments are very different. The earlier you know your cause of discomfort, the better.

Both hay fever and sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, can cause these types of symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches

But here are a few key differences:

  • Allergies often cause the eyes to water, but sinus infections don’t.
  • Sinusitis usually causes mucus to turn yellow or green. The same isn’t true for allergies. (That said, discolored mucus can have other causes, so check with your doctor if you notice that symptom.)

If you’re not sure whether it’s allergies or a sinus infection plaguing you, a doctor can help diagnose you, then recommend a customized treatment plan.

Common allergy treatments include:

  • Antihistamine nasal sprays
  • Antihistamine pills
  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Immunotherapy

As for sinusitis treatment, typical options can include:

  • Decongestants
  • Expectorants (medicines that loosen mucus)
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Oral steroids
  • Steam treatment (breathing in steam, such as by sitting in a closed bathroom with the shower on for a few minutes, to help relieve congestion)

Give us a call if your symptoms have you down. Our NYC team can recommend sinusitis treatment or an allergy plan of attack that’s right for you, your health and your lifestyle.

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