Do I Have Fall Allergies or a Sinus Infection?

Do I Have Fall Allergies or a Sinus Infection?

fall allergy or cold?Fall brings with it cool breezes, colorful leaves and maybe even a little spiced cider. Sounds good…unless you’re the victim of pollen allergies. Also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, these allergies affect about 30 million Americans and typically spike this time of year. The tricky part is, fall pollen allergies are sometimes confused with sinus infections, and a misdiagnosis can lead to ineffective treatment. So how can you tell the difference between allergies or a sinus infection?

Allergies or Sinus Infection?

Generally, you can think of allergies as an ailment that affect your neck and up.

Symptoms can include things like:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • A runny nose or postnasal drip
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • A scratchy or sore throat

Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, have a slightly different symptom set. Watch out for:

  • A fever (this is a major distinction from allergies)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Yellow or green nasal discharge
  • A cough
  • A headache

If you believe you might have fall pollen allergies, check with your doctor to put together a plan for combatting them. Symptoms and treatment can differ for every person, depending on your own unique body chemistry, your lifestyle and where you live.

outdoors in fall allergy seasonContrary to popular belief, the best way to avoid allergies isn’t to avoid the outdoors. That’s a myth. But you can try a few basic techniques to minimize your exposure to pollen, by washing your hands and face after you spend time outside, and keeping an air conditioner (with a clean air filter) running to help avoid mold. Mold can worsen allergic rhinitis symptoms.

With a doctor’s advice, you can also try basic medicines like antihistamines, and a hypertonic nasal saline rinse can help if used after exposure to allergens. But each case is unique so, when allergies have you down, give our office a call to see what might be right for you. With the right allergy and sinus plan, you can get back to enjoying fall, pollen and all.

Similar Posts:

During this time, our office remains open with limited scheduling for urgent ENT care only.
Other patients should not be seen, according to guidelines.
Patients with flu like symptoms or fever or known exposure to COVID-19
should go to urgent care or speak to their primary care physician.

Be well and don’t hesitate to reach out to us as needed.
The Staff and Doctors of The New York Otolaryngology Group