September, 2016

Is it Allergies or a Sinus Infection? Here's How to Tell!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Dealing with headaches, coughing, sneezing and sinus drainage? If so, determining the cause isn’t easy. You could be suffering from allergies, or it could be a sinus infection. Because other ailments have similar symptoms, it may even be difficult for your doctor to determine which one you’re dealing with. Of course, relief is dependent on the proper treatment. Here is some advice to help you determine whether it’s allergies or a sinus infection.

Allergies or a Sinus Infection?Allergy or Sinus Infection

If you’ve experienced a sudden onset of nasal and sinus symptoms, without a recent spike in exposure to allergens, you are likely dealing with a viral or bacterial sinus infection. Symptoms lasting three to five days before resolving on their own are usually caused by a viral infection. You may want to take medicine to manage your symptoms, but the virus itself will clear on its own.

Symptoms lasting longer than seven days are likely caused by a bacterial sinus infection. Patients suffering from a bacterial sinus infection benefit from antibiotic therapy.

If the start of your symptoms coincides with a spike in known allergens – such a ragweed, tree pollen, etc. – and persists for weeks, allergies are probably the culprit. You may notice that your symptoms wax and wane as allergy counts vary from day to day. You may notice, for example, that you feel better on a rainy day because there is less pollen in the air.

Symptoms that last for months on end but do not coincide with allergy seasons may be caused by a chronic sinus infection. Unfortunately, this type of infection will not clear on its own, even with antibiotic therapy. However, balloon sinuplasty is a simple, in-office procedure that resolves chronic sinus infections.

Allergy and Sinus Infection Treatment

The treatment protocol varies depending upon whether you are dealing with allergies or a sinus infection. At Sinus and Snoring Centers of Texas, we perform thorough evaluations to determine the underlying causes of our patients’ discomfort. Once we know what’s causing your problem, we will recommend a treatment protocol that will provide the relief you need. To schedule a consultation, please call 956-504-5360.