Allergies Vs. Sinusitis: How You Tell The Difference?

What are Allergies and Sinusitis?

 

Allergy vs Sinus

 

Most people knew when they feel miserable, sneezing, coughing, and itching are just a few of the symptoms. Most people assume they have allergies and some people even have more extreme symptoms such as postnasal drip and dry nose and throat. Allergies are the body’s overreaction to a stimulant such as a certain type of pollen or even scent. Many common allergens include ragweed, dander, and pollen.

Allergies: What are They and How to Tell

Simply put, allergies are immune systems reaction to a foreign substance, and the majority of the time, this substance will not cause a reaction in most people. Allergies are very common, as according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 10 to 30 percent of the adult population tends to suffer from some type of allergy. The most common allergies are seasonal allergies and food allergies.

Seeing as there are different types of allergies, what are the common signs of these different allergies, and what are the types of allergy testing you will need?

Hay Fever or Seasonal Allergies

Hay fever is the most common type of allergy and most people experience these during the summer and spring months during high pollen and spore counts.

Hay Fever or Seasonal Allergies caused by pollen

These months also tend to bring out more moisture making many people more sensitive. Trees, flowers, and other weeds put out pollen and germinate most frequently during these seasons. The most common symptoms of hay fever include a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, a stuffy nose, and in some cases, red eyes.

How to Treat Hay Fever

There are many different treatments for hay fever including common antihistamines to stop the body’s from attacking the foreign substance. These are commonly found in medicines such as Benadryl. Allergy suffers may also benefit from the use of nasal sprays and Netipots. Decongestants can help with stuffed up noses and chests caused by hay fever as well. In more extreme cases, people may need to go to the doctor to receive shots and have an Epipen available.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can impact your overall health and can be far more severe as well as life-threatening as compared to hay fever. Food allergies can lead to anaphylactic shock or even death. The most common allergens include milk, eggs, seafood, nuts, soy, and peanut.

Egg is one of the common allergens

Common signs of food allergies are hives, lightheadedness, itchy throat, swelling of the lips, vomiting, diarrhea, or fainting.

If the person has an Epipen, give the injection in the large muscle above the knee. Be sure to call 911. If the first shot does not work after ten minutes, a second one may be given. For mild reactions, antihistamines such as Benadryl may be given The best option is to avoid the food that causes the allergic reaction.

Some Tips on Avoiding Allergens

According to a leading allergist in Ear & Allergy Clinic, it’s nearly impossible to avoid allergens, but there are some tips that allergy suffers can do to avoid the worst of it. First of all, avoid early morning as this is when allergies tend to flare up. Be sure to thoroughly clean and do laundry indoors.

Allergy suffers can benefit from buying air purifiers and avoiding peak allergy times. Consider hiring a lawn service to mow the lawn if you are allergic to grass. Take a shower if you have been outside for long periods. Wash the feet of your pet and brush them daily.

 

What is Sinusitis?

Allergies can be annoying and irritating, sinusitis can be extremely painful and make you feel like your entire head is being squeezed in a tight vice. What is sinusitis? Sinusitis is where the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed or swollen and this can lead to them become filled with fluid. The fluid-filled sinus cavities can become infected from bacteria and germs causing further sinus blockage.

The pressure from the build-up of fluid can be intense and make you feel a throbbing pain in your temples, sides of the nose, and other blocked sinus passages.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

What are some of the most common signs of sinusitis? According to sinus specialist Singapore, the symptoms mimic those of allergies such as runny or stuffy nose and cough and congestion. However, the symptoms tend to be more severe and can include facial pain and pressure, a loss of smell, bad breath, face tenderness, fever, and headaches.

Fever and headache

 

How to Treat Sinusitis

If you begin to experience sinusitis, what are some things that can be done to alleviate the problems?

First of all, making sure to help drain the sinuses will help relieve the pressure. There are several pressure points that can be pressed to help drain the excess mucous and help relieve the headache.

Heat is a good way to help relax the sinus cavities and using a rag with warm water and a compress (not hot, but warm) especially around the temples and sides of the nose. A Netipot or nose drops can help relieve the pressure.

There are medications that specifically address sinus pain and decongestants can also be helpful. Using a humidifier also helps to relieve dry nose and throat. You can turn your shower on extra hot and breathe in the moisture for added benefit as well. Other ways to treat are to avoid bright light and noise (these can make headaches worse), drink plenty of water, and rest.

 

In Summary

The truth is that both sinusitis and allergies can turn into a nasty sinus infection. The post-nasal drip can also turn into a nasty case of strep throat. If you suspect you could have something worse then the best course of action is to go to an ENT doctor. If your breath beings to smell very bad or you see puss in the back of your throat, the infection has progressed and will need antibiotics to be effectively killed.