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Home » Blog » Allergies Versus Sinus infection

Allergies Versus Sinus infection

Allergies Versus Sinus infection


Spring has sprung, and every time spring arrives, those who suffer from allergies may be concerned about their allergies flaring up. That can mean an itchy nose, throat and eyes or even sneezing accompanied by a runny nose!

In some cases, it can also mean an increase in risk of sinus infections.

Increased sinus infections can happen for some people when their allergies worsen, which can happen this time of year.

Think of it this way: with increased swelling and mucus, you can increase your chances of blocking the opening of the sinus drainage pathways. If mucus can’t drain out of the sinuses properly, this accumulation makes the mucus more likely to become infected.

Is It Allergies…or A Sinus Infection?

But what if you are unsure if you have sinusitis (an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses) or if you have (severe) allergies?

First, know that allergies are the result of an immune response—more specifically, your body’s reaction to allergens that can include pollen, dust, or even pet dander.

A sinus infection, on the other hand, is when your nasal passages are infected. For acute sinusitis, we typically recommend medications such as nasal decongestants or using nasal saline rinses. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, is not short-lived, and it may require antibiotics or it could make you a candidate for treatments such as Balloon Sinuplasty.

Allergies Versus a Sinus Infection – What About the Symptoms?

So what are the symptoms of allergies versus the symptoms of sinusitis? Common symptoms of allergies this time of year include watery eyes that may itch, difficulty breathing, headaches, nasal congestion, and sneezing, just to name a few.

Sinusitis, on the other hand, often comes with pain or tenderness around your cheeks or eyes. People may have symptoms that also include a stuffy nose, headaches, nasal congestion, thick, yellow/green discharge, unable to blow your nose, tooth pain, fever, and even bad breath. Sometimes symptoms can also include fatigue or a light fever.

If you have allergies and you interact with allergens, you’ll typically notice an uptick in your symptoms. That means if you go outside and you find you have itchy, watery eyes and you’re sneezing afterwards, it could mean you suffer from allergies.

On the other hand, with sinusitis, symptoms could flare up after a cold or allergies, but not necessarily. Plus, symptoms will persist, even after a cold goes away.

Think You Have a Sinus Infection or Chronis Sinusitis?

If you suspect you have sinusitis that isn’t improving with at-home treatments, call us at 937-382-2000 (Wilmington) or 513-891-8700 (Montgomery/Cincinnati) today.

With practice locations in Wilmington and Cincinnati, Ohio, we are proud to be the sole independent practice in our region. As a result, we’re able to give you more personalized, hands-on, and cost-effective care. We strongly believe each patient deserves to be treated individually, and by remaining independent, by choice, this allows us to give you that improved experience you deserve. Call 513-891-8700 (Cincinnati/Montgomery) or 937-382-2000 (Wilmington) to schedule an appointment today.

This blog is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice. See your healthcare practitioner for advice specific to you.

  • American Academy of Otolaryngology
  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • American Osteopathic Association