If you’ve had enough of our “cold” weather, take heart: spring is upon us. But while other people head outdoors to bask in the warm weather, sinus sufferers tend to opt to stay indoors. This is because they experience an increased risk of sinus infection at this time of the year. The high winds and tree pollen during spring can trigger an allergy, making their sinuses even more problematic than usual.
According to the AAFA, there are about 50 million Americans that suffer from nasal allergies each year. However, despite this huge number, not a lot of people know that there is actually a difference between seasonal allergies and chronic sinusitis.
Instead of visiting a sinus doctor, most people have a tendency to go online and Google the symptoms they are feeling. I advise against doing this, because there’s a lot of vaguely terrifying information on the Web that doesn’t always pass AMA standards.
Remember: an accurate diagnosis is the first step to getting better. Knowing the difference between these two will allow you to take better care of your sinus.
The Difference between Allergy and Sinusitis
Seasonal allergies are very easy to determine because they usually start during spring or fall. People with allergy will experience the usual suspects: runny nose, watery eyes, and scratchy throats.
People with sinusitis also experience the same things, which is why the two are often confused with each other. Other symptoms of sinusitis include facial pain, headaches, fatigue, sore throat, bad breath, tenderness all over the face, and loss of smell and taste. These symptoms usually last longer than that of an allergy.
Another way to tell whether you’re having an allergy or sinusitis is through the color of your nasal discharge. If the mucus dripping down your nose is colored yellow or green, then you may be suffering from sinusitis. If these symptoms are something you experience three or more times a year, then it’s called chronic sinusitis.
What to Do During Springtime
In order to cope with the spring allergy season, it is best to talk to a Los Angeles sinus doctor to determine whether your symptoms are caused by an allergy or by sinusitis.
Even if what you have is chronic sinusitis, you still need to watch out and be careful during pollen season. This can trigger an allergy that can cause an inflammation of the sinus and increase your chances of developing sinusitis.
The good news is that there are safe alternatives for people who suffer from chronic sinusitis but don’t want to go under the knife. There are minimally invasive surgeries that can be done to improve the condition of one’s sinus, such as balloon sinuplasty.
While balloon sinuplasty will not be able to cure an allergy, it can certainly clear up the clogged nasal cavities and prevent the allergy from developing into full-blown sinusitis, allowing the person to enjoy the beautiful weather that spring usually brings.