Spring may bring warmer weather and longer days, but it has its share of disadvantages. For one, it’s that time of the year when people seem to catch a cold and have stuffy noses all the time.
However, before you take that cold medicine, you need to know that the common cold shares similar symptoms with allergy and sinusitis, and that it is not unusual for people to confuse all three.
You need to learn how to differentiate one from the other to come up with an accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan.
Here’s how to differentiate all three. The common cold is caused by a virus. It is usually accompanied by an assortment of symptoms that can wear you down, such as sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, headaches, and fatigue.
An allergy is triggered by an allergen, which may come in the form of pollen, ragweed, molds, dust, or pet dander. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, watery eyes, and congestion. If you have seasonal allergies, you may experience it frequently all throughout spring and fall.
Lastly, sinusitis is caused by either a bacteria or a virus, and has the following symptoms: facial tenderness, post-nasal drip, headaches, and a decreased sense of smell.
Another way to accurately tell what kind of illness you have is by how they develop and how long they last on you. Most colds go away on their own in less than a week, while an allergy is usually seasonal and will hang around for more than a week.
Sinusitis, on the other hand, does not appear out of nowhere; it usually comes up after a long bout with a cold, an allergy, or an upper respiratory infection.
There is no medicine that specifically treats the common cold, but you can treat its symptoms until the cold goes away on its own. Allergy can be prevented by identifying the allergen and by avoiding exposure to it.
Acute sinusitis usually clears up on its own within one to two weeks. But if your sinus infection has not gone away after a considerable amount of time, or if it keeps on recurring, then it is chronic sinusitis.
Why Seek Professional Treatment
If you have chronic sinusitis, you need to see a Los Angeles sinus doctor right away. It is but a natural response to go online and do a self-diagnosis. However, many stuffy nose sufferers often misconstrue and misdiagnose their symptoms, leading them to pursue unnecessary treatments. Attempting to find out what’s wrong on your own could lead to wrong assumptions, and might even make your sickness worse.
Here at the Los Angeles Sinus Institute, we offer a minimally invasive surgery called balloon sinuplasty, an outpatient medical procedure that treats chronic sinusitis. This procedure will enlarge the inflamed or swollen sinuses in order to drain out the mucus, allowing you to sleep, breathe, and function better.