The pollen count is through the roof and once again, you have a stuffy nose, sinus pain, fatigue and reduced sense of smell and taste. Oh great, another bad allergy seasonyou think, sinus infections and allergies. In an online survey of more than asthma and allergy patients, researchers found that about half self-diagnosed their symptoms as allergies when really they had a sinus infection, or sinusitis.
Despite the fact that 70 percent of those surveyed most trust a primary care physician to correctly diagnose allergies or sinusitis, only 36 percent reported sinus infections and allergies a physician when they had symptoms of these conditions. For years, New Yorker Dawn Burley, 27, figured her headaches, facial pain and fatigue were just the signs of seasonal allergies and migraines, sinus infections and allergies.
She had such severe pressure and pain around sinus infections and allergies eyes that she would become sensitive to light and had difficulty sleeping. Though she had been diagnosed with acute sinus infections in the past, no doctor had recognized that Burley had chronic sinusitis because of the way her sinuses were formed. After undergoing a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure in which a balloon is inflated to open her sinus passageways -- a more extensive treatment side effects and altace most require -- Burley says she could breathe easier, sleep sounder and had more stamina.
This is not uncommon of those with untreated sinus or allergy problems, Silvers says. This means that often these conditions get mistreated or go untreated, which can lead to "chronic nasal congestion and associated symptoms" that can affect quality of life as well as daytime performance, he says.
The Common Cold -- "Cold and allergy can present similarly," says Silvers, so the defining difference is the length: The problem is, many often treat their allergies like a cold, with over-the-counter decongestants, which will work in the short run but are not advisable.
Especially when their allergy might be due to an environmental trigger, such as a feather pillow, that could sinus infections and allergies easily eliminated. Sinusitis or Chronic Sinusitis -- With sinusitis, sinus infections and allergies, the nasal passageways become inflamed and the liter or more of mucus created every day by your body gets backed up in the sinuses. If you suffer from facial tenderness, pressure or pain, headache behind the eyes and forehead, or loss of taste or smell and fatigue, you may have sinusitis.
If you experience this three or more times a year, you may have chronic sinusitis, like Burley, and should consult with your physician or an ear, nose and throat specialist. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms and they do not resolve within a week or so and hence are unlikely to be a cold or fluyou should consider seeing your physician, who may refer you to an allergist or an ear, nose and throat specialist.
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