Typical Causes Of Allergies
Food allergies seem to be the most common cause of an allergic reaction. It usually triggers hives, swelling, rashes, nausea, and more. It is also possible for some to experience an anaphylactic reaction, leading to a difficulty in breathing, lightheadedness, and eventual loss of consciousness.
Other causes of allergies include a change in season. For example, hay fever often begins in early springtime, as various forms of pollens are more common during this period. Susceptibility to allergies can also be passed down from parents to children. However, this doesnt mean that just because your parent is allergic to shellfish, that you will be too.
Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
Risk Factors For Sinusitis
While anyone can suffer from sinusitis, some people are more likely to develop sinus infections than others. People with especially high risk factors may become victims of recurring sinus attacks. Depending on the patients situation, long-term or aggressive medical treatment may be necessary to solve the underlying cause of the recurrent sinus infections.
Here are some of the most common risk factors:
People with any of the above risk factors should be especially aware of the possibility of developing a sinus infection. Because sinus infection symptoms can sometimes mimic those felt by allergy sufferers or people with nasal polyps, the patient may not immediate realize that an infection has occurred. Prompt attention can help relieve symptoms and cure the infection before it becomes too severe.
Recommended Reading: Sinus Pain Relief Pressure Points
When Should I Call A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
Most sinus infections are not serious, but its important to seek treatment for sinusitis early to prevent symptoms from worsening. Infection from a patients sinuses can travel to other parts of the body. This in turn can cause severe medical conditions such as meningitis, orbital cellulitis and brain abscesses. These complications are not common, but they are medical emergencies that must be dealt with immediately. Avoiding them by promptly treating all sinus infections is the best protection against these potentially deadly conditions.
In general, receiving medical assistance is smart whenever symptoms persist for more than a week or are very severe. Other symptoms that may be indicative of a sinus infection:
Pain or pressure around the inner corner of the eye and above the eyebrow or down one side of the nose
Headache behind the eyes or on the temple
Pain or pressure symptoms are worse when coughing, straining, lying on the back or bending over from the waist and better when the head is upright
Sinus pain or pressure that interferes with daily activities or is accompanied by a high fever, disorientation or vomiting should be dealt with right away as it may be a more serious condition.
This page offers general health information to facilitate discussion with your telehealth provider. You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
What Home Remedies Help Soothe Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis Symptoms
Sinus infections caused by viruses can use home treatments such as pain and fever medications , decongestants, and mucolytics. In addition, some health care professionals suggest nasal irrigation or a sinus rinse solution to help relieve symptoms of sinus infections, even chronic sinusitis symptoms. This irrigation is accomplished with a Neti-Pot or a sinus rinse kit . The last reference of this article shows a video of a sinus rinse procedure. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning about the use of Neti-Pots. The FDA cautions people not to use untreated tap water for rinsing, as contaminated tap water rinses lead to two deaths.
Bacterial and fungal sinus infections usually require antibiotic or antifungal therapy so home treatments without them are often not successful. However, some authors suggest home treatments may reduce symptoms after medical therapy has begun some healthcare professionals recommend nasal irrigation after sinus surgery.
Recommended Reading: How Long A Sinus Infection Last
Typical Causes Of Sinus Infection
A bacterial infection is often the cause of a sinus infection. Still, there are several factors that can increase the probability of acquiring a sinus infection. These include allergies, a previous cold, smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke, presence of nasal polyps, and a weak immune system. It is also possible to get a sinus infection from dental diseases4.
If the sinuses get blocked for a long time, you can get a secondary infection, which can stay in the respiratory tract. These bacteria will multiply and can cause a more serious health condition.
Inhale Diffused Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has a strong odor that often helps patients find instant relief from sinusitis. Research has found that cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, helps people recover from sinus infections more quickly than those who dont use eucalyptus oil. You can inhale eucalyptus oil through a diffuser, or rub some on your temples and chest to open your breathing passages. You can even use food-grade eucalyptus oil and place a drop on the roof of your mouth.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Nighttime Sinus Medicine
Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
Why See An Allergist For A Sinus Infection
If you get sinus infections often, then it is important to identify the cause of the inflammation. Chronic sinusitis that is not treated can cause ear and upper and lower respiratory infections. When these infections start to interfere with your enjoyment of life, then its time to get help. An allergist is trained to identify allergy triggers that may be making your sinus infections occur more often. Our highly trained staff can help you find a solution that helps you take back control and live sinus infection-free.
Schedule an appointment at one of our local offices with a board-certified allergist to start a path to living without sinus infections.
Read Also: Dental Implant And Sinus Lift
Sinusitis Can Be Acute Or Chronic
There are two types of sinusitis:
- Acute sinusitis can last for up to three weeks, and is caused by bacterial infection in most cases. This usually occurs as a secondary complication of a viral respiratory infection such as the common cold, or as a result of untreated allergies.
- Chronic sinusitis can last more than three weeks. This may be caused by bacterial infection, or more often, it is a chronic inflammatory disorder similar to bronchial asthma. Chronic sinusitis can last for months or years if not treated. Allergies, structural problems or immune system problems may lead to chronic sinusitis.
Can Nasal Allergies Cause Sinus Problems
Dr. Chacko Featured on the Cover ofAtlanta’s Top Doctor Magazine
Most people wont think about their sinuses very much until theres a problem. An Atlanta ear, nose & throat doctor can help provide nasal allergy treatment and other solutions that impact the sinuses.
These hollow spaces behind your cheeks, nose and forehead produce mucus that protects against bacteria and dirt. When a problem does occur, the swelling and inflammation can become painful and aggravating, and will be hard to ignore.
Also Check: Ways To Clear Sinus Pressure
Common Sinus Infection Symptoms
- Loss of smell and taste
- Bad breath
In order to determine what condition you are suffering from, your physician will review your list of symptoms and perform a physical exam. The difference between these two conditions can be boiled down into two questions:
Is your sinus congestion accompanied by watery or itchy eyes?
Do you have a headache, pressure or pain in the face and chronic fatigue?
Watery or itchy eyes will lead your doctor to determine that you are suffering from seasonal allergies, while pain or pressure in the face combined with a headache and fatigue is usually an indication that you have a sinus infection.
The reason it is important to figure out what is causing your symptoms is because that will shape your treatment plan.
Antihistamines, decongestants and nasal or oral corticosteroids are used to treat seasonal allergies. Immunotherapy is an option for long-term relief of these symptoms.
Treatment for a sinus infection depends on the infections severity. Saline nasal sprays and corticosteroids are useful for rinsing your nasal passages and relieving inflammation. Decongestants are a good short-term solution, but extended use can actually worsen the condition. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for bacterial infections.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, now is the time to do something about it. Contact your Houston physician to schedule an appointment today.
Early Treatment Can Reduce The Need For Medications
Around half of all sinus infections will resolve without antibiotics. In people with frequent infections it is important to treat the underlying problems, such as allergy, and to treat symptoms quickly to prevent the need for antibiotics.
Examples of treatments include:
- Steam inhalations use a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head. This will help to thin the mucus and make it easier to drain
- Salt water irrigation of the nose using a commercial preparation will assist in nasal drainage
- Antibiotics should be prescribed if symptoms persist.
- Surgical removal of disease tissue, polyps and/or drainage of sinuses may be required for some people with chronic sinusitis, if medications do not control symptoms.
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.
ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice. The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.
For more information go to www.allergy.org.au
To donate to immunology/allergy research go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au
Read Also: Ayurvedic Remedy For Sinus Infection
Can A Sinus Infection Be Caused By Pollen
Nasal and sinus passages become swollen, congested, and inflamed in an attempt to flush out offending inhaled particles that trigger allergies. Pollen are seasonal allergens. Molds, dust mites and pet dander can cause symptoms year-round. Antibiotics are recommended treatment for bacterial sinusitis.
When Things Get Chronic
If you’ve had a sinus infection and suffered from inflammation for three months or more, you may have chronic sinusitis. This can lead to scarring, and can actually trigger pain and problems in your ear and upper jaw.
To avoid developing chronic sinusitis, take care to:
- Avoid people with colds
- Stay on top of your allergy medications
- Avoid polluted air
Don’t Miss: Sinus Infection Causing Tooth Pain
Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infections
Symptoms will vary between patients, and adults and children sometimes display symptoms in different ways. Additionally, the underlying cause of a sinus infection will affect the symptoms that present. For example, viral infections may present with higher fevers than bacterial sinusitis. In general, however, there are some tell-tale signs that can help distinguish a sinus infection from other types of respiratory disease.
Bad breath from infected post-nasal drip
Pus in the nasal cavity
Can I Prevent The Allergies That Lead To A Sinus Infection
While you cant fully prevent allergies, you may be able to avoid what is causing the allergic reaction. For example, if you have seasonal allergies and the pollen count is high, stay indoors and keep the windows shut and air conditioning on. Knowing what causes the allergic response, and then mapping out a strategy of medications and avoidance techniques is something that your doctor can help you with.
However, prevention is possible with sinus infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Its always a good idea to get plenty of rest and exercise regularly to keep your immune system functioning. Some of the other preventative techniques to head off a sinus infection are similar to what youd do to stave off colds and flu, including staying hydrated and taking vitamin C to boost your immunity. Frequent handwashing was always important well before the COVID-19 pandemic reminded us to improve our hygiene. You should also avoid nasal irritants like smoke or other pollution. Keeping the nose hydrated with a saline spray will help the sinuses work more effectively.
Despite your best efforts, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a sinus infection, its important to see your doctor to diagnose whats going on and help you get better fast.
Read Also: What Is Good To Take For Sinus Pressure
Allergy Medicine Treating The Bodys Adverse Reaction To A Substance
A good percentage of the worlds population is affected by an allergy.
An allergy is the bodys reaction to a substance that doesnt cause much harm to other people, but it does to you. These allergens include dust, pollen, chemicals, foods, animal fur and insect stings.
Allergic reactions include:
- Skin rashes dermatitis, hives
- Excessive sweating
- Bloated stomach, intestinal disturbances, and others. In rare instances, the immune systems react so strongly to the offending substance that death occurs. The most deadly reaction occurs when the allergen gets into the bloodstream and causes an anaphylactic reaction respiratory distress, severe itching, and shock.
Allergies can be debilitating and sinusitis is often so painful it can lead to time off from work. Acute sinusitis will develop quickly and lasts up to 10 days while chronic sinusitis is a long-term inflammation of the sinuses.
In adults, chronic sinusitis can lead to nasal swelling. Allergies cause histamine to be released and this causes the inner lining of the nose to swell and prevent sinus drainage. People with asthma and immune system problems develop chronic sinusitis more often than others.
You May Like: What Is Good For Sinus Headache
How Is Allergy A Risk Factor For Developing Sinusitis
Allergy can cause chronic inflammation of the sinus and mucus linings. This inflammation prevents the usual clearance of bacteria from the sinus cavity, increasing the chances of developing secondary bacterial sinusitis. If you test positive for allergies, your doctor can advise on appropriate measures and/or prescribe medications to control them, thereby reducing the risk of developing a sinus infection.
You May Like: Can Your Face Swell From A Sinus Infection
Also Check: What Medicine Helps A Sinus Infection
Can Untreated Seasonal Allergies Lead To Something More Serious
North Texas and seasonal allergies are almost synonymous. If youre from the area, chances are youve dealt with seasonal allergies for the majority of your life, which is why it can be so easy to brush off the symptoms they cause as nothing more than just a nuisance, but we wanted to know if, left untreated, seasonal allergies could lead to more serious complications.
Amanda Jimenez, M.D., an internist and physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Flower Mound and Texas Health Internal Medicine Vista Ridge, says leaving seasonal allergies untreated can cause a host of issues.
Are Sinus Infections Common
Yes. Sinus infections are common, affecting 31 million people in the United States. There are two main forms of sinus infections, acute and chronic either can be viral or bacterial infections. An acute sinus infection can last from 10 days to eight weeks. Chronic infection often referred to as chronic sinusitis, can last even longer and continue for months.
Read Also: Sinus Pressure Relief For Kids
Causes And Triggers Of Chronic Sinusitis And Allergies
As allergy sufferers know, there are hundreds of allergens. To find the best allergy and sinus treatment, many patients find it useful to take an allergy test. This will help them learn more about which allergens trigger their allergies.
However, while allergies occur year-round, there are allergens that have become associated with the seasons in which they are most prominent.
- Summer: grasses
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy sinuses, ears, and throat
Less common seasonal allergy symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and sinus headache. Hay fever can also exacerbate asthma symptoms.
Sinus infection symptoms and allergy symptoms overlap , and many people may find themselves asking, Is it an allergy or sinus infection thats causing my sinus conditions? or Is allergic rhinitis related to sinusitis? They may even ask, What is the difference between a sinus infection and allergies?
While allergies may cause a sinus infection, sinus infections do not cause allergies. Allergies are caused by the bodys allergic reaction to environmental irritants. If left untreated, allergies can lead to a sinus infection sinus infections have many causes, allergies being one of them.
If youre confused about your symptoms, we encourage you to take our sinus quiz or give us a call.