Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Do Allergies Cause Sinus Infections

How Can I Prevent Sinusitis

Allergies, Sinus Infections and Vertigo: Is There a Connection?

Experts dont know a lot about how to prevent sinusitis. But the following tips may help:

  • Avoid contact with allergens or irritants that trigger your nasal allergies.
  • Keep your nose as free and clear as possible by taking your allergy medicines including topical nasal steroid sprays and using a nasal saline rinse.
  • Avoid infections by washing your hands often during common cold season. Also avoid touching your face.
  • Talk with your doctor about lifestyle changes that may help you prevent repeated sinus infections. These may include changes to your diet, maintaining good hydration, performing regular exercise, and reducing stress.

Medical Review: April 2021 by Sarah Goff, MD, PhD, and August 2022 by John James, MD

Allergy Symptoms

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What Are The Different Types Of Sinuses Near The Nose And Eyes

The paranasal sinuses are located in your head near your nose and eyes. They are named after the bones that provide their structure.

  • The ethmoidal sinuses are located between your eyes.
  • The maxillary sinuses are located below your eyes.
  • The sphenoidal sinuses are located behind your eyes.
  • The frontal sinuses are located above your eyes.

The biggest sinus cavity is the maxillary cavity, and it is one of the cavities that most often becomes infected.

There are different types of sinusitis:

  • Acute bacterial sinusitis: This term refers to a sudden onset of cold symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and facial pain that does not go away after 10 days, or symptoms that seem to improve but then return and are worse than the initial symptoms . It responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.
  • Chronic sinusitis: This term refers to a condition defined by nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and decreased sense of smell for at least 12 weeks.
  • Subacute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms last four to twelve weeks.
  • Recurrent acute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms come back four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.

Chronic Sinusitis And Allergies

Can allergies cause sinusitis? Absolutely. In fact, chronic sinusitis and allergies, including seasonal allergies , are common all over the world. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are many options for allergy and sinus treatment, such as balloon sinuplasty.

Seasonal allergy symptoms occur when your immune system releases histamines as a reaction to an airborne substance it identifies as bad for your body . Your sinuses then produce mucus and other substances to protect the body and rid it of the substance.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:

  • Tenderness or pressure in the face .
  • Post nasal drip .
  • Loss of the senses of taste and smell.

The combination of symptoms and the fact that they last for such a long period of time can make you miserable. Youll probably have trouble sleeping through the night and may have dark circles under your eyes.

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Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection

Asthma, Allergy &  Sinus Clinic

Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.

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How Is Sinusitis Treated

Sinusitis is treated in several ways, each depending on how severe the case of sinusitis is.

A simple sinusitis infection is treated with:

  • Drinking fluids .

If symptoms of sinusitis don’t improve after 10 days, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Oral or topical decongestants.
  • Prescription intranasal steroid sprays. .

Long-term sinusitis may be treated by focusing on the underlying condition . This is usually treated with:

  • Intranasal steroid sprays.
  • Topical antihistamine sprays or oral pills.
  • Leukotriene antagonists to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms.
  • Rinsing the nose with saline solutions that might also contain other types of medication.

When sinusitis isn’t controlled by one of the above treatments, a CT scan is used to take a better look at your sinuses. Depending on the results, surgery may be needed to correct structural problems in your sinuses. This is most likely to happen if you have polyps and/or a fungal infection.

How Long Do Sinus Headaches Last

Viruses cause most sinus infections. A viral sinus infection typically resolves on its own. Similar to how the common cold clears up by itself, your sinus headache should feel better within about a week. If it doesnt go away, see your healthcare provider. You may have a bacterial or fungal sinus infection that requires medication.

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Why Do I Wake Up With A Sinus Headache Every Morning

Sinus headaches caused by inflamed sinuses often start in the morning and clear up on their own by the afternoon. These sometimes occur when there are drastic changes in temperature such as when the seasons shift. They frequently occur in the morning because while you’re sleeping mucus collects and drains.

How Do Providers Treat Fungal Sinusitis

Can Allergies Cause Sinus Infections?

Fungal sinusitis treatments vary. People with healthy immune systems may not need treatment for some types of fungal sinus infections. Invasive fungal sinus infections require immediate treatment.

Treatments include:

  • Antifungal medications: Some types of infection require medications to kill the fungus. Providers usually prescribe these drugs along with surgery.
  • Corticosteroid medications: Your provider may prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation and relieve sinus pressure.
  • Nasal wash: To treat saprophytic fungal sinusitis, providers remove crusts of mucus and wash out the sinuses. They usually use a saline solution to cleanse the sinus cavities.
  • Surgery: Depending on the type of infection, your provider may do traditional surgery or minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. They insert a long, flexible tube with a camera into your nose and use tiny tools to remove the fungus, fungal ball and any damaged tissue.

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Explaining The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system. It sends signals from your brain to various body parts that perform involuntary actions like breathing and regulating heart rate. Suppose something wrong happens to some of your autonomic nerves. What do you think will happen?

Naturally, this can result in several health problems associated with involuntary body processes. For example, according to a 2018 study, a malfunctioning ANS increases ones risk for lower airway diseases and disorders like asthma and sinus infections. The researchers explained that the ANS controls various mechanisms like nasal blood vessel dilation and mucosal layer thickening. As a result, you become more prone to health problems like a sinus infection.

How Your Allergies Can Cause A Sinus Infection

If youve ever had a sinus infection, you know the pain and discomfort it can cause. Medically termed sinusitis, a sinus infection occurs when the cavities around your nose become swollen and inflamed.

Sinusitis is most often caused by a virus and often lasts long after the other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. Rarely, fungus or bacteria may cause a sinus infection. Allergies, nasal polyps, a tooth infection, and a deviated septum are other ways in which sinusitis may be triggered.

Sinusitis is acute if it lasts for a short period of time. The acute infection is usually part of a cold or allergies. If your sinus infection lasts for more than eight weeks, or continues to reoccur, you have a chronic infection. Many symptoms of a sinus infection are common to both the acute and the chronic forms. The best way to know for sure if you have an infection, to find the cause, and to get treatment, is to see your doctor.

An infection of the sinus cavity close to the brain can be life threatening, if not treated. In rare cases, it can spread to the brain.

Normal sinuses are lined with a thin layer of mucus that traps dust, germs and other particles in the air. Tiny hair-like projections in the sinuses sweep the mucus towards openings that lead to the back of the throat. From there, it slides down to the stomach. This continual process is a normal body function.

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Why Should You Treat A Sinus Problem

Some sinus problems will clear up without needing medication or treatment. Drinking water and rest can lead to the gradual easing of symptoms, but a more serious sinus problem could result in further issues. The build-up of mucus could cause a sinus infection that will only exacerbate the problem. In fact, an ear infection may be the side effect of congestion behind the eardrum. Also, mucus drainage down the throat could cause a sore throat and persistent cough.

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Fungal Sinusitis

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If you have symptoms of a sinus infection, see your provider for an evaluation. Its also important to call your provider if you have sinus problems that dont seem to go away .

If you have a condition that weakens your immune system or you take immunosuppressant drugs and you notice sinus infection symptoms, get help immediately. People who have weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of death from a fungal sinus infection. Some infections spread quickly, so its essential to seek treatment right away.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you have symptoms of a sinus infection, see your provider. They will determine whats causing your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate treatment. If you have these symptoms and you take immunosuppressant medications or have a condition that weakens your immune system, get help right away. Invasive fungal sinus infections are very dangerous and can worsen quickly. They may be fatal without prompt treatment. If you have a compromised immune system, talk to your provider about getting regular checkups to monitor your health.

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Breathe Easy Spring Summer Winter And Fall With Balloon Sinuplasty At Sinus Solutions Of South Florida

The side effects of medicines can be frustrating, and many patients with chronic sinusitis and allergies dont find relief with allergy medications. However, staying cooped up indoors isnt a sustainable allergy and sinus treatment. Balloon sinuplasty offers a chance for long-lasting relief to these patients.

Dr. Bequer, a leading ENT doctor with locations in both West Palm Beach and Tampa, is one of Floridas premier balloon sinuplasty physicians. Call Sinus Solutions of South Florida at to request a consultation today and give your seasonal allergies the boot.

Related Sinus Conditions & Problems

Treatment Options For Sinusitis And Allergies

Treatment for allergies can include a range of different kinds of medications, such as pills, inhalers, and eye drops. Some are available as over-the-counter medications, while others are available by prescription.

Antihistamines can be utilized to block the histamine that provokes many symptoms, and decongestants may also be used to help alleviate congestion.

Immunotherapy is also another treatment option designed to build up tolerance for those with environmental allergies. It usually involves using injections of a tiny amount of the allergen, but it can also be done with a bit of the allergen placed underneath the tongue.

Sinusitis treatment options include:

  • Nasal saline washes

Balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure done, is another option that may be just the solution you need when antibiotics and other medicines arent effective at treating your sinusitis.

Sometimes an underlying issue, either a deviated septum or nasal polyps, is the source of your symptoms and can be corrected with surgery. At Glatz Group, We also provide nasal polyp removal surgery.

Seek treatment for your sinusitis and allergies with the Glatz Group of Valley ENT.

The pain and pressure of allergies and sinusitis can make it challenging to sleep and concentrate, which can greatly impact your quality of life. Thankfully, both conditions are treatable. Our certified specialists can diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action.

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Sinus Infection And Neck Pain: Is There A Correlation

People with allergies or chronic colds understand that sinus infections can be a real pain in the neck. Most cases of acute sinusitis get better on their own. Your doctor may recommend treatments to help relieve sinusitis symptoms, but acute sinusitis can cause potentially dangerous complications. Read on if youre wondering if sinus infections can cause neck pain.

The Difference Between Sinusitis And Allergies

Is It A Sinus Infection, Cold Or Allergies?

At the surface level, sinusitis and allergies can cause very similar symptoms but are actually very different conditions.

Sinusitis is when the sinuses become infected or inflamed. There are four pairs of sinuses in the skull and face, any of which can develop sinusitis.

Sinusitis can be considered acute or chronic. If its acute, then it is temporary and the symptoms should fade within about 10 days. Chronic sinusitis is when symptoms have persisted for more than 12 weeks and medical treatment has been ineffective.

Chronic sinusitis is more common among those with allergies, asthma, a deviated septum, and other conditions that block the nose or sinuses.

Allergies, on the other hand, are a type of immune system response. In allergy sufferers, the immune system attempts to combat a foreign substance that has entered your body. This can, in turn, induce pain and inflammation around the sinuses. When a person breathes in an allergen and their sinuses get inflamed, this is often referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

Allergies, like dust and dander, may cause inflammation and symptoms that resemble those of sinusitis. It is important to be aware, however, that in some cases, an allergy CAN trigger sinusitis.

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Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice

Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.

If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.

What Are The Differences Between Sinus Infections And Allergies

There are two different kinds of sinus infections, viral and bacterial.

Viral infections are far more commonthey cause nearly all sinus infections. These types of infections can be uncomfortable, but do get better on their own.

Bacterial sinusitis is less common, and generally starts as a viral infection .

Once the sinuses and nasal passages are swollen and inflamed, bacteria can grow and gradually infect the lining of the facial and nasal cavities, leading to more severe and long-standing symptoms.

Allergies can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms.

They occur as a result of the immune system reacting to allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust, and other triggers.

Once the body has a negative reaction, the immune system responds by releasing a chemical called histamine, which causes an allergic reaction.

What causes allergies are specific to the patient, and each allergy sufferer may have slightly different symptoms in response.

While most allergies appear during childhood and adolescence, they can also develop in response to new triggers as an adult.

Indoor and outdoor causes for allergic reactions can include:

  • Pollen from trees, grass, plants, and weeds
  • Pet hair or dander


Sinus Infection

If severe enough, chronic allergies can lead to allergic rhinitis, which is often confused with the common cold.

Symptoms for allergic rhinitis include headaches, sneezing, congestion, fogginess, skin rash, and itchy eyes.

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Allergy Treatments And Remedies

Allergy symptoms only last as long as youre exposed to the substance that triggered your allergic reaction. So the best way to get rid of allergies is to avoid or keep away from any known allergens.

For instance, if youre allergic to pollen, you should wear a mask when going outside, especially during the pollen season. Or if youre allergic to dust, make sure to keep your surroundings tidy and use hypoallergenic stuff.

To get rid of your symptoms fast, you can also take over-the-counter medications like cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, and loratadine.

Keeping your immune system in optimal condition is also key to avoiding severe allergic reactions. Eat healthy foods, maintain an active lifestyle, and get plenty of sleep. You can also take probiotics to further boost your immunity. Also known as the good bacteria, probiotics are microorganisms that help your body fight off the bad bacteria. Scientific studies also show that it can boost your immune function by regulating your immune responses.

Lack Of Moisture Or Dry Air

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When mucus is trapped in the nasal passages for long periods of time, it can lose water and thicken. The result? It worsens symptoms and makes sinusitis more likely.

Therefore, doctors recommend you keep your nose as moist as possible. Start by drinking lots of water and avoiding caffeine, and use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist during the winter.

The occasional use of nasal irrigation treatments, like saline sprays, may also help treat or prevent sinusitis symptoms.

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What Is Cervicocranial Syndrome

Cervicocranial syndrome is caused by instability and misalignment in the cervical spine- or, as most of us call it, the neck. Misalignments in the neck can increase pressure, interfere with normal sinus activity, and pinch nerves.

The symptoms of CCS are varied, and those who suffer from it can experience just one or a myriad of the potential symptoms, which is partially why it can be so difficult to diagnose! However, because the neck is so close to your head and the brain, when the cervical spine becomes misaligned, it tends to affect the area above the shoulders most distinctly. The most commonly experienced symptoms are headaches and migraines, face, ear, and neck pain, sinus pressure, ringing in the ears, and dizziness.

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