Allergies or Sinus Disease?

How Can You Know If You Have Allergies or a Sinus Issue?

Allergies can produce cold-like symptoms as a sinus infection, including a runny nose, congestion and sinus pressure. If you have allergic rhinitis, you may experience itchy and watery eyes. Allergy symptoms appear when the body’s immune system begins to respond to a substance as though it were a dangerous invader (called an antigen or allergen). It does this by sending specific defenders called antibodies to the entry site. This results in a release of chemical mediators, such as histamine which is released from mast cells, directly into the bloodstream which causes changes in the body producing the symptoms that we feel. Those symptoms are itching eyes, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, nasal congestion and drainage, and sometimes a headache.

On the other hand sinus conditions such as sinusitis can make you feel “miserable,” in chronic sinusitis, swelling in both the nose and sinuses blocks that drainage. The result is a stuffed-up nose and an endless outpouring of green or yellow mucus. Pain or pressure builds up around the eyes or in the face, sometimes accompanied by headaches and toothaches. Indeed, chronic sinusitis can have a significant detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life, and their ability to enjoy the day to day activities. Research shows that patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis have a lower quality of life scores than patients with congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or back pain.



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