How to Determine If You Have a Sinus Infection or Allergies

Allergies and sinus infections have many similar symptoms. Allergies are a result of histamine, a chemical released by your immune system. Sinus infections or sinusitis, on the other hand, is a bacterial or viral infection of the cavities around your nasal passage. Because both allergies and sinus infections affect the same area, we often have patients come to our ENT doctors in Allen Park and Southfield complaining of a sinus infection when it is just seasonal allergies. While their symptoms are very similar, paying close attention to each can help you determine if you are suffering from a sinus infection or allergies.

Understanding the Difference Between Allergy and Sinusitis Symptoms

The similarity in symptoms between allergies and a sinus infection can often trip people up when trying to decide what they have. The best thing to do is to visit an ENT doctor like Dr. Pinnock. They will be able to diagnose your symptoms best and give you the correct medication to help alleviate your condition. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you determine if you are suffering from allergies or a sinus infection.

Allergies can produce many of the same cold-like symptoms of a sinus infection like sinus pressure and a runny nose. Sinus infections have these same symptoms, but because your sinuses are infected, you will likely notice you will have trouble breathing, and your nasal discharge will often be thick and yellow or green. That is a fundamental difference between a sinus infection and an allergy attack. You will also notice if you’re suffering from allergies there will be one more symptom that you won’t experience with a sinus infection. Itchy and watery eyes are common with allergies and almost never a sign of a sinus infection.

Pay Attention to the Time of Year

Sinus infections can occur throughout the year. Allergies, on the other hand, are seasonal for most people. Allergies are seasonal because plants and other allergens aren’t always present in the air. Different types of foliage produce pollen and other spores throughout different seasons. If you notice that you’re experiencing allergy symptoms in a season that you don’t see your allergies flare up regularly, you should visit an ENT specialist to help determine if you have a sinus infection.

Contact Detroit Sinus Center

At Detroit Sinus Center we specialize in all things related to your ears nose and throat, this includes your allergies. If you’re unsure if you are having an allergy attack or a sinus infection, contact our offices and schedule your appointment with our sinus specialists in Allen Park and Southfield, Michigan. We’re here to help and can assist with both allergies and sinus infections. Call today to schedule your appointment!

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