If you’ve been suffering with a runny nose for an extended period of time, you’re probably wondering whether you need a sinusitis treatment or medication for allergies. In reality, sinus issues and allergies are often closely linked, and they may not be subdued without professional treatment. Here are some things Atlanta patients should consider when determining if allergies are causing sinusitis.
How Do Allergies Cause Sinus Issues?
Sinusitis is usually caused when the nasal passages become congested due to a cold. This congestion leads to viruses – and occasionally bacteria or even fungus – spreading to the sinuses, causing swelling and inflammation. Allergies can trigger these events, as they regularly cause congestion and a runny nose that can persist for long periods.
Allergens like pollen, mold, dust and dander aggravate the inside of the nose. The body attempts to attack the perceived threat by producing antibodies that lead to symptoms including a runny nose, itching, congestion and swelling. For an individual that experiences ongoing allergy issues, chronic sinusitis could be an issue that’s better treated by an allergist instead of an ENT.
How Do I Know If Allergies Are Causing My Sinusitis?
Discovering whether allergies are the cause of sinus issues can be difficult. If you have had a cold for over a week, it may have developed into sinusitis. However, determining if an allergen is responsible for the issue will usually require a consultation with an allergist.
For individuals who get seasonal allergies, you may experience sinus issues at a consistent point each year. For example, grass pollen is a regular contributor to runny noses and nasal infections for countless Georgia residents. Your allergist may decide allergy testing is the right approach, or you could be referred to an ENT doctor.
What Treatments Are Available for Sinus Issues?
Mild sinus issues can actually clear up with some self care, rest and hydration. A decongestant or steroid nasal spray could also offer relief for swelling and sinus pain. If the underlying issue is an allergy, you can limit negative results by tackling the allergen. For example, antihistamines might reduce the symptoms of hay fever, thus preventing the conditions that cause sinusitis.
Chronic sinus problems will be more challenging, with an allergist or ENT being required to find the root cause. Issues like nasal polyps or a deviated septum may require surgery, while severe allergies can benefit from oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT). OIT desensitizes your immune system to the presence of allergens, reducing the likelihood of experiencing regular sinus issues resulting from allergies.
Prevent Sinus Issues With Effective Treatment
If your allergies are leading to persistent sinus issues, you need an effective treatment plan. Dr. Chacko diagnoses and treats allergy and sinus issues from centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. To make an appointment, call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.