Do I Have a Sinus Infection or Allergies?

April 18, 2024

Allergies and sinus infections are two unpleasant health conditions that can cause a moderate deal of discomfort. These conditions can cause similar symptoms, making it challenging to distinguish between the two. However, it’s important to be able to identify your symptoms in order to follow the correct treatment plan and seek medical attention when necessary. In this blog, we’ll explore a guide to the symptoms and treatments between seasonal allergies and sinus infections so you can get the care you need when you need it.

For same-day illness testing and treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen. Our board-certified medical providers can evaluate your condition and plan treatment to help aid your recovery. Just walk-in today!

Understanding Seasonal Allergies 

To start, seasonal allergies are simply a type of immune system reaction. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts aggressively to foreign substances called “allergens”. Allergens are generally harmless. The most common allergens include pollen, dust, pet dander, and mold spores. This immune reaction causes the body to produce a chemical called histamines, which then causes general pain and inflammation in the body.

Common signs and symptoms of allergies include:

  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing through nose
  • Runny nose
  • Post nasal drip

Treatment For Allergies

Symptoms of allergies can range from mild to serious but thankfully, they can be managed. Allergy treatment is not always the same so it is important to be careful in treating symptoms and consult a healthcare professional for a customized plan. Treatment may differ based on the type of allergen and the age of the person so it is best to let a qualified provider prescribe treatment. Regardless, here are some common allergy treatments to relieve symptoms:

  • Nasal steroids
  • Anti-histamines
  • Nasal decongestants
  • Mast cell stabilizers
  • Immunotherapy

Understanding Sinus Infections

Sinus infections, or sinusitis, are caused by inflammation in the nasal passages. Sinus infections are most commonly caused by viruses, like the common cold and flu, or bacteria. These infections could be chronic if left untreated and could last for up to 12 weeks. However, an acute sinus infection should only last about 10 days.

There are various types of symptoms that can show a sinus infection, some of them include:

  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pain and pressure around the eyes and cheeks
  • Thick yellowish or brownish discharge from the nose
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Fever
  • Fatigue 

Not all of the symptoms may be occurring at the same time, but if you have several of these symptoms, it may indicate a sinus infection. It is important to seek a medical diagnosis for accuracy.

Treatment For Sinus Infections

Sinus infections may also be treated with a range of different treatments depending on the severity of the infection. While viral infections can be treated with at-home, supportive care, bacterial infections are most commonly treated with prescribed medication. Here are some common treatments for a sinus infection:

  • Sinus flushes
  • Steam inhalation
  • Nasal saline sprays
  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Nasal strips
  • Antibiotics, in the case of bacterial infection

Get Walk-In Testing and Treatment at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen

While sinus infections and allergies share a few similar symptoms, it’s essential to get a professional diagnosis in order to follow the proper treatment regimen. Are you dealing with concerning symptoms? Come visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen for same-day testing and treatment. Our urgent care center operates on a walk-in basis– meaning appointments are not needed to be seen by a provider. We’re open seven days a week to provide exceptional care to all patients and families in the Aberdeen, NJ area and surrounding communities. If you have any additional questions about our services, please contact our medical office directly at (732) 583-5100.

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