Congestion can be difficult for anyone to deal with, but chronic congestion issues can make seasonal changes even worse. If you find yourself constantly struggling to have clear sinuses, the issue may not be seasonal or even allergies; instead, you may be suffering from sinusitis.
In order to treat your congestion your constant cold-like symptoms, you need to know the difference between allergies and sinusitis.
The symptoms of both tend to overlap, and if you accidentally diagnose allergies when you have sinusitis, you will find the treatments you use (both prescribed and over-the-counter) are ineffective at treating your actual symptoms.
Millions of Americans each year are prescribed antibiotics for sinusitis when they don’t even have it; instead, they needed allergy medications. There is already a big concern growing about the overuse of antibiotics.
Organizations like the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology are working hard to discourage physicians from being quick to prescribe antibiotics for every little sniffle.
What Are Allergies and What is Sinusitis?
Because of their overlapping symptoms, you may find it difficult to diagnose your sinusitis. Nasal discharge and even headaches are common in both, but to compare the symptoms more adequately, you need to look for key differences:
Allergies carry classic symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy or watery eyes, a clear discharge from the nose and scratchy throats. They start at the onset of spring and fall and are often triggered by exposure to certain allergens (such as dust or pollen).
Some other possible symptoms you could encounter with your allergies include cough, headache, fatigue, and dark circles under the eyes.
Click here to know about the common types of allergies.
Sinusitis is not seasonal and it can occur at any time of the year, but you may see it more frequently around cold and flu season. The classic symptoms are congestion plus a nasal discharge that isn’t clear (instead it is yellow, green, or even gray).
You may experience pain or tenderness in the cheeks, upper jaw or above/below the eyes. When you turn your head from side-to-side or bend over you may notice pain as well.
Sometimes sinusitis can be accompanied by fever (greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit) or muscle aches and fatigue.
Learn More How Sinus Infections and Irritation Can Cause Many Other Problems
Treating Sinusitis – Antibiotics May Not Be the Only Answer
While you may rush to get antibiotics, an ENT specialist in Boynton Beach may have a few other ideas. Sinusitis in the United States accounts for 15 to 21 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions and they aren’t always necessary to treat this condition.
Here are a few reasons antibiotics may not be necessary:
- They do not always help. Most sinusitis infections are viral; not bacterial. Therefore, the antibiotics cannot treat.
- Antibiotics can lead to harsh side effects and when taken unnecessary, it makes these side effects even less necessary.
- Antibiotics can lead to the creation of super germs – those that are antibiotic resistant and impossible to treat.
- They are a waste of money when you do not need them to treat your sinusitis.
So, how can you treat sinusitis? There are a few things you can do at home:
- Rest. Your body cannot fight a viral or bacterial infection without the energy.
- Drink warm fluids to help thin out nasal secretions and loosen the phlegm inside your body.
- Add humidity. Warm, moist air helps loosen phlegm and even soothe your sore throat.
- Use a salt water gargle by dissolving a half teaspoon of sale in a glass of warm water. This will relieve swelling in your throat.
- Rinse out your nasal passages using a saline rinse.
- Over the counter medications can be used as well, but use those with single active ingredients rather than a whole host of ingredients you may not need.
It May Be Time to Meet with an ENT Specialist in Boynton Beach
Remember that chronic sinus infections may be an indication of something more sinister going on within your sinuses. If you find you suffer from multiple sinusitis attacks throughout the year, then it may be best to meet with an ENT Specialist in Boynton Beach to see what other treatment options are available.
Don’t let these annoying and troublesome symptoms plague your day to day life any longer, and make an appointment with an ENT specialist in Boynton Beach today to get the proper diagnosis and begin feeling better.