Hablamos Español

Learn How to Tell the Difference Between Nasal Allergies and a Sinus Infection

Learn How to Tell the Difference Between Nasal Allergies and a Sinus Infection

It is all too common for a person to be suffering from allergies and assume they have a sinus infection, or the other way around – to have a sinus infection and believe they are suffering from allergies. This is an understandable mistake to make, as they many symptoms in common. Read on to learn how to tell the difference or contact Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group at 805-658-9500 to make an appointment with an allergist and immunologist who can help provide the right diagnosis.

There Are Numerous Ways that Nasal Allergies and Sinus Infections Are Similar

One of the reasons that they are so hard to tell apart is that sinusitis and nasal allergies have similar symptoms. They can include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the sinus cavity can be caused by seasonal allergies or a sinus infection, and pain above or below the eyes can be caused by an allergic reaction or a bacterial infection
  • Nasal discharge can come from your nose or down the back of your throat with both sinus infections and allergies
  • Nasal congestion, otherwise known as a stuffy nose, can happen with both conditions
  • Coughing (especially if you have post-nasal drip) can be a sign of viral or bacterial sinus infection, or allergies.

There Are Also Differences Between Nasal Allergies and Sinus Infections

Of course, they are not the same thing and so there are differences between the two. The main difference is what triggers them. An allergy will have a specific trigger, whether seasonal changes, plants, pets, smoke, dust, or other issues in the environment. Sinus infections, on the other hand, are caused by bacterial or viral particles.

That difference will only help you determine the difference between the two if you notice that certain elements cause your symptoms to get worse – then it is likely nasal allergies. However, there are differences in the symptoms, some of which follow:

  • Itchy eyes. This generally only applies to allergic reactions, which are likely to irritate the eyes when an infection does not.
  • Sneezing. A person dealing with an allergy is likely to sneeze while sinus infections do not cause sneezing.
  • Fever. Allergies do not cause fever while nasal symptoms can.
  • Bad breath. Sinus infections can cause bad breath while allergies do not generally have this side effect.

No matter the specifics of your situation, whether you have a sinus infection or nasal allergies, your next step is the same: call your local allergist and immunologist for help. You can make an appointment by calling Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group at 805-658-9500.