Pain in your face and ears. Congestion, runny nose, and loud snoring. You feel weak and nauseated. Are you experiencing a sinus infection or allergies? A sinus infection is called sinusitis, and an allergy flare-up is known as allergic rhinitis. If allergic rhinitis is not effectively treated, it may worsen and lead to a sinus infection (sinusitis).
Over-the-counter medication is specific to sinus problems or allergies. How can you know which condition you have?
Dr. Bradford Ress, a Boca Raton ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) sees this question arise almost daily, more so during allergy season. He can diagnose and treat sinus infections and allergies. But if you want to try over-the-counter medications first, here are a few ways to help you self-diagnose. Note that if your condition persists for more than a week, you should call us at 516-353-7377 for an appointment, or visit your general physician.
Watery, Itchy Eyes: A sinus infection does not cause itchiness. If your eyes become watery and itchy, you’re likely suffering from allergies.
Sneezes: Likewise, sneezing is usually a symptom of allergies.
Medication Ineffectiveness: If you take allergy medication and it does not relieve symptoms, you may have sinus problems. The opposite is also true.
Duration & Time: Allergies usually flare up during the spring and fall, when pollen and mold counts rise. Additionally, viral sinusitis will usually subside in about 10 days, without treatment. If your condition persists after 10 days, it could be allergic rhinitis.
Self-Treatment for Sinusitis
Swelling, pressure, and pain in your head and face can make you feel horrible. A nose that runs like a faucet only makes matters worse. If, after evaluating your symptoms, you believe you may suffer from sinusitis, the most likely cause is a viral infection. Take a few days to rest, drink lots of clear fluids to flush your system, and take over-the-counter decongestants and pain relievers to relieve symptoms. If symptoms persist and do not begin to subside, you could need antibiotics to fight the infection.
I liked Dr. Ress the minute he stepped into my examining room! Not only was he friendly, but he appeared to be very knowledgeable in diagnosing my sinus problem. – Five Stars
Self-Treatment for Allergies
Your eyes itch and water, you’re sneezing, and you feel totally drained. Often, allergy sufferers experience the same symptoms every year, around the same time of year. Drink plenty of fluids, stay indoors and rest, and use a saline nasal spray to help stop your nose from leaking. Over-the-counter medications like Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra may ease symptoms. If allergies plague you each year, or they cause recurring sinus infections, it’s time for you to seek professional treatment with Dr. Ress.
“I used to have sinus problems and then I came to Dr. Ress’ office and I got balloon sinuplasty. I have no more pressure, I don’t have headaches anymore and I can sleep at night thanks to Dr. Ress.” – Five Stars
Call on the Sinus and Allergy Expert in Boca Raton
When self-treatment fails and sinusitis or allergies recur or persist for over 7-10 days, you should seek the professional opinion of your general physician or an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT). As a Boca Raton ENT, Dr. Ress has the experience and expertise to provide excellent care to you and your loved ones. Call to schedule your appointment today: 561-353-7377.