Allergy and Asthma Issues Or Sinus Problems? April 23 2017

It's Spring. In Texas, and there's more than bluebonnets and beautiful wildflowers 'blooming' - allergies, asthma flare-ups and sinus issues are on the rise; and earlier than normal, too - according to reports.

Regularly known as a sinus infection or sinus disease, a sinus issue typically starts with the inflammation in the cavities behind the nose, eyes and forehead can become blocked, resulting in mucus production and buildup, and sometimes - infection.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that approximately 31 million Americans develop a form of sinus disease annually.

While allergies symptoms are very similar, with a sinus infection - there is more 'pain' reported. This is because the swelling and inflammation within the sinuses can  cause headaches and radiated pain in the jaws and teeth. This pressure, a tell-tale sign of a sinus problem, along with cold-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat and congestion - as well as fever, swelling of the eyes, cheeks and jaws, bad breath, nausea and fatigue are also commonly reported.

To diagnose sinusitis, your physician will examine your throat, nose and sinuses for swelling and inflammation, tenderness & redness and discolored discharge. With an acute sinus disease, duration is typically three to eight weeks. If it goes on longer, it's considered 'chronic sinus disease', which can lead to other tests and possible remedies and treatments. 

However, the most common cause of sinusitis is a basic bacterial infection. Viruses and other causes do occur as well.  The treatments, such as nasal decongestants, antihistamines and nasal sprays help relieve symptoms and are standard. Sinus infections are reported to be responsible over 15 million doctor visits, more than $1 billion in sales for over-the-counter medication and $150 million for on prescription medications in the United States.

Home treatments, such as increasing fluids, hot towels and steam baths always seem to help and homeopathic remedies like teas and other alternative, Auyervedic or more natural treatments are becoming popular and more widely used.

With more severe cases, a specialist such a an allergist or ENT/otolaryngologist might be in order. If you experience the symptoms of a sinus infection - you should visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment before it gets too bad.  Catching it early can help you kick it faster, and avoid more problems down the road.