Allergy or Chronic Sinusitis?
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, many people misdiagnose themselves with allergies when they are actually suffering from chronic sinusitis. This is understandable since these conditions share many of the same symptoms including runny nose, congestion, fatigue, and headaches. Unfortunately, many people who experience these symptoms and then misdiagnose themselves are unable to alleviate their symptoms long term.
How can you tell if you have an allergy or a case of chronic sinusitis? One clue to look out for is that, in addition to other symptoms, allergies also typically cause the eyes and nose to itch. If you have a seasonal allergy, you will notice that your allergies become worse during the time of year when pollen is at peak production, or after you’ve been working in the garden. It’s important to look for correlations between when your symptoms worsen and the conditions surrounding you at the time. If you suspect a food allergy, keep a diary of what you eat and when you experience your symptoms.
Keep in mind that many suspected food “allergies” are actually food “intolerances.” There are diagnostic methods that an ENT specialist will be able to perform to determine the root cause of your symptoms if you suspect a correlation between your symptoms and exposure to certain foods.
It is important to distinguish between an allergy and conditions such as chronic sinusitis so that you can ensure a proper treatment plan. For instance, many people take allergy medications when they actually have chronic sinusitis. These medications may mask certain symptoms, such as a runny nose or headaches, but may also cause the infection to become much worse since it will be left untreated. For this reason, it is important to visit a doctor if you experience ongoing symptoms. With a professional diagnosis and treatment plan, you are much more likely to find relief from your symptoms.