Fall is in the air, and the cooler temperatures and shorter days can bring stuffy noses, sneezing, headaches, fatigue, itchy eyes, and coughing or wheezing. Another complication of fall allergies is sinus infections. If not treated properly, the symptoms associated with sinus infections can have a major impact on your quality of life.
Sinus Infections or “Sinusitis”
Many people who believe they have the common cold may actually have a sinus infection and are self-medicating improperly. A sinus infection (also known as acute sinusitis) is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses, the hollow cavities within the cheekbones around the eyes and behind the nose. The sinuses help warm, moisten and filter the air in the nasal cavity, and the inflammation is usually triggered by inadequate draining of mucus due to colds, allergies, infections or structural problems of the nose.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
• Thick yellow-green discharge from the nose
• Plugged up nose
• Facial pain/pressure
• Ear pressure
• Post nasal drip
Diagnosis and Treatment
If not treated aggressively, sinus problems can keep coming back as often as once a month. They can also cause further complications with the nose, eyes or middle ear, lasting for months, or even years. When this happens, it is often the result of an underlying problem with allergies.
Treating allergies with medications and immunotherapy or allergy shots can provide a cure for these chronic problems by building up immunity to offending allergens and reducing the frequency and severity of infections and symptoms by as much as 90 percent. Once on allergy shots, allergy sufferers only rarely have symptoms or develop sinus infections.
Dr. Eugene Hurwitz is the medical director of the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia with offices in Carrollton, Villa Rica, Breman, Newnan Emory Mid-town, Hiram, Smyrna, Peachtree City and Avenues of Forsyth.
Center for Allergy
and Asthma of Georgia