Sinusitis is a condition that occurs when the sinus cavities develop infections caused by viruses, bacteria or even some types of fungi. The naturally warm, moist environment is an ideal place for these germs to grow and thrive. In healthy sinuses, fluids drain away preventing germs from building up. But when sinuses become blocked from mucus or other causes, an infection can develop, causing symptoms like headache, facial pressure, post-nasal drip, thick mucus discharge, bleeding when blowing your nose, snoring and difficulty breathing. Sinus infections often occur after a cold or allergy flare-up, but people who have chronic infections may have anatomical issues that cause frequent blockages and need to be addressed.
Although a mild infection may clear up with nose drops or nasal sprays, many infections require antibiotics to kill germs and prevent the infection from getting worse or spreading. Using a dehumidifier when sleeping can help with breathing issues and even resolve snoring associated with the infection.
Allergic rhinitis is a condition that results from allergies to dust, mold, pollen, dander, pollution and other triggers, causing symptoms like runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing and coughing.
Symptoms can usually be treated with nasal sprays or oral medications, but to help avoid recurrence, the cause of your allergy – the trigger – needs to be identified. In some cases, causes can be determined from information you provide about how and when symptoms first appeared. But in other cases, you may need skin testing or even blood work to zero-in on the culprit. Once the cause is identified, allergy shots may help you develop an immunity to avoid developing symptoms in the future.