Do I Have Fall Allergies or a Sinus Infection?

Fall brings with it cool breezes, vibrant leaves and perhaps even a little spiced cider. Sounds good…unless you’re the victim of pollen allergies. Also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, these allergies affect about 30 million Americans and usually surge this time of year.

The challenging part is, fall pollen allergies are often puzzled with sinus infections, and a misdiagnosis can lead to ineffective treatment. So how can you discriminate?

Usually, you can think of allergies as an ailment that gets you from the neck and up.

Symptoms can include things like:

  • Nasal blockage
  • Sneezing
  • A runny nose or postnasal drip
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • A scratchy or aching throat

Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, have a somewhat different sign set. Keep an eye out for:

  • A fever (this is a significant difference from allergies).
  • Nasal blockage.
  • Yellow or green nasal discharge.
  • A cough.
  • A headache.

If you think you might have fall pollen allergies, talk to your doctor to put together a strategy for fighting them. Signs and treatment can differ for each person depending upon your distinct body chemistry, your way of life, and where you live.

Outdoors During Fall Allergy Season 

Contrary to common belief, the optimal way to prevent allergies isn’t to avoid the outdoors. That’s a misconception. You can, however, try a few basic strategies to decrease your exposure to pollen by cleaning your hands and face after you’ve been outdoors and keeping an A/C system (with a clean air filter) running to help avoid mold. Mold can worsen allergic rhinitis symptoms.

Each case is special so when allergies have you down, call our office to see exactly what treatment may be right for you. With the right allergy and sinus strategy, you can get back to enjoying fall—pollen pollen and all.

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