He sneezes like crazy. Sneezing in the morning, afternoon and night. You’re congested, a little dizzy and fed up. Actually, you may be allergic to dust mites or tree pollen or even your neighbor’s dog. Or maybe they aren’t allergies at all. Maybe it’s worse. Like a chronic sinus infection. How do you know?
Chronic sinus infections, or sinusitis, occur when the sinuses become inflamed and swollen. A bacteria or virus can cause sinusitis.
Here are 5 signs that your allergies might not be allergies at all. They can be a chronic sinus infection.
1. Headache. This is one of the most common signs of sinusitis. The pain usually occurs in the forehead, upper jaw, and teeth, or even between the eyes. Actually, some pain is in the neck area. The pain would detect which pair of sinuses is infected. (We have four pairs of sinuses, including the frontal one, which is close to the forehead.) Other sinuses are located next to the cheekbones, between the eyes, and behind the ethmoid sinuses.
2. Thick and colored nasal secretions. The secretions can be white, greenish, yellowish, or even tinged with blood. If the secretions drip down the back of the throat, it can be difficult to clear them. In this case, you probably have a stuffy nose. But your face will also feel “full.”
3. Sinusitis can also cause fever. A body temperature of 100.4 degrees or more is a good sign. Doctors recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil that can help relieve pain and fervor associated with sinusitis when taken as directed.
4. Fatigue can certainly come with common colds and allergies. Getting enough rest can help you feel a little better, especially if a virus is causing your sinus infection. Medical professionals say that antibiotics cannot treat viral infections.
5. When symptoms have lasted more than two weeks, it is probably more than allergies. The common cold usually lasts seven to 14 days, although acute sinusitis can last up to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis can make you sick for months, and much longer if left untreated.
When should you call a doctor? When symptoms last more than 10 days or if you have had several episodes of sinusitis in the last year, or over-the-counter medicines do not relieve symptoms. Doctors can determine if you have the bacterial form of sinusitis, which can be treated with antibiotics.
Nearly 30 million adults are diagnosed with a sinus infection each year.
Remember to check with your doctor before taking any medical treatment or remedy.
Written by Kenneth Perkins