The sinus refers to paranasal passages, or air cavities in the cranial bones that connect to the nose. Sinusitis refers to the inflammation of these cavities or passages due to allergy or infection. It has become such a common condition that more than 24 million people complain of it every year in US alone. In this article, we look at sinus allergy symptoms and how they can be checked or managed.
Differentiate between allergy and infection
Sinus problems can become complicated and could affect the chest and lungs, and hence they ought not to be ignored. So, firstly it is important to know whether it is an allergic reaction or an infection that causes the symptoms.
Allergic symptoms may occur during particular times in the year when exposure to a particular allergen such as pollen is highest. Also the symptoms may be persistent and chronic, possibly lasting longer than a couple of months. Though symptoms of allergic and non-allergic sinusitis are largely similar, allergic conditions cause an itchy nose, which is typically absent in other sinus problems.
Physical exams, allergy tests and other tests such as nasal endoscopy may be required for making a definitive diagnosis of the reason behind the sinus symptoms.
Symptoms of sinus allergy
Itchy eyes, throat and nose are among the most common symptoms. There could be sneezing, runny nose or stuffy, blocked nasal passages. These symptoms may last for several weeks. The sinus condition could cause one’s sense of taste and smell to become impaired.
Unlike many other allergic reactions, sinus allergy symptoms include pain and pressure in the areas behind the nose. There could be swelling, tenderness, etc. in the cheeks, between the eyes, the forehead and around the eyes. Headaches commonly accompany sinus symptoms.
A person may have poor sleep at night and may feel tired and irritable during the day.
Home remedies for sinus allergy
A Neti Pot or nasal irrigation is a safe, natural and effective way to treat and manage these symptoms. This home remedy involves using saline water solution through a small kettle or cup-like vessel with a spout. The saline solution is poured into the nasal passages to dislodge the congestion and give relief.
Saline nasal sprays can also help do this. Steam inhalation can also help to ease symptoms naturally.
Over the counter medications such as anti allergic medications, decongestants and pain relievers can help to ease symptoms greatly.
However in many cases, home remedies may not be that effective or may be inadequate. In such cases, procedures such as surgery or balloon sinuplasty may be required.