You’re sneezing like crazy. Sneezing in the morning, the afternoon and night. You’re congested, a little dizzy and fed up. You might actually be allergic to dust mites or tree pollen or even your neighbor’s dog. Or maybe it isn’t allergies at all. Maybe it is something worse. Like a chronic sinus infection. How do you know?
Chronic Sinus infections – or sinusitis – occur when your sinuses become inflamed and swollen. A bacteria or a virus can cause sinusitis.
Here are 5 Signs your allergies might not be allergies at all. They might be a chronic sinus infection.
1. Head Pain. This is one of the more common signs of sinusitis. The pain usually occurs in your forehead, upper jaw and teeth, or even between your eyes. Some pain is actually down into your neck area. The pain would detect which pair of sinuses is infected. (We have four pairs of sinuses, including frontal, which is near your forehead). Other sinuses are by your cheekbones, between your eyes and behind the ethmoid sinuses.
2. Thick, colored nasal secretions. The secretions can be white, greenish, yellowish or even tinged with blood. If the secretions drip into the back of your throat, it can be difficult to clear it. In this case, you are likely to 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 higher, is a good sign. Doctors recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil can help relieve pain and fervor associated with sinusitis when taking as directed.
4. Fatigue may certainly arrive with head colds and common allergies. Getting plenty of rest can help you feel a little better, especially if a virus causes your sinus infection. Medical professionals say that antibiotics cannot treat viral infections.
5. When symptoms have lasted more than two weeks, it’s probably more than allergies. Typically the common cold goes on from seven to 14 days, although acute sinusitis can hang around for up to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis can make you feel awful for months, and far longer if it goes untreated.
When should you call a doctor? When symptoms last more than 10 days or if you’ve had several bouts of sinusitis in the past year, or over-the-counter medicines don’t relieve the symptoms. Doctors are able to 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 treatment or medical remedy.