What allergies cause sinus infections

Structural abnormalities include:

  1. deformities of the nasal septum

  2. deformities of the nose

  3. nasal tumors and foreign bodies

The nasal septum is the thin, flat cartilage and bone which divides the two sides of the nose and nostrils. Deformities of the nasal septum are experienced by adults and children, but are generally caused by injuries typically during childhood.

Furthermore, nasal injuries can happen during the birth process. In fact, 7% of newborn babies experience nasal injury.

If breathing becomes obstructed, then surgical correction may be the best course of treatment.

Actually, a extremely common cause of nasal obstruction in kids is enlargement of the adenoids. Adenoids own tissue similar to tonsils, and they are located in the back of the nose, behind the palate.

  1. If your kid consistently sleeps with his or her mouth open (a mouth breather), he or she may develop a sagging face and/or dental problems/deformities.

  2. Noisy breathing at night and snoring can be implications in children who own this problem.

  3. The best course of treatment for these conditions is typically surgery. During surgery, the adenoids and/or the tonsils will be removed.

As far as nasal tumors and foreign bodies causing nasal congestion, an ENT physician should be called if a foul-smelling discharge is draining from one of the nostrils.

What allergies cause sinus infections

This can happen if a kid lodges or inserts a little object into his or her nose.


What Causes Nasal Congestion?

Many people experience problems with their nasal breathing, including nasal congestion, obstruction, or stuffiness. In fact, this is one of the most common complaints our patients own (and the most oldest complaint).

Some people may view it as a nuisance, whereas others view nasal congestion as a significant discomfort in their daily lives. There are actually 4 main causes of nasal obstruction, including:

  • structural abnormalities

  • infection

  • allergies

  • non allergic (vasomotor) rhinitis



By Fionna Lam and Tran Nguyen, clinical pharmacists at CHOC Children’s and Dr.

Jonathan Auth, CHOC Children’s pediatrician

With the winter season nearing the finish and spring season already here, numerous of us are experiencing nasal symptoms related to the common freezing, a sinus infection, or seasonal allergies. Since every these conditions share overlapping signs such as sneezing, nasal discharge and congestion, distinguishing between them may be the first step to selecting the proper over-the-counter remedy for symptomatic relief.

The common freezing generally peaks during freezing weather and is caused by a viral infection.

While children may feel crummy for a few days, most freezing symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Sinus infections, on the other hand, can bring about headaches and facial pain. It can happen after a prolonged common freezing when the body is more vulnerable to bacterial or viral infections. Some children may be more susceptible to sinus infections than others due to structural abnormalities in the nose.

Sneezing, nasal congestion, and/or watery eyes are the hallmark symptoms of seasonal allergies.

These are due to the body’s immunologic reaction to irritants in the air. This condition generally peaks during spring time when the highest quantity of pollens from trees, grasses or weeds are present in the environment. Other common allergens include dust and mold.

The following table compares some common signs and symptoms of common freezing, sinus infections and seasonal allergies:

Symptom Common Cold Sinus Infection Seasonal Allergies
Fever/chills +/- * +/-
Sneezing + +/- +
Stuffy/runny nose + + +
Color/consistency of sinus discharge Clear and watery, or thick and colored Thick, yellowish or greenish Clear and watery
Sore/itchy throat + +/-
Cough + ** +/-**
Chest congestion +
Headache/facial pain +
Stiff neck +
Watery eyes +

+    present

+/-  may or may not be present

*Fever and/or chills are more common in children than adults

**Cough may present if post nasal drip present

It’s significant to be aware of how endless each symptom has been present.

Freezing symptoms generally start to show improvement in most children in 7-10 days. Sinus infections generally own longer lasting symptoms without treatment, around 10-14 days. Allergies are generally present for weeks or more.

When an infection or allergy occurs, the blood vessels in your child’s sinuses dilate and the tissues tend to swell up, which can lead to pain around the eyes, cheeks and forehead. Mucus production increases during an infection and can cause further discomfort. Little microscopic hairs in our nose called cilia assist sweep bacteria and particles from our nose, but when dry air enters our nose, it can damage the cilia by drying them out.

Before resorting to medications, non-pharmacological strategies can be tried first such as introducing moist air with a humidifier, taking warm showers or drinking boiling fluids love tea and soup.

Keeping the air moist will assist prevent drying out the nose passage and prevent mucus buildup. Applying a warm compress to the face may also assist alleviate congestion pain.

A variety of over-the-counter medications can provide targeted symptomatic relief. See the chart under for athletic ingredients and their role in freezing and sinus infections. Study what to glance for when choosing the correct over-the-counter medication for your kid. While combination products offer the convenience of addressing numerous symptoms at once, they often contain more than one ingredient.

When multiple over-the-counter remedies are taken together, the risk of toxicity increases due to duplication of athletic ingredients or doubling up on drugs in the same drug class. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is commonly found in numerous over-the-counter freezing and cough medications. Inadvertent overdoses own occurred when parents gave these medications along with Tylenol.

What allergies cause sinus infections

To minimize this risk, single ingredient products are recommended whenever possible. Download this guide to acetaminophen for children.

Remember that over-the counter medications are not completely safe and do come with risk of side effects and toxicity if not taken correctly. Talk to your child’s pediatrician or pharmacist before starting a medication regimen.

Active ingredient Purpose Symptoms Treated
Mucous Cough Pain Fever Runny Nose Stuffy Nose
Acetaminophen Pain reliever + +
Ibuprofen, Naproxen Pain reliever + +
Phenylephrine*, Pseudoephrine* To relieve nasal congestion + +
Dextromethorphan** Cough suppressant +
Guaifenesin To loosen up phlegm + +
Saline spray To relieve nasal congestion + +
Mentholated topical ointment To relieve nasal congestion + +
Fluticasone, Triamcinolone (Nasal Spray) To relieve nasal congestion + +
Oxymetazoline*, Phenylephrine*(Nasal Spray)  To relieve nasal congestion  + +

+ present

*Do not use decongestant for more than 3 days as it might make you more congested.

**Discretion should be used when using dextromethorphan as a cough suppressant as high doses can cause hallucinogenic effects and be abused.

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jonathan-auth-mdPharmacy

Do you ever wonder why you are constantly struggling with nasal congestion?

How and why does it start? What is causing nasal congestion in your daily life? How in the world do you treat nasal congestion?

If you are visiting this sheet, chances are you own asked yourself similar questions at some point in your life. Wellour ENT doctors of Northeast Atlanta ENTare here to discuss nasal congestion and to answer the most common questions our patients enquire us.


Nasal Congestion Due to Infection.

What allergies cause sinus infections

What are the Treatment Options?

Nasal congestion can become apparent due to infections and the common freezing. Do you know that, on average, most adults get a freezing 2-3 times per year. Actually, they happen more so in children since their immunity is not as strong as an adult’s immunity system.

How does a person “catch a cold?” It starts with a virus, whether the virus is airborne or transmitted by bodily contact (specifically hand-to-nose contact). When the virus is absorbed through the nose, histamine is released by the body.

Histamine is a chemical that significantly increases blood flow to the nose, and causes the nasal tissue to swell.

When this happens, the nasal membranes become extremely congested with blood. Also at this time, the nasal membranes produce excessive amounts of mucus— this creates the stuffiness in your nasal passageway.

Common treatments for nasal congestion due to infections and the common freezing include:

  1. antihistamines

  2. decongestants

These two treatments are effective at lessening the symptoms, however, no medication exists to cure it.

Instead, time and waiting patiently will get rid of the infection.

If someone suffers from a viral infection, his or her nose has poor resistance to bacteria. This is precisely why nose and sinus infections commonly follow a freezing. You know you probably own a bacterial infection when the nasal mucus turns from clear to yellow or green. At this point, it is always the best course of treatment to call an ENT doctor for an appointment.

When someone is diagnosed with an acute sinus infection, the following may occur:

  1. pain in the cheeks

  2. appearance of thick discharge

  3. pain between and behind the eyes

  4. nasal congestion

  5. pain near your upper teeth regions

  6. pain above the eyes and in the forehead

What you experience depends on which sinuses are infected.

Treatment for acute sinus infections include antibiotics prescribed by your ENT doctor.

If someone consistently experiences sinus infections, this becomes known as chronic sinus infections. This condition may or may not cause pain.

What allergies cause sinus infections

However, the following symptoms may become evident:

  1. offensive nasal discharge

  2. nasal obstruction

  3. postnasal discharge

  4. polyps (sometimes this fleshy growth in the nose may appear)

If the infection does not get treated, it can spread to the lower airways. At this point someone may experience:

  1. asthma

  2. bronchitis

  3. a chronic cough

Treatment for chronic sinusitis may require surgery. It is always best to seek treatment correct away if you own a sinus infection.


Nasal Congestion Due to Vasomotor Rhinitis, Including Treatment Options

“Rhinitis” is the term used when the nose and nasal membranes become inflamed.

“Vasomotor” pertains to the nerves which control blood vessels.

There are numerous diverse membranes in the nose. Membranes own an abundant supply of capillaries, arteries, and veins, and they every own the ability to constrict or expand. On a normal level, the blood vessels operate in a half-restricted or half-open state.

Take this example: if someone exercises heavily, then his or her hormone (adrenaline) also increases. Adrenaline causes constriction of the nasal membranes, which means the nasal passageways open up and the person can breathe freely.

As an opposite example: when a person has the common freezing (or an allergic attack), the blood vessels expand.

When they expand, the membranes become congested, which means the nose becomes stuffy or blocked.

Other instances can cause nasal blood vessels to expand, which can lead to vasomotor rhinitis. These include:

  1. certain anti-high blood pressure medications

  2. psychological stress

  3. prolonged overuse of decongestant nasal sprays

  4. allergies

  5. pregnancy

  6. inadequate thyroid function

  7. infections

  8. exposure to irritants (i.e. tobacco smoke, perfumes, etc

If these disorders are caught in their early stages, then nasal stuffiness is typically reversible and it becomes a temporary condition.

Once the primary cause(s) is corrected, nasal blockage improves.

However, in the event that the condition(s) persists, the blood vessels will eventually lose their capacity to constrict (similar to varicose veins).

When a patient lies below on one side, their lower side can become congested. This will interfere with his or her sleep patterns. If this is the case, you should sleep with the head of the bed elevated at least 2-4 inches.

Another treatment option is surgery, which can provide significant, long-term relief.


Nasal Congestion Due to Allergies and Treatment Options

Allergic rhinitis is also referred to as rose fever, hay fever, grass fever, or summertime colds.

What allergies cause sinus infections

An allergy is an exaggerated inflammatory response to a certain substance. Specifically in the case of a stuffy, congested nose, the allergen is typically pollen, animal dander, mold, or home dust.

  1. House dust allergies are the common culprit during the winter months.

  2. Pollen is often the allergy culprit during the summer, spring, and drop months.

  3. Molds and mold spores can cause symptoms any time throughout the year.

When someone has an allergy to a certain substance, histamine andsimilar substances are released.

This release results in nasal congestion, along with excess production of nasal mucus (often watery).

Treatment for allergies include:

  1. A combination of antihistamines and decongestants.

  2. Antihistamines— helps to minimize runny nose and sneezing. The most common antihistamines for allergies include: Alavert®, Zyrtec®, Allegra®, Polaramine®, Tavist®, Seldane®, PBZ®, HIsmanal®, Nolahist®, Claritin®, Teldrin®, Dimetane®, Chlortrimetron®, and Benadryl®.

    What allergies cause sinus infections

    You can purchase them over-the-counter without a prescription. They are also available in generic form.

  3. Allergy shots— Injections are typically given for a time period of 3-5 years with much success. In order to create the vials of allergy-inducing substances, SLIT skin tests and blood tests are needed. These vials are specific to the patient’s individual profile.

    What allergies cause sinus infections

    Your ENT doctor will determine the best concentration for your first treatment. The purpose of allergy shots is to block the antibodies in the patient’s bloodstream that interfere with an allergic reaction.

Patients who own allergies are more likely to need treatment when experiencing a sinus infection.


Overall Risks When Treating Nasal Blockage

  1. If you own an irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or difficulty urinating, you should avoid decongestants.

    This is because decongestants elevate blood pressure and increase the pulse rate.

  2. If you often get sleepy when taking antihistamines, you should never drive a car or operate heavy, dangerous equipment after taking them.

  3. If you are pregnant, consult with your obstetrician before taking medicine.

  4. If you are taking decongestants with cortisone in them (corticosteroids), follow the package’s instructions carefully. These specific types of decongestants are istered as nasal sprays, typically used to lessen the risk of serious side effects associated with other dosage forms. You should immediately consult with your ENT doctor if you develop crusting, pain, nasal bleeding, or vision changes.


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