With the onset of Spring, several of us will have our fair share of either allergies or sinus problems.  Blooming flowers and trees are great to look at, but the little blossoms that float in the air we breathe can cause health problems.  Let’s look at these two common illnesses: allergies and sinus.  Allergy symptoms are often confused with a cold or flu.  Allergies are the immune systems’ reaction to generally harmless substances and continue off and on, much longer than a cold.

Symptoms of allergies are:

  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Repeated ear and sinus infections
  • Loss of smell, taste
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Cold symptoms that last more than 10 days without a fever

Sinuses are air-filled spaces behind the forehead, nasal bones, cheeks, and eyes, with openings to the nose, and serve as conditioners that filter and humidify the air.   If the sinuses become blocked, miserable headaches occur, as well as these other symptoms of acute sinusitis:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Greenish nasal discharge
  • Facial or dental pain
  • Eye pain
  • Night cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat

Here are some suggestions if you are plagued by sinus or allergy problems:

  1. Take a non-drowsy decongestant during the day to avoid pressure build up.
  2. Avoid smoke and irritants that increase your chance of developing sinus/allergy difficulties.
  3. Check the pollen counts in your area before you go outdoors.
  4. Use a saline mist spray to keep sinuses healthy.
  5. If you work in dusty environments, use a respirator.
  6. If you are prone to allergies, protect your eyes with goggles or wraparound glasses.
  7. Do not take antihistamines that could cause drowsiness while driving or working.