Many a times the person suffering from a cold and running nose need not be suffering from sinus infection but it could also be due to allergies. At times, it can be very hard to detect if sinusitis is due to allergy or an infection.
In allergies there is a clear nasal discharge accompanied with sneezing. There will itchy sensation on the nose, dry cough, and watery eyes. Rubbing the itchy nose many a times with hand leaves a mark known as the “allergic salute”. Sometimes dark circles under the eye are also common symptoms that point to the fact that it is an allergy. If the cold come around the same time every year then it is more likely an allergy. Many a time the status of the cold changes with a change in environment, it can become better or worse, like moving in from out, change of place, home or work place etc. It has been seen that chronic infection does not cause fever but an inflammation from allergy can cause fever. If one or more courses of antibiotics do not treat the predicament, then allergy is much more likely. Coexisting with people, having asthma or eczema, one will likely get the allergy. As long as the trigger is present in the environment, the allergic reaction will continue. People with allergies have hypersensitive mast cells that sound the alert in response to relatively harmless particles such as pollen and dust.
The inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses is called Sinusitis. Generally, sinuses are packed with air, but when sinuses are blocked and crammed with fluid; germs like bacteria, viruses, and fungi can breed and result in an infection. A sinus infection always begins with a cold and last for more than 10 to 14 days. Sometimes the person can suffer from fever, facial pain, or facial swellings. In sinus infection, the mucus discharge is much thicker and darker in color. Sinus can be due the common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum, which is actually a change in the nasal cavity.