A Sneezy Situation: Allergies and Sinus Issues Are Everywhere

By: Editor in Living Well on 10-11-2017

Allergies and sinus issues are very common health challenges that people experience. Millions of people around the world suffer from allergies. Allergies happen when your immune system has an overreaction to something in the environment. Allergies often start in childhood although they can occur at any age. Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms including watery eyes, upset stomach, skin rashes and more. Allergies affect people differently- with some people finding their allergies to be a minor nuisance and other people having their allergies cause possible life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis requires prompt medical treatment. Sinus issues can cause an inflammation of the tissues that line the sinuses. It can also cause the sinuses to become filled with fluid and cause an infection. Sinus infections can cause a variety of symptoms including a deep cough, loss of smell, runny nose, itchy eyes, fever and a general feeling of facial pressure. There are many ways to treat allergies and sinus issues effectively. Keep reading to find out how to effectively manage your allergies and sinus issues.


Allergies are an issue that can cause your immune system to overreact to certain things in the environment. Allergies can cause the immune system to release a chemical. This chemical causes unpleasant physical reactions known as allergy symptoms.

Allergy Symptoms

Common symptoms of allergies include:

  • Watery, itchy and sore eyes

  • Dry, itchy, cracked, peeling, and red skin

  • Sneezing

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Stomach pain

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Hives

  • Red and bumping rash

  • Swollen lips, eyelids, tongue, and face

  • Runny nose

Allergy Triggers

Allergies can be caused by many different triggers. The most common allergy triggers include:

  • Foods

    • Some foods may cause allergic reactions in people including peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, wheat and others

  • Airborne allergens

    • Certain allergens found in the air can cause allergic reactions including pollen, dust, mold, animal dander and more

  • Insect bites/stings

    • Some people may suffer an allergic reaction from a bee or wasp sting

  • Medications

    • Certain medications may cause an allergic reaction including certain antibiotics

  • Latex

    • Some people can have an allergic skin reaction when they touch latex.

Allergies increase the risk of developing serious medical issues including anaphylaxis, asthma, and sinusitis.

If you believe that you may be suffering from allergies, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and common times/settings that they tend to occur. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a detailed log of when your symptoms arise to help determine possible allergy triggers. The doctor may also perform certain allergy tests to help pinpoint what the allergy triggers are including skin and blood tests.

Allergy Treatment

The type of allergy treatment depends on the allergen and severity of symptoms. A few of the most common allergy treatments include:

  • Trigger avoidance

    • Once your doctor has pinpointed your allergy triggers, you will want to avoid these allergens. This can help to reduce symptoms and prevent allergic reactions.

  • Medications

    • Your doctor may suggest that you take over-the-counter or prescription medication to help you manage your systems.

  • Emergency medication

    • Your doctor may need you to carry a lifesaving medication with you always if you have severe allergies. This medication can reduce symptoms until you can get medical emergency treatment.

  • Immunotherapy

    • Your doctor may suggest immunotherapy if your allergies are severe or do not respond well to other treatments.

Seasonal Allergies

Some people will find that they only suffer from allergies during certain seasons including the spring and fall. Allergies that occur only during certain times of the year are known as seasonal allergies. The reason that seasonal allergies only occur during certain times of the year is because of certain environmental factors including pollen, grass, mold, tumbleweed, ragweed and more. Seasonal allergies can cause many different symptoms, with common symptoms including watery eyes, frequent sneezing, itchy skin, itchy eyes, headache and runny nose. Seasonal allergies can be effectively managed by avoiding triggers, taking allergy medication, using eyedrops and immunotherapy.


Hives (urticaria) is an outbreak that occurs on the skin that consists of swollen bumps or plaques. Hives often appear quickly. Hives are a common symptom of allergies.

What are Hives

Hives are small little bumps that may be red and itchy. Hives occur on the surface of the skin. They can appear anywhere on the body including the face, throat, ears, arms, legs, chest and tongue. Hives may be small or large and may join together. When hives join on the skin they create plaques. Hives generally last a few hours to a couple days. There are different types of hives including acute urticaria, chronic urticaria and angioedema, physical urticaria and dermographism. If you are experiencing symptoms of hives you should visit your doctor. Your doctor will try to identify the cause and trigger of hives and may use certain skin tests to pinpoint a possible allergy.

Hives Treatment

The most effective way that hives can be managed is to determine what the trigger or allergen is and avoid it. This is not an easy task though and may require allergy testing. Your doctor will help you to find a treatment plan that will effectively manage symptoms which may include oral and/or topical medication. The symptoms of hives may also be treated using at home remedies which include applying a cool compress to affected areas, wearing loose clothing and avoiding hot temperatures.

Sinus Infection

A sinus infection (sinusitis) is an inflammation of the tissues that line the sinuses. Sinus infections are extremely common. Sinuses are healthy they are filled with air, but unhealthy sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid. This creates a breeding ground for germs to grow and cause an infection. There are a variety of health conditions that may cause a sinus infection including colds, allergic rhinitis, and nasal polyps. Sinus infections may also occur because of injury or trauma to the nose including a deviated septum.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

Symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • facial pressure

  • runny nose

  • loss of smell

  • fever

  • headache

  • cough

  • congestion

Sinus Infection Treatment

If you are experiencing these symptoms you should make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Your doctor may also recommend a nasal wash. At-home treatment options include using a vaporizer so that the air in your home is moist and warm. You can also apply warm compresses to your head and sinuses to alleviate pain and pressure. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can also help to alleviate pain from a sinus infection.