Sinusitis vs. Allergies

If a stuffy nose lasts more than a few days, you’re probably dealing with more than just a simple cold. In order to treat the problem, you have to determine what it is. Typically, your stuffy nose will be due to either sinusitis or allergies. For allergy treatment in NYC, contact Dr. Shukla Today!

The two illnesses have similar symptoms, so they are easy to confuse. In order to tell them apart, look for key differences:

  • Triggers that set them off
  • Timing of occurrence
  • Effective treatments

Different Causes of Allergies vs. Sinusitis

With sinusitis and allergies both, your nose will get stuffed up.

But, depending on your condition, the stuffiness occurs for different reasons.

If you have allergies, your sinuses, as well as your nasal passages, swell in response to an allergen that you are sensitive to (for example, dust, peanuts, or a bee sting.) This blocks mucus from draining.

Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. It usually begins with allergies or a cold, which makes you susceptible to a virus which causes the infection. Occasionally, a sinus infection (sinusitis) can be caused by bacteria. Rarely, it is caused by fungus. Your nose stuffs up because infected sinuses are inflamed and swollen, blocking drainage.

Unique Allergy Symptoms

Although the symptoms of the two illnesses tend to overlap, you may notice these in particular if you are experiencing allergies:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

Unique Symptoms of Sinusitis

If what you are experiencing is sinusitis, these symptoms may stand out:

  • Thick, colored mucus
  • Painful, swollen feeling around your forehead, eyes, and cheeks
  • Headache or pain in your teeth
  • Post-nasal drip (mucus that moves from the back of your nose into your throat)
  • Bad breath
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Light fever

Arming yourself with this information can help you determine the cause of your symptoms. Still, it can be a difficult call to make. For help figuring things out, and for allergy treatment in NYC, visit Dr. Shukla.

Pay Attention to When and How Your Symptoms Occur


Since allergies are a response to your particular allergens, they will only occur when you are exposed to those allergens. This could mean allergy attacks only happen in the summer months when a particular type of pollen count is high, or in winter when there is mold. It could also mean you have been eating a food type that you’d better not. If you know the allergens you need to avoid and are aware of when you are exposed to them, you should be able to recognize when you are having an allergy attack. Seeking allergy treatment in NYC is the best way to identify your allergy triggers.


If you have a cold that seems to go on for an unreasonable amount of time (more than a week or two), or allergy symptoms that last long after the allergen is out of your environment, this could mean you have developed sinusitis.

Allergy Treatment

Dr. Shukla highly recommends Allergy Drops to his patients for allergy treatment in NYCThe World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the sublingual (under the tongue) drops as a “viable alternative” to allergy shots (injections.)

“The first step is to confirm a patient’s allergies through allergy testing. Then, a custom-mixed vial of drops is prepared for the patient, based on his or her unique allergy profile. The patient takes drops under the tongue daily.”

Allergy drops have many advantages:

  • Lower cost
  • Fewer clinic visits
  • More convenient
  • Fewer medications
  • More healthy days

Other commonly recommended allergy treatments include:

  • Decongestants or antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids

Sinusitis Treatment

For sinusitis, you can try using a nasal decongestant spray, but only for 3-4 days. After that you may experience the “rebound effect.” This is when the medication makes your symptoms worse instead of helping.

You can also treat sinusitis with:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics, if caused by bacteria

Natural Solutions

Some medication-free cures for allergies and sinusitis that are said to be effective include:

  • Humidifiers
  • Hot packs
  • Salt water rinses

Allergy Treatment NYC

If you think you may have allergies or sinusitis, Contact Dr. Shukla. His personalized, empathetic approach to pediatric and traditional heath care has helped patients for many years.

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