Allergic Rhinitis vs Sinus — How to Tell the Difference?

Nasal Decongestion

A stuffy nose can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating, especially if it happens often. To make matters worse, the two most common culprits behind nazal congestion—allergic rhinitis and sinusitis (more commonly known as sinus)—are more alike than they are different in terms of their symptoms.

Fortunately, there are still ways to tell the two apart, though few know about them. Here’s how you can better identify your symptoms whenever you have a stuffy nose, and pursue the correct course of action with regards to treatment and management.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis affects 13.1% of people in Singapore, with most turning to nasal decongestants such as Sato Nazal Spray Pump for relief. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly perceives harmless airborne particles as a health hazard, prompting the release of histamine and other mediators that cause what is akin to an allergic response.

It can be triggered by just about anything, from outdoor and indoor allergens such as pollen, to dust mites, and pet fur. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

- sneezing
- coughing
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- itchiness in eyes, nose, mouth, throat, or skin
- watery, red, or swollen eyes
- lowered sense of smell
- pressure in nose or cheeks
- headache
- hives

Allergic rhinitis can persist for several weeks but does not cause fevers. However, it can sometimes lead to the development of sinus — another reason why the two afflictions are often confused with one another.

Sinusitis (Sinus)

There are two main kinds of sinus infections: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis, with the latter affecting about 12.6% of people in Singapore. Sinus infections occur when fluid builds up in the sinuses of our face, facilitating germ growth. The viruses and bacteria that accumulate thereafter are what causes symptoms of sinus infections. These symptoms include:

- coughing
- sore throat
- post-nasal drip
- runny or stuffy nose
- low-grade fever
- lowered sense of smell
- pain or pressure in eyes, nose, cheeks, or forehead
- headache
- fatigue
- bad breath
- dental pains

Acute sinusitis typically lasts for 7 to 10 days, while chronic sinusitis can persist for 12 weeks or longer.

How to Identify

To distinguish between allergic rhinitis and sinus infections, you should take note of their respective distinct symptoms. For example, sneezing, itchiness, and watery eyes are more common in the former than in the latter.

Alternatively, comparing the colour of your mucus is another method to determine which affliction is causing your discomfort — clear mucus is indicative of allergic rhinitis whereas yellow or green discharge are signs of a sinus infection.

Treatment and Relief

Fortunately, treatment methods for both afflictions overlap in several areas. Antihistamines can be used to reduce swelling in nasal passages to directly reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis and prevent further germ growth in cases of sinus infections. However, antibiotics may also help in the case of the latter but should not be consumed for treating the former.

Nasal decongestant sprays in Singapore—such as the Sato Nazal Spray or the aforementioned Sato Nazal pump—are also great ways to deal with discomforts brought on by either affliction. These Japanese nasal sprays for allergies help prevent and reverse inflammation and swelling in both nasal passages and sinus openings, effectively addressing the biggest problem behind both allergic rhinitis and sinus infections

Find Relief with Sato Pharmaceutical

Buy the best nasal decongestant sprays in Singapore with Sato Pharmaceutical’s Nazal Spray Line.

Shop Sato today.