ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Do You Have Sinusitis or Allergies? What is the difference?

Some people have a stuffy nose that goes on for a few days, and they may think that they have sinusitis. Others immediately think they have allergies. There are even those who think that they’re the same problem, but that’s not really true.


The Different Causes

It’s true that your nose and sinuses become stuffed up when you have allergies or sinusitis. But it’s also true that your sinuses are stuffed for different reasons. If you are allergic to pet dander, dust mites, mold, and pollen, then your nose and your sinuses can swell up when you’re exposed to large amounts of these allergens. That’s because your nose and sinuses are trying to flush out these foreign particles.


Sinusitis is the condition in which the tissue lining of your sinuses have become inflamed or swollen. It’s true that this condition can arise when you have allergies. But your nose can become stuffy even if you don’t have allergies.


Symptoms of Allergies

Yes, with allergies you can have a stuffy nose as a result. But you can have other symptoms too. You may constantly sneeze while having a runny nose. Your eyes can become watery or itchy. You may even wheeze a lot.


You’ll start to feel these symptoms when you come into contact with the particles to which you’re allergic. The symptoms may not disappear until you’re no longer in contact with these allergens.

If you’re particularly allergic to pollen, then this can be a seasonal allergy. But it can happen at any time of the year if you’re allergic to dust mites, mold, or pet dander.


Symptoms of Sinusitis

With sinusitis, a stuffy nose is also just one of the symptoms that may present. You may determine that you have sinusitis when you find that your mucus has become thick and colored. You may have pain in your teeth, a headache, or a light fever. There may be a swollen, painful feeling around your cheeks, eyes, and forehead. Fatigue is possible as well.


You may have postnasal drip, when the excess mucus goes to the back of your nose and into your throat. Other symptoms include a sore throat, coughing, and bad breath.

These symptoms can appear after you’ve had allergies or a cold. Some of the symptoms can go on, even when you’re no longer in contact with the allergens or the cold has gone away. The stuffy nose, and in some cases the coughing, can last for a week or two.


If it lasts for less than 4 weeks, you have acute sinusitis. But if you have the symptoms for more than 3 months, it’s classified as chronic sinusitis.


Since ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for the appropriate ENT services.



HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services


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