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Stuffy Nose Again? You May Have This Chronic Disease But Not Nasal Allergy

Stuffy Nose Again? You May Have This Chronic Disease But Not Nasal Allergy

Some people seem to constantly suffer with a blocked nose, tiredness, and sinus pain. This can get worse as time goes on, which often leads them to believe that they are suffering from a nasal allergy to dust or pollen. However, they are often wrong. A recent survey from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that lots of people mistakenly diagnose themselves with a nasal allergy when they actually have sinusitis. The online study involved more than 600 allergy and asthma patients, and approximately half of them wrongly diagnosed their own symptoms without visiting a doctor.

If you have a stuffy nose and you’re not sure what is causing it, don’t worry. Here are some of the main differences between sinusitis and nasal allergies.

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The Differences Between Sinusitis and a Nasal Allergy

Although the symptoms are similar, a nasal allergy is very different from sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by an infection, a deviated septum, or polyps in the sinuses, whereas an allergy is a disorder of the immune system.There are a few ways to tell the difference between a nasal allergy and sinusitis:

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  • If your symptoms include itchy or watery eyes and tend to last for months, it could be an allergy. While decongestants can help with this, antihistamines are a much better choice. It is also useful to check for allergens in your house; for example, your symptoms could be caused by a feather pillow or an air-freshener in your home, and if you remove it the symptoms will disappear.
  • One of the main ways to tell the difference between a nasal allergy and sinusitis is facial pain. Sinusitis causes the nasal passageways to become inflamed, and mucus fills the sinuses which causes headaches, and a feeling of pressure and pain in the temples, forehead, and around the eyes.

If you experience any of these symptoms for longer than a week or so you should consider speaking to a medical professional as it is unlikely that you have a cold or the flu. If you experience these symptoms regularly it could mean that you have chronic sinusitis, and you should speak to a physician or an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If you regularly experience facial pain but no blocked nose, you should still speak to a medical professional, as sometimes the congested mucus is further back in the sinuses.

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How to Relieve Allergy and Sinusitis Symptoms

Short-term solutions

  • Using warm packs to drain mucus and soothe facial pain
  • Cleaning the inside of your nose with a saline solution to help unblock your nose and remove mucus
  • Using decongestants as they will lower the amount of mucus in your sinuses

Long-term solutions

If your problems persist you should speak to your doctor. He or she may prescribe antibiotics if the sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, in which case you will need to take them for up to two weeks. Some studies suggest that bacteria is rarely the cause of sinusitis, so antibiotics are prescribed with caution.

If you are suffering with nasal allergies, you can take antihistamines and other allergy medicines. However, it is important to make sure that the problem is actually caused by allergies before you start treating yourself with antihistamines. Speak to your doctor about taking an allergy test if you’re not sure.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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