How To Tell The Difference Between Arizona Allergies and a Sinus Infection

sinus infection_phoenix, az

All week we’ve been focusing on sinus infections vs allergies and colds. If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, you probably have figured out why. Besides the fact that monsoon season has brought about some wicked allergies, our Phoenix doctors are also seeing an increase in sinus infections this year. With that said, our Family Practice Specialists wanted to share with our patients the important differences between a sinus infection and allergies, how to notice the differences, and when to come in to see your Phoenix doctor.


Sinus Infection vs Allergies – Putting Off Visiting the Doctor

It’s allergy season, and with the monsoon in full swing, dust in the air, weeds in full bloom and temperatures perfectly conducive for catering to Phoenix allergens, many Arizona residents are suffering from runny noses, sneezing and coughing. Phoenix doctors throughout the metro area have seen an uptick in the amount of allergy patients they are treating.


The problem comes into play when sinus infections are improperly diagnosed by Phoenix doctors as allergies.  A recent online study found that more than 600 asthma and allergy patients self-diagnosed their symptoms as allergies when they really had a sinus infection, or sinusitis. The study goes on to say that despite the fact that 70 percent of those surveyed most trust a primary care physician to correctly diagnose allergies or sinusitis, only 36 percent reported consulting a physician when they had symptoms of these conditions.


By putting off a visit to your Phoenix doctor, you could be delaying and prolonging a simple diagnosis and quick treatment. In some rare cases, a sinus infection can cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall. Untreated sinus infections, though extremely rare, can also cause infection in adjacent structures such as the bones of the skull or around the eye.


As a Phoenix doctor, my purpose is not to scare you into coming in to see us, my purpose is to simply remind  you that by getting those symptoms checked out by a professional, we can provide the proper treatment to reduce that sinus infection from a possible two-week affair to a mere few days.



According to, 35 million Americans suffer from nasal allergies and 7 million suffer from chronic sinus infections, but it is extremely hard to tell the difference between the two conditions.


Arizona Seasonal Allergies – Symptoms of our seasonal allergies here in Arizona consist of watery or itchy eyes, dry throat and occasional sneezing. These symptoms can actually last for weeks as we work through the monsoon season.


Sinus Infection – With a sinus infection, the nasal passageways actually become inflamed to the point where it becomes difficult to breath. Your body create mucus, a lot of mucus, every single day during the infection, so that no matter how often you use a Kleenex or clear your throat, the mucus is back. Irritability and fatigue are also symptoms of a sinus infection – symptoms that don’t often come with allergies. The pressure behind the eyes and cheeks can be quite intense with a sinus infection, and nasal discharge will be a green or yellow color.


When To See a Phoenix Doctor

It’s very important to see your Phoenix doctor if you’re suffering from either allergy or sinus infection symptoms. Your Phoenix doctor can treat both conditions and get you back to feeling like yourself. From prescription medications to nasal washes to, in the most extreme cases, surgery, you have options when you’re not feeling yourself. There’s no reason to live and work through a sinus infection, or even allergies, when something can be done to make you feel better.


Call your Family Practice Specialists today.

Posted by Phoenix Doctor in Allergies, Family Physician | Permalink |