Allergies vs Sinus Infection: Difference and Comparison

Allergies and sinus infections, called sinusitis, are two major different things. People might take both of them as similar, but there are some major differences between them.

In simple words, allergies are something that happens when a few things are irritants in one’s body.

In the same way, allergies occur as the immune system of the person reacts to those irritants and allergens as they are not suitable for the person’s body. While the other one is a sinus infection caused in the body because of some bacteria or viral.

Key Takeaways

  1. Allergies result from the immune system’s overreaction to harmless substances, like pollen or pet dander.
  2. Viruses or bacteria cause sinus infections and involve inflammation of the sinus cavities.
  3. Symptoms may overlap, but allergies do not cause fever or thick, discolored mucus, which is common in sinus infections.

Allergies vs Sinus Infection

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to irritants and allergens, while a sinus infection, sometimes called sinusitis, is a bacterial or viral infection. Acute sinus lasts less than 4 weeks, while chronic sinus lasts 3 months or longer, and Allergy lasts as long as exposure.

Allergies vs Sinus Infection
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Allergies occur when the immune system of a person reacts or even overreacts to some allergens. Allergens can be any substance, but most of the time, they are like pollen, dust, or it can be even pet dander.

The reaction is basically like a negative response by the body to the substance. The immune system reacts to it by releasing substances like histamine.

Sinus infection does not require a stage or time to happen. It simply happens when the nasal passage becomes inflamed. Most of the time, the sinus infection is caused by an external virus.

When this happens, the nasal cavity inflames, and the mucus builds up even more and gets stuck, this further elaborates the problem even more.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonAllergiesSinus Infection
Bad breathBad breath occurs in allergiesThere is no sign of sinus when there is a problem with breathing.
FeverThere can be mild to high fever when there is an allergic reaction in the body.There is no fever when the person is affected by a sinus infection.
Pain in the toothTooth pain occurs in an allergic reaction.There is no pain in the tooth during sinusitis.
Blowing nose An allergic reaction does not allow you to blow your nose as your nasal cavity becomes inflamed.Sinus infection might or might not allow you to do the same.
Pain around mouth There is no such symptom in allergies.One of the symptoms of sinus infection is pain around the cheeks and the eyes.

What are Allergies? 

Allergies basically occur at any point in time, although it occurs in the childhood phase of one’s life and then become an allergy to a new substance in adulthood.

Allergies occur when the immune system of a person reacts or even overreacts to some allergens. Allergens can be any substance, but most of the time, they are like pollen, dust, or it can be even pet dander.

The reaction is basically like a negative response by the body to the substance. The immune system reacts to it by releasing substances like histamine.

The release of histamine causes several symptoms like sneezing continuously, headache, and even congestion. These symptoms also include feeling foggy and developing skin rashes.

allergies

What is Sinus Infection?

Sinus infection does not require a stage or time to happen. It simply happens when the nasal passage becomes inflamed. Most of the time, the sinus infection is caused by an external virus.

When this happens, the nasal cavity inflames, and the mucus builds up even more and gets stuck, this further elaborates the problem even more.

Symptoms of sinus infection are headache, congestion in the nasal cavity, and pain in and around the cheeks and eyes. Another major symptom of sinus infection is thick and discolored mucus and problems in breathing.

The sinus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics. You will have to take a full prescription as told by your doctor, even if you start feeling better in a while.

sinus infection

Main Differences Between Allergies and Sinus Infection

  1. The main difference between allergies and sinus infection is that allergies basically occur at any point in time, although it occurs in the childhood phase of one’s life and then it becomes allergy to a new substance in adulthood, while sinus infection happens when there is some blockage in your nasal passage, and it becomes inflamed.
  2. Bad breath occurs in allergies while there is no sign of sinus when there is a problem in breathing.
  3. There can be mild to high fever when there is an allergic reaction in the body, whereas there is no fever when the person is affected by a sinus infection.
  4. Tooth pain occurs in an allergic reaction, but there is no pain in the tooth during sinusitis.
  5. An allergic reaction does not allow you to blow your nose as your nasal cavity becomes inflamed, while Sinus infection might or might not allow you to do the same.
  6. There is no such symptom in allergies, while one of the symptoms of sinus infection is pain around the cheeks and the eyes.
Difference Between Allergies and Sinus Infection
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091674901925862
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2500/ajr.2006.20.2920

Last Updated : 01 August, 2023

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