How Do I Know If I Am Having a Sinus Infection vs. an Allergy Attack?

Sinus vs Allergy Austin, TX

It’s actually not an easy thing to know the difference between a sinus infection and an allergy attack, even for your primary care physician.

Both produce congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure, post nasal drip, and can make you feel not well.

Sinus infection vs. allergy attack

A sinus infection typically comes on more abruptly, has symptoms isolated to the nose and throat, typically has discolored nasal drainage, and has a course of days. It tends to resolve with antibiotics as well.

An allergy attack comes with two phases during the same season each year. Initially an acute attack consists of watery nasal drainage, frequently with itchy eyes, sneezing, and clear drainage. The second phase is mainly congestion and sinus pressure and can last for weeks or the duration of the season. It usually will not improve with antibiotics.


In our office, we have the tools to know exactly what the issue is. We have needle-free allergy skin testing to see if it’s allergies that are producing your symptoms. We have an office mini-CT scan to see if a sinus infection is present.   We also have a high definition video nasal endoscopy to painlessly obtain a sinus culture to identify the specific bacteria that is causing the infection and what antibiotics are appropriate.

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If you find yourself confused if your issue is sinus infections or allergy attacks come see us for a comprehensive evaluation and the answers you need. Contact our office at 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation today!

Posted in: Allergies, Sinus and Nasal

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