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Chronic Sniffles? Determining the Cause of Your Constant Runny Nose

The typical lifespan of a cold or the flu can range from a few days to a couple of weeks. And if your immune system is down due to exhaustion, dehydration, stress, or an underlying health issue, it can take longer to get rid of your cold.

However, a constant case of the sniffles may be a symptom of a sinus infection or nasal polyps. If you’re suffering from acute or chronic sinus problems, Cecil Yeung, MD, and our team of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists at Houston Sinus Surgery can help you find relief.

When a runny nose is more than just a cold

If your runny nose doesn’t clear up in a week or two, doesn’t improve with over-the-counter medication, or clears up but keeps coming back, you may be suffering from an infection or blockage in your nasal cavity.

Other possible causes of a runny nose include:

  • Acute or chronic sinusitis
  • Seasonal or environmental allergies
  • Rhinitis
  • Respiratory infection
  • Asthma
  • Nasal polyps
  • Deviated septum
  • Environmental irritants, such as tobacco smoke or dry air

A runny nose with a fever and sinus pain is usually a sign of an infection. If you have a bacterial sinus infection, you will need antibiotics to clear up the infection.

Signs and symptoms of sinusitis

If you think you may have a sinus infection, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT specialists. The most common signs and symptoms of sinusitis, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, include:

  • Green or yellow nasal discharge
  • Postnasal drip
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pain and/or tenderness around the eyes and nose
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Bad breath
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue

After your examination, Dr. Yeung will design a plan to treat your sinusitis depending on your symptoms and the underlying cause.

Allergy signs and symptoms

Since the main symptoms of a cold, sinus infection, and allergy can overlap, it’s best to see one of our ENT specialists as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis. If your runny nose and sniffles are triggered by seasonal allergies, you may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and/or watery eyes
  • Post nasal drip
  • Congestion in the ears
  • Dry or itchy throat and palette
  • Headache
  • Coughing

Like sinus infections, allergies can range from mild to severe and have different triggers, so your treatment will depend on the underlying cause and severity of your symptoms.

For more information about the signs and symptoms of sinusitis and other sinus problems, or to get treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Houston Sinus Surgery today.

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