Allergies, Cold or Sinusitis: Let’s Make Things Clear


Symptoms can be similar across these three conditions. So how can you tell which one is causing you problems?

Being hit with a headache and blocked nose at the same time is about as enjoyable as stepping on a single piece of Lego in bare feet. Although quite common, the cause of these symptoms can vary – most commonly between allergies, a cold, or a sinus infection.

There are a few clues that may help you determine which of them is the culprit.



Itchy, runny, stuffy, and sneezy. No, these aren’t characters from Snow White – they’re symptoms of allergies. In addition to nasal congestion, you may experience a runny (clear discharge), itchy nose and itchy, watery eyes. You’ll probably be sneezing quite a bit, too.

Allergies can be triggered by dust, pollen, mould and more. Treatment for allergy symptoms will depend on what’s actually triggering them, so it’s best to speak with your pharmacist to understand the appropriate treatment methods for you.



Like with allergies, when you’re suffering from a cold your stuffy nose may also be runny. But instead of clear discharge it’ll be discoloured. Other symptoms include a cough, sore throat, headache, sneezing and fatigue. Additionally, you might have a temperature as a cold can cause fevers.

Cold symptoms are caused by a virus, and will usually last around a week or a little over. If you’re experiencing ongoing symptoms, talk with your pharmacist as this may be a sign of sinusitis.



On top of congestion, sinusitis can bring with it green or yellow nasal discharge. You may have a weird sensation of fullness in your face, and experience pressure headaches that worsen if you lie down or tilt your head forward. Fever and aching teeth can also be symptoms.

There are a number of causes of sinusitis, with the basis being either a virus or bacterial infection. Allergies, colds and other health issues can lead to sinusitis.

While it may clear up by itself, it could also require medication. If symptoms are persisting longer than around ten days, you should speak with a healthcare professional.


Looking to find out more?

If you’d like further information about the differences between allergies, colds and sinusitis or their available treatments, visit your nearest TerryWhite Chemmart today.

For any ongoing health issues, please consult with your GP.

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