A young man in a light blue t-shirt winces and pinches the bridge of his nose, potentially experiencing sinusitis pain.
A young man in a light blue t-shirt winces and pinches the bridge of his nose, potentially experiencing sinusitis pain.

Is it sinusitis, allergies, or a cold?

Step one: identify the problem – cold, allergy or sinusitis.

Congestion, sinus pressure and other nasal symptoms can be caused by various conditions, like sinusitis, allergies, or the common cold. Once you know the root cause of your problem, you’ll be able to select the appropriate treatment and get more targeted relief.
Keep reading to learn more about the differences between a cold, allergies and sinusitis – plus how to get relief from your symptoms.

Do I have a cold?

A cold is a viral infection that can be triggered by more than 200 different viruses. You’ll know you’ve caught a cold if you begin to suffer from a blocked or runny nose, sore throat, cough, tiredness or a sudden fit of sneezes.1
If you’re wondering what the symptoms of the flu are and how they differ from those of a cold, the main differences are that you’re more likely to have a fever or muscle pain with the flu than with a cold, and colds usually get better quicker.2
Most of us will catch a cold at least twice a year.3 A cold-causing virus can be spread in the air through coughs and sneezes, or picked up by touching infected people or surfaces. A person can be contagious from the day before the illness breaks out, and can remain infectious for several weeks. Cold symptoms are typically worst in the 2-3 days after infection.3
Rest and symptom relief are the best ways of treating a cold.3 Otrivin offers a range of options to help make your cold symptoms more bearable.

Have I got hay fever?

Hay fever is a type of allergy. It flares up when your immune system overreacts to an allergen (such as pollen or pet hair) and releases chemicals to fight it off, just like it would a viral infection. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and itchy eyes, mouth or skin.4
People with hay fever can start to experience symptoms just minutes after breathing in an allergy-causing substance (allergen).5
Hay fever can have a significant impact on people who suffer from it, depending on how severe their symptoms are. It can have psychological effects, interfere with social interactions, and can incur an economic burden not only for the affected person, but for their family and for society at large.6
That’s why finding ways to treat your symptoms and avoid your triggers in the first place is so important when it comes to managing hay fever. This may sound easier said than done – for example, for those with a pollen allergy, symptoms are typically seasonal, and it’s not exactly practical to avoid going outside for the whole of spring. A better course of action, though, would be to check pollen forecasts, so you know which days you’d be better off swapping an outdoor run for a treadmill session at the gym.

Is it sinusitis?

Sinusitis is defined as symptomatic inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. It usually follows a viral infection – such as a cold or the flu – of the upper respiratory tract (which includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx and larynx). Symptoms can include a sinus headache and pain, swelling and tenderness around the face, in addition to the normal cold symptoms of a runny or blocked nose.7
Sinusitis, also called rhinosinusitis, affects about 1 in 8 adults and generally occurs when viruses or bacteria infect the sinuses (often during a cold) and begin to multiply. Part of the body’s reaction to the infection causes the sinus lining to swell, resulting in blocked sinuses. This causes mucus and pus to fill the nose and sinus cavities.8
Sinusitis can be acute (lasting less than 4 weeks) or chronic (lasting for more than 3 months). Daily nasal irrigation with the Otrivin Naturals range can help clear your nose, reduce swelling, and wash away any trapped bacteria and viruses from the nose.7-11

Step two: find your treatment.

Finding the right treatment plan for you will depend on the nature of your symptoms, as well as the condition that’s causing them. Always talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any new medications, including those available over the counter.
Having said that, if congestion is your main concern, Otrivin may be able to help. If you have nasal congestion from allergies or a cold, the Otrivin Naturals range of saline-powered nasal decongestants can help you breathe better, naturally. And for a more stubborn blocked nose or sinuses, Otrivin Medicated decongestants get to work within minutes, and can provide relief for up to 10 hours.


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