Difference Between Rhinitis and Sinusitis

Windowofworld.com – Some people may not know the difference between rhinitis and sinusitis. These two conditions do have similar symptoms so they are often considered the same. In fact, rhinitis and sinusitis are two different health problems.

Rhinitis is a condition when the nasal passages become inflamed and cause cold symptoms and sneezing. Meanwhile, sinusitis is a disease when the sinus cavities around the nose and eyes are swollen and inflamed. Sinusitis can cause a runny nose, runny nose, and headaches.

If not treated properly, both rhinitis and sinusitis can increase the risk of developing respiratory tract infections. Therefore, it is important to recognize what the difference between rhinitis and sinusitis is and how to treat it.

Difference between rhinitis and sinusitis based on trigger factors

Rhinitis is generally caused by an allergic reaction, for example exposure to pollen, dust, cigarette smoke and animal hair. Apart from allergic reactions, disorders of the nerves in the nose (vasomotor rhinitis) and infections can also cause rhinitis.

Unlike rhinitis, sinusitis is usually caused by an infection, either a viral or a bacterial infection. The infection that causes sinusitis usually originates from the teeth or gums.

Apart from infection, there are several other factors that can also trigger sinusitis, namely a history of asthma, nose deformities, and smoking habits.

Difference between rhinitis and sinusitis based on symptoms

Both rhinitis and sinusitis often produce cold symptoms. However, the two conditions can also cause other symptoms that are different. Some of the symptoms of rhinitis that can appear are:

  • The nose and eyes feel itchy
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Clear mucus or mucus discharge from the nose
  • Watery eyes

If caused by allergies, rhinitis symptoms can disappear immediately if you stay away from the trigger factors. However, people with rhinitis sometimes experience these symptoms suddenly.

Despite some similarities, the symptoms of sinusitis are slightly different from rhinitis. The following are some of the symptoms of sinusitis:

  • Headache
  • The head feels heavy
  • Pain around the nasal bones or under the eyes, especially if they are pressed
  • Nasal congestion
  • Excessive mucus production in the throat and causing discomfort
  • Cough
  • Reduced ability to smell

The symptoms of both rhinitis and sinusitis can be acute or resolve within a few days or weeks. However, the two conditions can sometimes be chronic and last for months.

Rhinitis and Sinusitis Treatment

The symptoms of rhinitis and sinusitis can sometimes be similar, it is even possible for you to experience both conditions at once. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

The doctor can perform a physical examination and supporting examinations such as blood tests, allergy tests, and X-rays of the face and head to confirm the diagnosis.

After the diagnosis is known, the doctor can perform the following treatments to treat your condition:

1. Administration of drugs

To treat rhinitis and sinusitis, your doctor will give you antihistamine drugs, such as diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, loratadine, fexofenadine, and cetirizine.

In addition, doctors can also prescribe decongestant drugs and to relieve symptoms of a cold that is severe and does not go away. This medicine is available in the form of nasal drops as well as oral medications.

If the rhinitis or sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.

2. Operation

This method is generally an option for treating severe rhinitis or sinusitis that does not heal with medication. Surgery can also be done to treat chronic rhinitis, such as vasomotor rhinitis, and chronic sinusitis.

Apart from the above treatments, both rhinitis and sinusitis can also be treated by staying away from allergic triggers or irritants in the nose, such as cigarette smoke and animal hair.

If your rhinitis or sinusitis symptoms go away within a few days, that’s a sign you don’t need special treatment. However, you need to be vigilant if your rhinitis or sinusitis symptoms often recur or don’t get better after more than 2–3 weeks.

If you experience these conditions, you should immediately see a doctor to get the right treatment.