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Allergy and Asthma Center -  - Allergist

Allergy and Asthma Center

Allergists located in McLean, VA

Your symptoms may mimic a cold at first, but if your congestion, runny nose, or sneezing stick around longer than ten days, you may have allergic sinusitis. Anita N. Wasan, MD, at Allergy and Asthma Center performs a complete examination and allergy testing to determine the cause of your sinusitis, then creates personalized treatment so you can find some relief from annoying nasal symptoms. Schedule an appointment using online booking, or call the office in McLean, Virginia today.

Sinusitis Q & A

What causes sinusitis?

Your sinuses are air-filled spaces located in facial bones. Each sinus is lined with tissues that produce mucus. When you’re healthy, this mucus leaves the sinus through a small opening and flows down into your nose, where it keeps your nose moist and healthy.

Sinusitis occurs when the mucus-producing tissues become inflamed and swollen. As a result, the tiny opening becomes blocked, mucus builds up in the sinus, and an infection develops.

The top two causes of sinusitis are:


Many patients develop sinusitis due to allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Pollen, ragweed, and grasses can trigger seasonal allergies. If your allergy lasts throughout the year, it’s likely due to mold, pet dander, or dust mites. Allergies can cause ongoing sinus inflammation and a chronic sinus infection.

Viral or bacterial infection

The viruses responsible for the common cold often cause sinusitis. Viral sinusitis usually clears up within ten days. Bacterial infections don’t usually cause sinusitis, but they’re likely to develop if viral sinusitis becomes chronic.


What symptoms develop due to sinusitis?

Allergic sinusitis leads to symptoms such as:

  • Nasal congestion and discharge
  • Runny nose and postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Reduced senses of smell and taste
  • Pain and tenderness around the infected sinuses

Viral and bacterial sinusitis share similar symptoms, though they seldom cause itching or sneezing.


How is sinusitis treated?

Dr. Wasan runs allergy tests to determine the underlying cause of allergic sinusitis. If you have headaches, she carefully evaluates your symptoms and medical history to determine whether you have a sinus headache or migraine.

Your treatment depends on the cause of your sinusitis, the type of allergy, and the severity of your symptoms. Mild allergic sinusitis may improve by avoiding the allergen and using medications to relieve specific symptoms such as a stuffy nose, headache, or cough.

When allergens are identified through testing, you may be a good candidate for immunotherapy or allergy shots. When you get allergy shots, a small amount of your allergen is injected on a regular schedule. Over time, Dr. Wasan gradually increases the dose, which allows your body to develop immunity to the allergen.

If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion or other symptoms of sinusitis, book an appointment online or call Allergy and Asthma Center.