If you were infected with COVID-19 months ago, but you’re still experiencing symptoms, you aren’t alone. Though mild cases usually resolve within 1-2 weeks, some bouts of COVID give rise to secondary sinus infections — and potentially even make allergies worse!
Ready to find relief from your sinus issues? Our specialists at Advanced ENT will uncover the root cause and craft a custom treatment plan just for you.
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Does COVID-19 Cause Sinus Infections?
In some cases, COVID-19 can cause a sinus infection.
COVID-19 (often called “Coronavirus”) is an upper respiratory illness that affects the entire respiratory tract, including the nasal passageways and the sinuses.
Like many viral respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, creating the perfect conditions for lingering bacteria to cause a secondary infection. These infections can impact your sinuses, throat, or lungs.
Though sinus infections can come from COVID, they sometimes appear on their own as well. Get in touch with an ENT specialist to be certain that you’re taking the right treatment approach.
Does COVID-19 Cause Allergies?
Allergies are not a symptom of a COVID infection.
However, many ENT and allergy clinics are seeing an increase in the number of patients who developed persistent allergy- and sinus-related problems for the first time after they were infected with COVID.
Certainly, a handful of factors play a role in this rise — for example, the increase in environmental allergens, recurrent sinusitis, and other autoimmune/inflammatory conditions — but COVID-19 may also play a significant part.
Viruses and Allergies
Viruses like COVID-19 have a long history of acting as stressors that can promote abnormal gene expression and autoimmune dysregulation.
Recent evidence suggests that respiratory viruses can have one of three effects on allergy-related symptoms:
- Viruses can cause allergy symptoms for the first time
- Viruses can worsen allergy symptoms that already exist
- Viruses can protect your body against certain allergy symptoms
The exact outcome will depend on the specific viral strain, your unique immune system, and the environmental conditions. In light of this evidence, the virus behind COVID-19 could bring about allergy-related symptoms, even if you haven’t experienced them before!
Though the recent research provides some insight, more studies are needed to examine exactly how COVID-19 impacts the immune system and respiratory tract.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear within 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Here are some key symptoms of COVID to keep an eye out for:
- Fever or chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Headaches, muscle aches, or body aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Newly developed loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
Remember: Our list doesn’t include every symptom that’s associated with COVID-19. For more information on the virus, visit the CDC page on COVID.
COVID-19 vs. Allergies
Since many conditions share symptoms with COVID-19, it can be hard to tell what’s truly behind your sinus troubles. If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing COVID or seasonal allergies, here are some telltale differentiators to look for:
|Length of symptoms||7-25 days||Several weeks|
|Fever or chills||Common||Rare|
|Shortness of breath||Common||Rare|
|Loss of taste or smell||Common||Rare|
|Itchy or watery eyes||Rare||Common|
When to See a Doctor
If you suspect that you’re suffering from COVID-19 or allergies, it’s best to meet with an ENT doctor who can diagnose your condition properly. In any case, it’s a good idea to see a doctor if you:
- Have had symptoms for more than three months
- Get frequent sinus infections, ear infections, or headaches
- Have difficulty staying asleep
- Feel pain in your chest or have trouble breathing
- Experience a sudden worsening of symptoms
When your symptoms start to interfere with your daily life — sleeping, working, exercising, and relaxing — it’s time to head to the local clinic.
Allergy Specialists in Denver, CO
Sinus infections and allergies can be difficult to manage, especially with the threat of COVID hanging in the air. Thankfully, you don’t have to work through your symptoms alone. Our team at Advanced ENT has years of experience successfully treating allergy-related symptoms, and we’re here to help you find lasting relief.
If you’re ready to return to a symptom-free life and fully enjoy the Colorado air, call (303) 792-3242 or book an appointment online today!