Does hayfever cause sinusitis?

Ah, hayfever. The time of year where your nose becomes a faucet and your eyes feel like they’re on fire. But does this seasonal annoyance also lead to the dreaded sinusitis? Let’s find out!

Understanding Hayfever

Before we dive into whether or not hayfever causes sinusitis, let’s first establish what exactly hayfever is. No, it’s not an allergy to straw or farming equipment (although that would certainly make for an interesting medical case).

Hayfever, also known as allergic rhinitis (savvy lingo alert), is an allergic reaction to environmental factors such as pollen or mold spores. When these little particles enter our nasal passages, our immune system freaks out and tries to fight them off by releasing histamines which cause all sorts of unpleasant symptoms – sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion, etc.

What is Sinusitis?

Now onto the main event: sinusitis(s)! Sinus(e)-(whatsit?) is inflammation of the tissue lining your sinuses; when it goes untreated,it can lead to infection and other issues. Symptoms include facial pain/pressure, nasal discharge, headache, cough, and even fevers in some cases(oh my!). So naturally if you’re experiencing any combination of these things during allergy season,you may be temptedguiltyof assumingthatgoshdarn(pardonmymanners)hay feverismakingthingsworsebyturn inganirritatednoseintoadeserted wastelandofmucousmembranes.Butis that really true? Is there any connection between these two ailments?

  • Drumroll please

Can Hayfever Lead To Sinus Infection?

The simple answer: It can but only under certain circumstances.

Sinuses have the important job of filtering out irritants before they reach your lungs, so when allergens get trapped in there thanks to hayfever, it can cause inflammation(layersofinflammation)which may last long enough for bacteria to proliferate and lead to an infection. So yes, it is possible(See? I told you we’d sprinkle in some positivity!).

The Link Between Hayfever and Sinusitis

Okay, this all makes sense,but how strong is the linkbetween these two conditions? As with many things inthe medical world,the answerissomewhat inconclusive.

One study foundthatthere was indeed a correlation between allergiesas well as hay feverand an increased risk of developing sinusitis.(wowzas!)However, another studydiscovered that any connectionwas minimal(humph).

So what gives (othertelltalesignsoffrustration)? It’s possible that while hayfever alone may not fullycause sinusitis,itcould be amplifying other factors;namely nasal polypsorbacterial infections. Plus, if someonehappens to bean allergy sufferer who also has chronicrhinosinusitis(intenseyouknowwhatreactiontoinfections),hayfever could certainly exacerbate symptoms theresulting combo packismostpleasant!

Treatment Options

Whenit comes tobattling against bothhay feverandsinus congestion,some home remedies include using OTC antihistaminesoids ordecongestantsor more natural alternatives suchasacupunctureor essential oil diffusers.The treatmentplanis somethingbestlefttodiscusswithyourdoctorbecausetreatmentsreally do dependontheindividualsymptomsorediagnosis!Don’t stress though-bothhay Feverand congestionsometimes come hand-in-handwhen speaking about treatments.Of course,yours truly here does not condone mixing common lawn weeds with your morning bowl of porridge(a.k.a self-diagnosing and treating yourself) don’t be “that person”!


As they say,the best defense is a good offense. So instead of waiting around for hayfever to wreak havoc on your respiratory system, take preventative measures such as:

  • Wearing sunglasses outside(‘all the cool kids’ will tell you how great this accessory looks)
  • Using saline nasal sprays(quick busters for blocking pollen from reaching internal surfaces).
  • Staying indoors during peak pollen hours (a.k.a. those beautiful golden hour outdoor selfies may have their drawbacks after all)


Although there isn’t a concreteyesor no answeras to whether or not hay fever causes sinusitis(one would typically hope fora detective-like discovery here), it seems thatthere’s enough evidence to suggestthat thereis atleast some correlation.But rememberif you do experiencethe beginnings of an irritable nose with corresponding pains make sure to speaktoyourphysicianbecausegettingthe proper diagnosiscan preventthingsfrom spiralingoutofcontrol.

And in case you’re worried about any future health scares, just remember: ignorance is bliss! But reallydon’tbe like me(thefunnybutover-the-top-auntywhooffersharmlesssillyadvice)andforego crucialmedicalassistancebeforeit’s toolate(gethelpmostpronto)!

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