Sinus problems are a common symptom of food allergies. Sinuses are cavities in the bones of the face and skull which help to remove unwanted particles and also work to filter and add moisture to the air we inhale. Lined with a soft tissue called mucosa, sinuses work to keep tissue soft and moist.
If you ingest an allergen, the sinuses can become inflamed because the body will produce heightened levels of histamine. This will then cause swelling and congestion. If you experience chronic sinus problems, this could lead to a sinus infection and other complications, so it’s important to talk to a doctor about your symptoms.
Sinus problems from food allergies can cause a variety of symptoms including nasal congestion, sinus pressure, postnasal drip, runny nose, sneezing, and headaches. When the sinus cavities swell, you lose the ability to drain mucus effectively from your nostrils, so mucus becomes trapped in your sinus cavities, putting pressure on the nearby areas. You may feel pressure in your teeth, forehead, inner ear, cheeks, and around your eyes.
If your allergies are left untreated, you could develop a sinus infection. Symptoms of a sinus infection include a thick green or yellow nasal secretion, congestion, fever, and cough. An infection can be treated with medications. If your infection is bacterial, antibiotics are necessary.
It can be difficult to recognize that you have a food allergy because many symptoms show up hours after consuming a particular allergen. Furthermore, certain foods, like wheat, are so ubiquitous in our diet that we eat them almost every day.
Nevertheless, if you suspect your sinus problems are caused by a food allergy, consult your doctor to get tested. Doctors can use either a blood test or skin-prick test to see which foods you have an allergy to.
Once you are diagnosed, you should avoid the consumption of any foods that contain the ingredient you are allergic to. This may prove challenging, as the most common food allergens are found in a wide variety of products.
If you accidentally consume a food you are allergic to, immediately take an antihistamine in combination with a decongestant. The antihistamine will decrease the amount of histamine in your body, while the decongestant will improve swelling and inflammation in your sinus cavities. There are also several household remedies for a sinus infection.
If you experience a severe reaction, seek medical attention immediately. If you have a known severe food allergy, talk to your doctor about carrying an epinephrine auto-injector.