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Learning the difference between allergies and sinus infections is very useful this time of year

HOUSTON-- Spring has definitely sprung and so has the allergy season.

Joan Cates has several friends who suffer from allergies.

“Right now it's terrible and chronic. They're suffering chronically with congestion and drainage and they're just having great difficulty right now with all the Houston pollen," Cates said.

One problem this time of year is, how do you know what you're suffering from.

Is it allergies or a sinus infection?

“Allergies and sinus infections can overlap, and so they can be very confusing to figure out which one is which,” said Rhinologist, Dr. Arjuna Kuperan.

Casey Cain said allergies make her feel like she has a cold.

"Typical allergy symptoms include really severe nasal congestion, mucus in your nose, clear mucus that makes it really hard to breathe. Stuff that's dripping down the back of your throat. Itchy scratchy watery eyes that are bothersome,” Kuperan said.

If left untreated, this can turn into a sinus infection.

Philip D'Antoni knows the feeling.

“When I do get a sinus infection, I have a fever and I can be bedridden for four or five days.”

Kuperan’s best suggestion for managing allergies this time of year is really aggressive management with over-the-counter nasal steroid spray.

Sounds like that advice is nothing to sneeze at.