Asthma, hay fever and sinusitis symptoms can all mimic those of the common cold or flu and last for long periods of time or may even be chronic. Cough? Runny nose? Mucus in your throat? If you answered “yes” to all three, you may not know whether to reach for an allergy medication, a decongestant or an inhaler. And what’s more confusing is that all three of these conditions of the respiratory tract produce similar experiences in the sufferer. If you think you have symptoms of all three illnesses, you may be right. A new study found that up to half of all asthma sufferers also have bouts of chronic sinusitis and/or hay fever.
Researches studied the health records and symptoms of 11,813 asthma patients. Half of them reported the additional symptoms of sinusitis, hay fever or both. The participants were also asked about their number of hospital visits per year and healthcare costs. Those with sinusitis and asthma or all three conditions visited the emergency room more often. The cost of healthcare and the number of workdays missed was higher in the group that had asthma, sinusitis and hay fever.
Along with all the problems caused by asthma, suffering from sinusitis in addition can be downright miserable. Having asthma seems to not only increase the chances of developing sinusitis but also makes asthma more difficult to control. Researchers feel that the association among the three diseases and intermingling of symptoms needs further investigation. More information about the connection among the conditions may help healthcare professionals come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that will reduce healthcare costs and increase the quality of life for the sufferers. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it’s important to be your own medical advocate and urge your ENT to investigate all the possibilities.