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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Mingling during Halloween weekend could lead to a greater chance of getting a sinus infection

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• An overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Halloween.

• Sinus infections caused by viruses are contagious.

• Common colds are more likely in the fall and winter, and they can lead to sinus infections.

Dr. John Stewart of Arizona Breathe Free Sinus & Allergy Centers discussed his clinic's ability to diagnose and treat sinus and allergy conditions in an interview with PHX Reporter.

"It’s a one-stop shop. They get it all done here, all of the testing except for the blood testing," Stewart said. "The standard allergy test, the X-rays, the scoping, all of the procedures and followups are done here. That's all we do: sinus and allergy. We have all the equipment here. There's nothing that we can’t handle when someone gets in here."

A survey conducted by the National Confectioners Association in September found that 93% of Americans planned to celebrate Halloween in some capacity. However, WebMD reports that in-person gatherings could lead to a greater chance of getting a sinus infection, as the viruses that cause them can be contagious and are spread by sneezing or coughing.

However, other causes of sinus infections, such as allergies or bacteria, are not contagious. Those afflicted with sinus infections should cover their noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing and should wash their hands frequently. Everyone else should wash their hands often and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

According to the Houston Chronicle, those experiencing allergy symptoms in fall and winter may not realize that allergies and colds can turn into sinus infections. Allergies, colds, and sinus infections share many of the same symptoms, making differentiating between them difficult.

Dr. Tran Locke -- an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist with Baylor College of Medicine -- said that those experiencing symptoms such as congestion for longer than 10 days should consider seeing a doctor to determine whether or not a sinus infection has developed.

“They will eventually resolve,” Locke said. “It’s just that you’re going to be miserable for longer.”

Other potential symptoms include feelings of facial pressure, a weakened sense of smell, tooth pain, and a fever. Locke also said that many patients can resolve their symptoms through medication, but for some with more severe cases, a minimally invasive surgery might be needed to resolve an underlying condition.

Those who have experienced the aforementioned symptoms, as well as other symptoms such as fatigue, are invited to take Sinus Self-Assessment Quiz to determine whether or not treatment is right for you.

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