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For the very first time, people across the country will celebrate World Sinus Health Awareness Day on Wednesday, September 29.

“This public education campaign is designed to inform and educate patients around the world about the causes of their nasal and sinus symptoms,” says Joseph Han, MD, Professor and Chief for the EVMS Division of Rhinology and Allergy. It also aims to inform how they can improve these symptoms and when they should seek additional specialized care.  

The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and the American Rhinologic Society (ARS) are sponsoring the event in collaboration with founding corporate partner Intersect ENT, Inc. 

One of the major goals of the World Sinus Health Awareness Day inaugural education campaign will be to help patients differentiate common sinusitis symptoms from COVID-19-related symptoms, which often overlap.

“Is it COVID-19, allergies, or sinusitis? These are common questions nowadays during the pandemic” says Dr. Han, who is currently the president of American Rhinologic Society. “As the pandemic continues to surge through our communities, it is important for patients to be able to recognize and understand the differences between nasal and sinus symptoms.”

Sometimes symptoms for allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, and COVID-19 overlap, therefore it is important to be able to differentiate the different diseases. Dr. Han says if you are experiencing sinus or nasal symptoms along with a cough, shortness of breath and a loss of smell and/or taste, COVID-19 is now a strong consideration for the cause.

If your symptoms include facial pressure, nasal drainage, nasal congestion, and loss of smell and/or taste, chronic sinusitis is the likely culprit. 

If a person has itchy nose, sneezing, and clear runny nose with accompanied itchy eyes, allergic rhinitis is most likely the source.  

Make an appointment and learn more about your sinus symptoms with Dr. Han by calling 757.388.6200.