Cold? Allergic rhinitis? Pollution? Sinusitis? Let’s understand your symptoms

Whether it’s another cold, blocked sinuses, or hay fever flaring up again the right treatment can help you get some relief to feel normal again.

First step – identify the problem: cold, allergic rhinitis or sinusitis.

Nasal congestion and other nasal symptoms could be due to various things – cold, allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. Understand the problem, find your treatment.

Find my condition

Do I have a cold?

Man, with a dog next to him, is suffering from cold symptons as blocked or runny nose and he's using a tissue.

Have I got hay fever?

Woman sneezing due to hay fever allergic reaction, which might be produced by pollen inhalation.

Hay fever is an allergic reaction. It flares up when your immune system overreacts to an allergen such as pollen or pet hair, as it would a viral infection, releasing chemicals to fight it off. Allergic reaction symptoms include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and itchy eyes, mouth or skin.3 

People with hay fever can start to experience symptoms just minutes after breathing in an allergy reaction-causing substance (allergen).4

Learn more

Is it sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and usually follows a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, such as a cold or flu. Symptoms include pain, swelling and tenderness around the face, in addition to the normal cold symptoms of a runny or blocked nose.5

Daily nasal irrigation with the Breathe Clean range can help clear your nose, reduce swelling, and wash away impurities from the nose.5-8 *

Learn more

A woman rubs her nose because of sinusitis, an inflammation that usually comes from a cold.


  1. Eccles R, Martenssen K, Chen S. Effects of intranasal xylometazoline, alone or in combination with ipratropium, in patients with common cold. Curr Med Res Opin. 2010;26:889–899
  2. NICE CKS. Common cold. Available from:!background (last accessed March 2020)
  3. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Allergic Rhinitis. Available from: (last accessed March 2020)
  4. NICE CKS. Allergic rhinitis. Available from!backgroundSub:2 (last accessed March 2020)
  5. NICE. Sinusitis. Available from:!diagnosisSub (last accessed March 2020)
  6. Rosenfeld RM, Piccirillo JF, Chandrasekhar SS, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline (Update): Adult Sinusitis. Otolaryngol–Head Neck Surg. 2015;152(2S):S1–S39
  7. Goodman DM, Lynm C, Livingston EL. Adult Sinusitis. J Am Med Assoc. 2013;309(8):837
  8. NHS. Sinusitis (sinus infection). Available from: (last accessed March 2020)

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