the main differences and why they are growing at the moment

Priscila Carvalho – From Rio de Janeiro to BBC News Brazil

Posted on 01/06/2022 at 10:37

    (Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

It is very common to see people drawing their noses, complaining about the difficulty of breathing in and out of their nose at this time of year.

In the fall, due to dry weather, increased soot in the air, a sudden drop in temperature and more pollutants, allergies are more common and cause problems such as rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

In winter, the onset of these conditions is also common, but they are caused by viral conditions, which increase considerably with the cold. “A cold wave, in which people are already sensitized, closes the windows and confines them more, which exacerbates the viral crisis and ends the patient’s symptoms,” said otolaryngologist Marco Cesar Cajuru of the University Hospital (PR). ).

But how do you know the difference between all these diseases and find the right treatment? Usually, the symptoms are very different and there are signs that can be noticed in the first days of discomfort.

The following is a list of the main causes of inflammation.


It is considered to be an inflammatory disease of the nose, which can lead to symptoms such as nasal obstruction, runny nose and internal itching, which can be caused by a number of factors. When it occurs in an allergic form, contact with dust, animal hair and mites increases the risk of developing the disease.

In non-allergic conditions, senile or basomotor rhinitis may occur, which is caused by an altered saliva. This is more common in the elderly and can cause frequent runny nose.

There are also medications for rhinitis, which are caused by frequent use of the medicine on the nose. “It’s a chemical and mental addiction and people are dripping all the time,” says Cesar, a nose and sinus surgeon who is also an International Member of the American Rhinologic Society.

There is also a chemical rhinitis with a lot of secretions. It usually comes from a case of the flu and also from changes in temperature.

The best way to treat inflammation is to avoid the causes of the disease. In the case of allergic rhinitis, it is ideal to control and cleanse the environment, in addition to using medication allergies and nasal sprays, if guided by a doctor. When the disease is caused by bacteria, the use of antibiotics is recommended under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

The man washes his nose

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Rhinitis and sinusitis cause nasal obstruction


It is an inflammation of the sinuses that often affects a person’s quality of life. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses and even rhinitis. “Inflammation of the nasosinusal mucosa prevents the movement of its specialized cells responsible for pushing mucus down the throat,” said Otolaryngologist at Albert Einstein Hospital, Raul Zanini.

Therefore, sinusitis causes a blockage of the nose, thick secretions, dripping, pressure pain (which can radiate to the teeth), and a reduction in taste and smell. In infants, it can cause breastfeeding difficulties and poor nutrition.

The condition can occur at any time in life, however, with low relative humidity it is more common when there are sudden changes in temperature and time. Active and passive smoking, as well as airborne particles due to pollution, are conducive to inflammation.

There are also changes in the anatomy of the nose, such as deviation of the nasal septum, polyps, and increased nasal concave (known as spongy flesh) that increase the tendency for sinusitis.

The treatment recommended by doctors may be with the use of antibiotics, but it can also be done with saline solution. The latter relieves symptoms and accelerates the recovery of the mucilage, which acts as a defense mechanism for the respiratory tract. Inhalations, even with salt, can facilitate the exit of secretion from the sinuses.

In more severe and recurrent cases, a surgical procedure is required with a specialist.


It is an inflammatory disease of the bronchial lungs that is viral or bacterial in nature. It is important not to confuse it with asthma, which is also a respiratory disease, but one that causes different symptoms and is caused by an allergic process.

In acute bronchitis, the patient has a lot of phlegm, the cough, the whole breast and the baby are the most affected. It is also more common when severe temperature drops occur.

When it is viral, remedies for fever, nebulization, respiratory physiotherapy, and fluid intake are recommended. “When the condition is bacterial, antibiotics are recommended,” says Débora Carla Chong, a pediatric pulmonologist and professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR) School of Medicine.


A man with a hand on his throat

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Pharyngitis can be viral or bacterial.

It is a common sore throat and is very common in patients with nasal obstruction or sleeping with their mouths open. Usually when they wake up in the morning, they feel very uncomfortable. In addition to this symptom, a person may experience a headache when they wake up. The problem occurs even more so in the fall and winter.

Pharyngitis can also be viral, which often occurs when we sleep on wet hair, relax, or walk barefoot.

They can also be bacteria, caused by the species streptococcus pyogenes. In this case, it is a sudden situation, common in older children, when they are two years old. “Untreated, inflammation can lead to rheumatic fever, an autoimmune reaction that affects the joints, and can affect the heart and, in severe cases, the brain,” the pulmonologist said. Treatment should be performed with antibiotics under the supervision of a physician.


This type has a lot of ear pain and discomfort in the region. The infection can be caused by viruses, after colds.

Otitis media is also common in children and can be caused by breastfeeding. When milk regurgitates, it enters the middle ear and can cause inflammation. “It’s the child’s first infection and it happens between the ages of six and three,” Chong explained.

The most common symptoms are severe earache, fever, loss of appetite, and local discharge. The best treatment is to use antibiotics and painkillers under the supervision of a doctor.

Finally, there is still inflammation caused by enlargement of the adenoid, the lymphatic organ behind the nasal cavities and above the palate. It damages the “communication” with the ears and nose and causes a lot of phlegm in the region. Treatment can be done with medication and, in more severe cases, with fluid removal surgery, as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

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