Sinusitis Specialist

Allergy Asthma & Immunology on Madison

Evelyn Tolston, MD

Allergy, Asthma, & Immune System Specialist located in Midtown East, New York, NY

At first, you may think you have a cold, but when your nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, or a headache last longer than a week or two, chances are your symptoms are caused by sinusitis. Dr. Evelyn Tolston at Allergy Asthma and Immunology on Madison performs a multisystem evaluation to get to the exact cause of your symptoms, then develops a personalized treatment to help you regain clear sinuses. When your symptoms don’t go away, call the office in Midtown East, New York City, or book an appointment online.

Sinusitis Q & A

What causes sinusitis?

Your sinuses are air-filled spaces in the bones of your face. Each sinus is lined with membranes that produce mucus, which leaves the sinus through a small opening and flows down into your nose.

Although you may think of mucus as nothing more than the cause of a runny nose, mucus moisten and warms inhaled air and keeps the tissues inside your nose healthy.

Sinusitis (sinus infection) occurs when the mucous membranes become inflamed and swollen. As a result, they block the opening and mucus builds up in the sinus, creating the perfect environment for an infection.

There are two primary causes of sinusitis:


Sinusitis is frequently caused by seasonal and year-round allergies. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen, grasses, and ragweed, while allergies that occur throughout the year are typically due to mold, dust mites, and pet dander. When untreated allergies cause ongoing sinus inflammation, your sinusitis can become a chronic infection.

Viral or bacterial infections

Viruses responsible for the common cold also cause sinusitis. Viral sinusitis usually clears up on its own within 10 days. Although bacterial infections may cause sinusitis, they’re not as common.

What symptoms might I develop due to sinusitis?

When you develop allergic sinusitis, you’ll experience symptoms such as:

  • Nasal congestion and discharge
  • Runny nose and postnasal drip
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to focus
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Pain and tenderness around your forehead, cheeks, nose, and eyes

If you have viral or bacterial sinusitis, you’ll have similar symptoms, except that they don’t cause sneezing and itching.

How is sinusitis treated?

Dr. Tolston thoroughly evaluates multiple body systems and determines the exact cause of your sinusitis. When your symptoms include headaches, it’s essential to identify whether you have a sinus headache or migraine. The two conditions mimic one another, but they require different treatment.

When allergies are suspected, Dr. Tolston performs allergy testing to determine the allergens responsible for your nose and sinus problems.

Your treatment plan depends on the underlying cause of your sinusitis, the type of allergy, and the severity of your symptoms. Dr. Tolston creates a customized plan that may include nasal sprays or irrigation, medications, a plan to avoid allergens or triggers, and immunotherapy (allergy shots).

When you have nasal congestion, a runny nose, or other symptoms of sinusitis, call Allergy Asthma and Immunology on Madison or book an appointment online.