No one likes being sick, but if you know the difference between a cold and a sinus infection, you can get treatment for your condition more quickly. What seems to be a common cold at first could develop into something far worse at times. Let’s take a closer look at the main distinctions and telltale symptoms to help you determine whether it’s more than simply a cold.
Rhinoviruses are usually to blame for the common cold, which is a virus that affects the upper nasal system. Having a wet or stuffy nose, coughing, a sore throat, and sometimes a slight fever are all signs of it. A cold usually lasts between a few days and a week, and the symptoms get better over time.
Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, happen when the tissue that lines the nostrils gets infected or swollen. Some of the signs may be like those of a cold, but there are a few things to keep an eye out for. It could be a sign of a sinus infection if your cold symptoms don’t get better after ten days or if you have severe face pain, pressure in the sinuses, thick yellow or green nasal discharge, and a loss of smell or taste.
Speaking to a doctor is always a good idea if you’re not sure if you have a cold or a sinus infection. But there may be certain signs that mean you need to see a doctor right away. If you have a high fever, a strong headache, symptoms that don’t go away after a week to ten days, or symptoms that get worse after they got better, you should see a doctor.
Common cold symptoms may be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medicines, decongestants, and lots of rest. Contrarily, medications may be necessary for bacterial sinus infections; however, viral sinusitis often resolves on its own with a combination of time, relaxation, hydration, and over-the-counter remedies such as steam inhalation or saline nasal sprays.
Good hygiene, including washing hands often, avoiding direct contact with those with illnesses, and maintaining a healthy immune system via a balanced diet and frequent exercise, will help you prevent being sick with a cold or a sinus infection. Another way to keep your nasal passages wet and less prone to infections is to remain hydrated and use a humidifier.
Although the symptoms of a cold and a sinus infection are very similar, the length and intensity of each may tell them apart. Recovery time and the likelihood of problems may be greatly reduced if one is aware of these distinctions and knows when to see a doctor. If you are unsure about how to treat yourself, it is advisable to see a healthcare provider and pay attention to your body at all times.