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Do I Have a Cold or a Sinus Infection?

When you’ve got a cold everything is terrible.  The days-long ordeal feels like an eternity and it’s tough keeping track of how bad things have gotten.

Rushing to see a doctor every time you sneeze is going a bit overboard but luckily there are ways to see whether your cold has evolved into something sinister.  Today we’re explaining the differences between colds and sinus infections.

Difference Between a Cold and a Sinus Infection

There’s a huge difference between measly sniffles and a monstrous case of sinusitis.  I don’t mean to marginalize your cold at all but the common cold just doesn’t stack up.

Colds are viral infections.  They’re known as upper respiratory tract infections because the virus attacks the nose and throat.  Runny nose, cough, and itchy eyes are all part of the package.  The symptoms last for about a week and if you’re lucky, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

Sinusitis on the other hand will keep you grounded for longer.  Conditions have to be just right but when they are sinuses behind your cheeks, nose and forehead become inflamed and infected.

The main thing that makes sinusitis different and worse than a cold is the length of time you’re stuck with it.  Left untreated you could be sick for months with complications down the road.  Symptoms common to sinusitis include:

  • Pressure and headaches
  • Fever
  • Cough and Sneezing
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Tooth ache
  • Bad breath

No matter which you have, you can bet you’ll have it again.  Fortunately there’s plenty of ways you can deal with symptoms and make sure there’s less of a chance you’ll go through them again.  This is important because of how easily a cold can escalate from being a minor inconvenience into much more.

Brace yourselves, incoming!

You’re likely to catch something if you’re hanging around people with a sinus infection.  There’s only a small chance that’ll be sinusitis, though.  Sinus infections are picky eaters and your sinuses have to be the right flavor of inflamed to entice it to stay a while.

Generally if you’re already sick, you’ll be prone to worsening.  The solution is prevention.  By keeping some of the following tips in mind you’ll increase the chances of avoiding both a cold and a full-blown sinus infection:

  • Keep your hands clean – Being fastidious about washing or sanitizing your hands will prevent you from picking up a virus in the first place, especially around the fall/winter.
  • Be mindful of moisture – By drinking water and paying attention to the humidity or air conditioning of where you spend time, you have a greater chance of keeping your body in a state of balance.
  • Eat well – Eating nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables will give your body the tools to keep sickness at bay.
  • Have a closer look – Visiting an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Doctor can be both informative and relieving.  For all you know, something about the structure of your sinuses is making them prone to infection.  An ENT can give you a thorough analysis of what’s really going on under the hood.

Raising the alarms at the first sound of a sniffle is unnecessary.  By keeping an eye on some of the signs we talked about, you can make an informed decision on whether or not you need to call in a professional.

The most important thing however, is to do something about it.  By trying to wait out a potential sinus infection you’re ignoring what may be causing it to happen so often.

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