How Can You Know If Your Chills Are A Symptom Of Covid
It’s tough to say for sure without being tested for COVID-19. “Fever and chills are signs of many infections as well as other things. Some allergic reactions can give you a fever, for example,” Dr. Giordano says.
Also, it’s unlikely you would ~just~ get chills and not have any other symptoms. “Chills usually do not occur by themselves but are part of a constellation with fever, shivering, muscle aches, headache, and other systemic symptoms,” Dr. Sellick says. So, if you have chills a fever, cough, and muscle aches, “COVID-19 certainly would be a consideration, as would influenza,” Dr. Sellick says. Basically, you should call your doctor about next steps.
Still, it’s going to be difficult for even your doctor to know what’s going on for sure. “The only way to know if you have COVID is to get a test for COVID,” Dr. Giordano says.
What Are The Key Differences Between The Two Infections
Typically with a sinus infection, you’ll have that telltale congestion, facial and/or ear pressure, and mucus, but you wont see all the other physical symptoms that you do with COVID-19 , says Dr. Shanker-Patel. “Symptoms of a rhinosinusitis are mostly centered around the upper respiratory tract,” she adds.
That being said, “Many of the symptoms are very similar and, for this reason, it is most appropriate to talk to your health care provider if you develop any symptoms of either,” Dr. Shanker-Patel adds.
To make things even more complicated, you can have a sinus infection and COVID-19. “The two are not mutually exclusive. You can have both at the same time, and that’s where things become tricky,” says Dr. Del Signore. “The thing that sets apart is really those systems systematic changesthe fevers, the total body chills and intense fatigue, and a dense loss of smell and taste.”
What Is Sinus Infection Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Lying behind your eyebrows, behind your cheekbones, and between your eyes are your sinuses air-filled cavities lined with a mucous membrane that filters and humidifies the air you inhale.
This membrane produces and circulates mucus into your sinus and nasal passages to help remove dust, particles, and microbes from the air that you breathe. Tiny hair-like cells called cilia sweep the mucus to the openings that lead to the back of your throat, allowing it to slide down into your stomach.
A sinus infection occurs when the sinuses become inflamed and swell up because of a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. The infection can be acute or chronic .
Also Check: Best Medicine For Sinus Cold And Cough
What Are Are Chills And How Common Are They With Covid
Chillsalso referred to as rigorsare episodes of shivering paired with paleness and feeling cold, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource, often as a result of a fever or the beginning of one.
When you have a fever , it stimulates your body to release inflammatory chemicals and other substances to try to rid yourself of the illnessand that can raise your temperature, Dr. Giordano says. “A raised temperature may help viruses and bacteria get cleared by your immune system faster,” he explains. “In response, you feel cold, your muscles shake to generate heat to warm your body, and you reach for a blanket. The chills get better when you reach the new higher temperature, and now you have a fever.”
Because chills are usually linked with a fever, which is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, Thomas Giordano, MD, MPH, professor and section chief of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Health, that means they’re also quite common with a coronavirus infection. One study of 164 symptomatic coronavirus patients released by the CDC in July 2021 found that 63% reported having chills. And a meta-analysis of 24,410 adults with COVID-19 published in PLOS Onein June 2021 found that 2,834 reported having rigors, i.e. severe chills that cause whole-body shaking.
Are Sinus Infections Contagious
If your sinus infection is a viral infection , you may be able to spread the virus. If your infection lasts longer than a week with no signs of improvement, it is more likely that you have a bacterial infection and will require professional help and antibiotics. Keep in mind that the best way to tell if you have a viral or a bacterial sinus infection is to your doctor.
Don’t Miss: Why Do I Have Sinus Pressure
Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
How Do You Get Sinusitis
Now that you know the answer to the question, What are the symptoms of sinusitis? you may be wondering how you might have gotten sick in the first place. Frankly, anyone can get a sinus infection. Although the infection part of the sinus infection is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, what creates the breeding ground for these infections can vary.
Sinus infections are not rare, and many people get them for a variety of common reasons, including but not limited to:
There is no sure way to prevent sinusitis entirely, but taking cautionary measures, including washing your hands, staying away from smoke in the environment, and avoiding allergy triggers, can help.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Sinus Pain In Face
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections
Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 5)
Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
You May Like: How Long Until Sinus Infection Goes Away
Lack Of Smell And Taste
Sinus congestion will often impact your sense of smell. Because breathing through your nose becomes difficult, you wont be able to smell like you usually do. Your sense of smell informs your sense of taste, so while you will most likely be able to tell apart major ingredients, like salty instead of sweet, food will probably taste fairly bland for you while your sinuses are infected.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Sinus Infection Cold Or Nasal Allergy
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold, allergies, and a sinus infection. The common cold typically builds, peaks, and slowly disappears. It lasts a few days to a week. A cold can transform into a sinus infection. Nasal allergy is inflammation of the nose due to irritating particles . Symptoms of a nasal allergy can include sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, congestion, runny nose, and post nasal drip . Sinusitis and allergy symptoms can happen at the same time as a common cold.
If you are fighting off a cold and develop symptoms of a sinus infection or nasal allergy, see your healthcare provider. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and medical history.
Don’t Miss: Remedies For Severe Sinus Congestion
Sinus Pain And Pressure
Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.
The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.
Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.
Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.
Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
You May Like: How To Relieve Sinus Pressure Forehead
Discharge From The Nose Or In The Throat
The most noticeable symptom of a sinus infection is the presence of discharge from the nose. This sign is similar to what you would experience with a regular cold or seasonal flu. The mucus from your sinuses may also drip down the back of your throat .
The color of the discharge may help you identify whether youre experiencing a common cold or a sinus infection. The former will often cause nasal mucus that is watery and clear or cloudy. The latter often comes with mucus that has a green or yellow tint. The discoloration is not a product of the bacteria itself. Instead, it is a result of your immune system fighting the infection by increasing white blood cells.
Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
Which Is Worse: Sinus Infection Or Covid
Bacterial sinus infections very rarely cause deaths, and typically only for people with severe immune system issues. COVID-19 is an extremely infectious disease that affects everyone differently. Even otherwise healthy people can develop severe symptoms. Sinus infections are often only deadly in the face of significant immunocompromise, whereas COVID-19 has killed almost 1,000,000 people in the United States as of April, 2022, says Dr. Trenkle. The short answer is COVID.
Infection Due To A Kidney Stone
You might get chills because of an infection that starts when you have a kidney stone.
Sometimes minerals and salts stick together to form a hard mass inside your kidney called a kidney stone. This is more likely to happen if you don’t drink enough water each day, eat a diet that’s high in protein, or have a high body mass index
If the kidney stone irritates or blocks your urinary tract, it can cause an infection, which could cause chills.
Other symptoms you might get with kidney stones are:
- Pain in your side, back, belly, or groin
- Pain when you pee
- Pee more or less than you usually do
- Cloudy urine that smells funny
Recommended Reading: Inhaling Steam For Sinus Congestion
Related Conditions And Causes Of Sinus Infections
Colds, allergies, and sinus infections can cause similar symptoms, including stuffiness and headache. What’s more, both colds and allergies can cause sinus inflammation. So how can you tell the difference between these illnesses?
The truth is, even doctors can sometimes have difficulty differentiating among colds, allergies, and sinus infections. But the illnesses do present differently.
A hallmark sign that you have a sinus infection is that the illness is, as you’d expect, severely affecting your sinuses. Both colds and allergies can cause congestion and runny nose, but sinus infections typically cause an aching sensation and pressure in the face, including in the ears and teeth.
Additionally, postnasal drop, reduced sense of smell, and halitosis are typically associated with sinus infections.
The mucus associated with a sinus infection is usually green or yellow, though color alone isn’t enough to determine the cause of your nasal distress, as there are many reasons your nasal discharge may not be clear.
Both allergies and colds can cause sneezing, a symptom not typically seen in sinus infections. Allergies never cause fever, which is seen in both colds and sinus infections.
And if your symptoms last more than 10 days, you most likely don’t have a cold.
How Long Do Symptoms Last
Typically, a sinus infection clears up within 2 to 3 weeks. COVID-19 lasts for about a week or two depending on its severity and your overall health.
A 2020 study surveyed 270 outpatients with COVID-19. Among them, 175 people reported returning to their usual level of health about 7 days after a positive COVID-19 test.
Some symptoms like cough and loss of smell or taste may linger temporarily after COVID-19. Some people may experience long-haul COVID-19, a group of symptoms that persist in the weeks and months following an infection.
Also Check: At Home Treatment Sinus Infection
The Two Share Certain Symptoms But Also Have Differences
The overlap in symptoms between COVID-19 and sinus infections make it difficult to tell the two apart. Congestion, headache, fever, sore throat, and cough are some examples of symptoms that the two share.
Despite their overlap, there are some notable differences between sinus infections and COVID-19 as well. Aside from what causes them, this includes another battery of more unique symptoms. A lost of smell or taste is a pretty clear indication its COVID-19, for instance.
This article explains how to tell the difference between a a sinus infection and COVID-19. It also details treatment options for both, why a proper diagnosis is important, and when to see your healthcare provider.
Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
Recommended Reading: Tylenol Sinus Cold And Flu
Conditions That Increase White Blood Cell Activity
White blood cells are part of your immune system, and they help fight infection and disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. Any disease that involves an increase in white blood cell activity may involve chills. This includes rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and goutall conditions that come with additional notable symptoms.
The increased white blood cell activity associated with these diseases leads to the release of “chemicals that cause chills, probably through triggering the hypothalamus in the brain,” Dr. Middleton explained. The hypothalamus is a brain area that produces hormones that control essential processes such as body temperature, heart rate, mood, and sleep, according to MedlinePlus.