Do I Have Covid Or A Sinus Infection
Although some of the symptoms are shared, there are several distinct ways to tell if you have covid or a sinus infection.
Its human nature to sometimes think the worst if you experience any symptoms in todays environment but in fact, the common cold, influenza, allergies, and sinus infections share some of the same symptoms as the COVID-19.
Heres how you can tell the difference and when you should consider seeking medical help.
How Is A Sinus Infection Diagnosed And Treated
Your doctor will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. You might get a CT scan of your sinuses.
Your doctor may prescribe medication. They may recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days. , antihistamines, and other drugs help lessen the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.
Steam and hot showers can help you loosen mucus. Your doctor may also suggest nasal saline to wash mucus from your nose.
In rare cases, when a sinus infection doesn’t go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.
How Do You Stop A Sinus Infection
If your sinus infection and post nasal drip with cough lasts between 7-10 days, you should be okay handling things at home on your own. To relieve post nasal drip and your cough, you can use antihistamines, nasal saline washes, and natural home remedies .
Be very careful with nasal sprays and certain decongestants, though. These treatment methods can end up thickening your mucus and could potentially make your post-nasal drip and cough worse.
That said, if you have a cough after sinus infection, this also shouldnt automatically trigger a doctors appointment. It can sometimes take up to a couple of weeks for a sinus infection cough to go away completely. As long as you notice your other symptoms clearing up , then you should be good to go.
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How Do Doctors Treat Sinus Infections
One the diagnosis is made, the typical treatment for sinus infection is antibiotics to clear up the bacteria causing the sinus infection. Although, the overuse of antibiotics is a cause for concern, so many doctors will prescribe these medications if your symptoms extend beyond seven to 10 days.
Your doctor may also prescribe a topical nasal corticosteroid to reverse the swelling in the sinuses. Finally, over-the-counter medications to help you cope with the daily symptoms of a sinus infection while the medications begin to do their work.
Some of the typical over-the-counter symptom relievers include:
- Antihistamines can block the inflammation that swells your sinus passages
- Nasal decongestant sprays can be used on a limited basis
- Nasal saline washes can clear out heavy mucus
- Topical nasal corticosteroids
Sinus infections can last for several weeks, or if they are chronic, for even longer. If youre feeling ill, its a good idea to reach out to your doctor for treatment. Your clinical team can diagnose, and treat your illness to make you more comfortable and help you heal.Oviedo Medical Research specializes in Phase II through IV clinical trials designed to yield the medications and vaccines that doctors depend on. If youre interested in joining us for a clinical trial, contact us.
When Sinusitis Or Bronchitis Strike After A Cold
Sinus infections and bronchitis both frequently accompany or follow a viral cold and involve inflammation of tissues and a high production of mucus. And all of that extra mucus has to go somewhere.
In the case of sinusitis, mucus often drains down the back of the throat leading to the dreaded symptom of post-nasal drip which can also make your throat sore and cause a persistent cough.
If you develop bronchitis, mucus collects in swollen bronchial tubes which makes you cough — a lot.
Symptoms commonly associated with bronchitis
- Cough that lasts 1-3 weeks
- Recent cold symptoms such as headache, nasal congestion or sore throat
- Mild shortness of breath or wheezing
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Is It Covid Or A Sinus Infection
The COVID pandemic has killed more than one million people around the globe. With the fall ushering in traditional influenza season, medical professionals express concern that the outbreaks will continue for the foreseeable future. Protecting yourself is of the utmost importance. One way to do this is to understand the differences between COVID-19 and the common sinus infection.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the symptoms for COVID-19 appear two to 14-days after youve been exposed to the virus. The symptoms could be mild or severe depending on factors that were still trying to understand. They may include:
- Body aches
- Postnasal drip
- Tooth pain
Craig P. Chase, M.D., a partner of Oviedo Medical Research, says, For sinus infections versus COVID-19, sinus infections are usually something that youve had for a while. It could start with allergies, it could start with a cold, and then kind of evolve into a sinus infection.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infection
An uncomfortable full or feeling of pressure in your face is an easily identifiable symptom of sinus infection. Sinus infection may be the result of a cold that has become infected or may be caused by another underlying medical condition. Some common symptoms to look for to know if you have a sinus infection are:
Stuffy nose and face
One of the first signs of sinus infection is tenderness of your face. Youll feel most of the pain under your eyes or at the bridge of your nose. This happens because your sinus cavities are full of mucus that isnt draining properly. You may also experience nasal stuffiness or congestion. Pain in the teeth and frontal headaches are also common symptoms.
A post nasal drip is a common symptom of sinus infection. It can lead to sore throat because your excess mucus is full in your sinus cavity and draining down your throat. This irritates the back of your throat, causing it to feel sore and painful.
A persistent cough can be a sign of sinus infection. Your cough may be wet and feel mucusy. This is your bodys way of trying to clear your throat from mucus drainage.
A low-grade fever is another common symptom of sinus infection. It happens because your body is fighting an infection in your sinuses. If your fever lasts longer than four days and becomes very high, seek immediate medical attention.
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.
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Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Common symptoms of sinus infections may include:
- Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than seven to 10 days
- Complaints of drip in the throat from the nose
- Keep chronic diseases under control
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay current on your vaccines
- Wash your hands frequently
Melinda recommends only using reputable resources such as the CDC, OSF HealthCare or your primary care provider anytime you have questions or concerns about an illness.
Should I See A Doctor When Sinus Drainage Causes A Cough
Sinus drainage accompanied by coughing is very irritating, but it may go away on its own. If it does not, if it stays around for weeks, this may be a sign of a persistent condition that needs medical attention.
Also, if you bring up phlegm, if you cant sleep because of the symptoms, or its affecting your studies or job, its a good idea to see a doctor. If you bring up blood, let a doctor know right away. The doctor will be able to figure out the precise cause of your post-nasal drip and UACS, and to recommend an effective treatment.
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Types Of Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can appear in four different ways. Each way is based on the timeframe of the infection and how persistent it is. The four types of sinus infection are:
- Acute sinusitis comes on suddenly and lasts less than four weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis comes on like acute sinusitis but resolves within 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis happens when your symptoms persist longer than 12 weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis is when you have four or more acute sinus infections lasting seven days each, in a one-year span.
If your sinus infection lasts for long periods of time without any relief, even with the use of over-the-counter medicine, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Sinus Infection Versus Cold: How To Tell The Difference
When it comes to the battle between a sinus infection vs. cold, knowing which one you have is tricky. Dr. Woodard suggests that you consider these questions to tell the difference between the two:
Other symptoms of a sinus infection may include loss of smell and taste, cough, congestion, fever, headache, fatigue or aches in your upper jaw and teeth.
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Why Do I Have Black Mucus In My Nose
When blood mixes with mucus that is tinged in hue, the end result can be shades of brownish or reddish. And, black mucus in nose areas can also be caused from blood, as it becomes almost black in color when dry, and can create streaks of black color or very dark brown in mucus.
Can a sinus infection cause brown mucus? Nasal congestion and a thick, dark-colored nasal discharge are also common during a sinus infection. When the mucus drips into your throat from the back of your nose, youll notice a foul taste, and you may get bad breath or a cough. What color is phlegm when you
How Would Doctors Diagnose A Sinus Infection Vs Covid
The determination as to whether you have COVID or a sinus infection should be made by a doctor. If the doctor suspects COVID-19, he or she will test you for the virus by swabbing your sinus cavity and sending the sample to a lab.
When doctors suspect a sinus infection, they look inside the nose for redness and swelling and will ask you about the color and frequency of your nasal discharge. They will check to see if your face is tender and ask you questions about how long youve been suffering from the illness.
Dr. Chase suggest there are three primary criteria that indicate a sinus infection:
We dont usually diagnose a sinus infection until somebody has been sick for seven to 10 days. Typically, with that youre going to have the classic tenderness in your sinuses, he says. Usually youre going to have a yellow/green runny nose thats pretty consistent throughout the day, and youre going to have a fever. You want to see those three things before you diagnose somebody with a sinus infection.
With COVID-19, the duration of the illness is different, along with the sinus tenderness, and discharge. If youre worried about your symptoms and are suffering from pain, fever, headaches, or any other clinical symptoms, its a good idea to consult your doctor.
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Why Do I Cough Up Dark Brown Mucus
Brown Phlegm The phlegm is brown because of blood and the intense chronic inflammation that comes with the chronic disease state. The bacteria camp out inside the lungs and cause very gradual changes in the consistency and appearance of phlegm. If you have chronic lung disease, you may be used to seeing brown phlegm.
Treatment For Sinusitis And Bronchitis
You can treat a sinus infection at home with a combination of medications such as antihistamines, nasal decongestant sprays, topical nasal corticosteroid sprays, and nasal saline washes. All of these methods can help address the inflammation and swelling that occur in the nasal passages and sinus openings due to a sinus infection.
However, topical nasal decongestants should only be used for three or four days, as overuse can result in dependency. Likewise, over-the-counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines may contain drying agents that can thicken mucus and should be used sparingly and with caution so as to not cause additional congestion.
Home remedies for bronchitis include increasing the amount of fluid you consume and using a cool-mist humidifier. Drinking more fluids can help to thin the mucus in the lungs. Using a humidifier can soothe irritated airways.
The most common medications that can assist with bronchitis are bronchodilators and decongestants.
Bronchodilators can provide relief by opening tight air passages in the lungs. If you experience any wheezing, a doctor may prescribe one for you. Decongestants may relieve some of the symptoms associated with bronchitis. Because bronchitis is generally caused by a virus, antibiotics are not helpful in its treatment.
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What Treatment Options Are Available For A Cough Caused By Sinus Drainage
The treatment your doctor gives you will depend on what causes the post-nasal drip, and can include different medical advice as well as various solutions:1,4
- antibiotics, if the cause is a bacterial infection.
- antihistamines, decongestants and other medicines, where appropriate.
- avoiding the source of any allergies that may be causing post-nasal drip.
- elevating the head during sleep and changing eating habits, if you have GERD.
Postnasal Drip: What You Need To Know
Most of the time, you dont notice mucus production in the nose and sinuses because it drips into the back of the mouth, where it mixes with saliva and then moves down the back of the throat. This function is known as postnasal drip. You are swallowing this mucus throughout the day without a conscious thought about what is happening.
This process becomes more noticeable when the mucus production is increased. For example, a bacterial or viral infection can cause a runny nose and sinus congestion. As a result, the mucous might start to bother you because of the amount and thickness of it. Common symptoms can occur, including coughing, a sore throat, or frequently clearing the throat.
Postnasal drip is caused by a variety of health conditions that trigger increased mucus production:
- Environmental irritants
Another reason that you might notice postnasal drip is because the mucus isnt being cleared away properly. Your body might be producing the right amount of mucus, but then it builds up because of a blockage or other health concern that is interfering with the normal function.
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Does Clear Phlegm Mean I Don’t Have An Infection
Healthy phlegm or mucus is usually thin and clear, and so we tend to assume if were producing clear phlegm, or clear snot, there is no infection or illness present. The truth is that clear phlegm can be a symptom or side effect of certain infections and illnesses. These infections are usually viral in nature, which means antibiotics are not necessary. Some of the most common viral infections that produce clear mucus include sinus infections, the common cold, and influenza. Usually, your body will fight these infections on its own, but you should see your doctor if other severe symptoms are present and persist.
You can experience clear phlegm during either a viral or a bacterial infection, but clear mucus is more common during viral infections. For example, you might produce clear mucus if you have a sinus infection that is not bacterial in nature. If this is the case, the mucus might also be sticky or glue-like and you might have swollen and tender sinuses and nasal passages. If the bacteria become trapped in the nasal passages, the sinus infection might become a bacterial infection. When this happens, your mucus can become yellow or green and it might become thick or clumpy.