Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Cold Turned Into Sinus Infection

Signs Of A Sinus Infection

Ask Dr. Mike: What is a sinus infection and how do I treat it?

A sinus infection is something you want to deal with right away to prevent it from escalating. However, its not easy to discern between the different symptoms and what they mean. After all, an infection manifests itself in a similar way to the flu or a cold, so you cant always act decisively.

With that in mind, here are some signs you have a sinus infection and should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.

What Is A Common Cold

It’s an illness caused by many different kinds of viruses, which are tiny infectious particles.

You can’t miss the symptoms:

You may also get a cough and a mild fever. The symptoms usually build, peak, and slowly disappear. Some medications can ease symptoms. For example, may decrease drainage and open the nasal passages. Pain relievers may help with fever and headache. Cough medicine may help, as well.

Colds typically last from a few days to about a week or longer.

Sometimes, a cold may cause swelling in the sinuses, hollow spaces in your skull that are connected to each other. The swelling can prevent the flow of mucus.

This can lead to a sinus infection. If you have pain around your face and eyes — and thick yellow or green mucus for more than a week — see your doctor.

Should You Visit A Specialist

If your sinus infection just wont go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:

  • Youve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
  • Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
  • You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks

Living with a sinus infection is miserable and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.

Also Check: Will Azithromycin Treat Sinus Infection

Is It A Sinus Infection

A cold virus or allergies can cause inflammation of the sinuses, known as sinusitis. If this inflammation traps bacteria-infested mucus, it is called bacterial sinusitis or a sinus infection. Bacterial sinus infections generally require antibiotics.

A sinus infection may be either acute or chronic. Acute sinus infections typically only last two to four weeks, though they can last longer. Sinus infections lasting 12 weeks or more are considered chronic.

Sinus infection symptoms include:

Is It A Cold Or A Sinus Infection

Signs Your Cold Has Turned into a Sinus Infection #commoncold # ...
  • Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection? Center
  • The main difference between cold and sinus infection is the duration or number of days the symptoms were persistent:

    • A common cold may typically run its course within 10 days, but sinus infections may last longer than 10 days.
    • Another key distinction between cold and sinus can be noted through nasal discharge. Common colds usually produce clear mucus, while a sinus infection may yield green or yellow mucus.
    • Common colds and sinus infections may not seem serious, but if left untreated, they can both progress and lead to long-term health complications. If symptoms are severe or last longer than 14 days, immediate medical intervention may be required.

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    What Causes A Sinus Infection

    Any condition that blocks off the sinus drainage channels can cause a sinus infection. Such conditions include colds, allergies such as hay fever, non-allergic rhinitis, and nasal polyps, which are small growths in the lining of your nose.

    A sinus infection may occur after a cold or may result from anatomic problems such as a deviated septum, which refers to a shift in the nasal cavity. If not treated, a sinus infection can last for weeks.

    When Should I Call A Ent Doctor About A Cold Or Sinus Infection

    Most colds go away without medical treatment. If you have pain around your face or eyes along with thick yellow or green nasal discharge for more than a week, seek care from Houston ENT.

    Also, call an ENT if you have fever or symptoms that are severe or do not get better with over-the-counter treatments.

    Routine sinus conditions can be cared for by your primary care doctor. If, however, you are bothered by persistent abnormal symptoms, recurring infections, or have abnormal X-ray findings or complications, your primary care doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat ENT doctor.

    Contact the Houston Sinus Surgery in Houston TX or fill out the form on this page and schedule an appointment today!

    Houston Sinus Surgery is conveniently located in the heart of the Houston museum district and just minutes away from the Galleria and Medical Center. Patients come from all over the Houston area including the 77019, 77005, 77006, 77024, 77056,77401 zip codes.

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    Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection

    While some symptoms of a cold overlap with a sinus infection, there are some telltale signs of the difference.

    Some of the notable symptoms of sinusitis are:

    • A runny, stuffy nose and severe congestion, lasting more than a week
    • Sinus pressure that is felt mainly behind the eyes and the cheeks
    • Increasingly strong headache, sometimes debilitating
    • Cough and throat irritation, as well as postnasal drip that is yellow or green in color
    • Notable fever
    • Bad breath
    • Chronic fatigue

    Treating A Sinus Infection

    Question: Is It A Cold Or A Sinus Infection?

    While there is little to be done about the common cold, there are several ways to take care of a sinus infection that will help relieve symptoms while also clearing up the infection. The earlier the infection is caught, the quicker it can be remedied.

    One of the best things to do is to avoid problems that can lead to a sinus infection.

    • Wash your hands every time you go to a bathroom, especially public restrooms.
    • Use wipes and antibacterial hand wash when using shopping carts, and avoid touching your face.
    • Take plenty of vitamins that build the immune system, treat any allergies to avoid getting a cold, and get immunizations against pneumonia and influenza every year to avoid complications.

    Of course, theres not a way to guarantee that a sinus infection wont strike, even taking every precaution against it. So, when sinusitis becomes a problem, its probably best to see a physician, since antibiotics are typically in order.

    Ear, nose, and throat specialists are most knowledgeable about treatment of sinus infections, though a general practitioner can also diagnose and prescribe medication for it. Antibiotics are usually prescribed, since they fight off infection. And a full round of antibiotics rarely fail to clear up sinusitis after a few days.

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    What Are Sinus Infection Symptoms

    Symptoms of a sinus infection include:

    • Thick, yellow, foul-smelling nasal discharge
    • Pressure or pain around the face and eyes
    • Headache
    • Nasal obstruction
    • A cold that wont go away or gets worse
    • Fever or cough

    Keep in mind that these symptoms can also be seen with a cold. But if they continue for more than 10 days, you may have sinusitis.

    Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection: When Your Cold Turns Into Sinusitis And How To Treat It

    Symptoms of a cold arent always what they seem. In fact, its extremely common for a regular cold to turn into something more. The most prevalent progression of a cold involves it finding its way into your sinuses as an infection. Knowing the symptoms of a sinus infection and how they differ from a cold can help identify when treatment from a doctor is necessary.

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    When To Seek Medical Treatment For Sinusitis And Bronchitis

    When it comes to getting over a sinus infection or bronchitis, patience and time are usually the best remedies. Because most infections are viral, prescription antibiotics arent always an effective treatment option and taking them can be dangerous and lead to problems related to antibiotic resistance. In most cases, infections related to sinusitis and bronchitis will resolve on their own.

    Within a week of getting sick, symptoms related to sinusitis or bronchitis should start to improve. If you dont start feeling better or feel worse, its a good idea to reach out to a medical provider who can provide guidance about managing symptoms and also about your treatment options.

    When Should I Call The Doctor

    Signs Your Cold Has Turned into a Sinus Infection
    • a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
    • a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
    • symptoms of allergies that don’t clear with the usual allergy medicine

    Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:

    • pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
    • swelling around the eye

    Also Check: What Helps Relieve Sinus Headaches

    Preventing Sinus Infections And Bronchitis

    The best way to prevent both sinus infections and bronchitis is to wash your hands regularly and try to minimize your contact with someone who has a cold.

    If you have allergies, try to manage those symptoms well and avoid allergens as much as possible. Both can reduce your risk of developing a sinus infection. This includes avoiding cigarette smoke and other air contaminants, which can irritate and inflame the lungs and nasal passages.

    Finally, regular use of a humidifier adds moisture to the air and may help prevent sinusitis. It is critical, however, to regularly clean the humidifier to assure it is free of mold.

    There is some evidence that an annual flu shot can reduce your chances of getting bronchitis, as flu viruses have been shown to be a significant cause of bronchitis. Additionally, avoiding cold and damp environments can reduce your risk of developing bronchitis.

    At Columbia Allergy, we are experts in the treatment of asthma or allergies. Our providers are here to help with a patient-focused approach. Contact us at any of our convenient locations in California, Oregon, Idaho, or Washington to learn more about how we can help with your unique challenges and goals.

    What About Decongestants

    are not recommended for adults or children with acute sinusitis and should not be used for more than three to five days in order to prevent rebound congestion.

    If symptoms persist or worsen after 10 days, doctors may prescribe:

    • Antibiotics , such as Moxatag or Augmentin
    • Stronger topical or oral decongestants
    • Intranasal steroids, such as Flonase and Nasonex

    Chronic sinus infection requires additional treatment focused on managing the severity of symptoms. Leukotriene antagonist drugs may be prescribed, and surgery may be considered in cases of a deviated septum.

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    Is It A Cold Covid

    One of the challenging things about recognizing COVID-19 and other illnesses is that they can share some of the same symptoms. Many articles have been written comparing the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza, as these two illnesses have perhaps the most in common. But many symptoms of COVID-19 also resemble those of a cold or sinus infection . Learn to tell the difference and how to get the right treatment for your illness.

    How Do You Treat The Common Cold

    How is a sinus infection different from a cold or flu?

    Unfortunately, theres no cure for a cold. Instead, the CDC recommends getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids. You can take over-the-counter cold medications, but they wont speed up the course of your illness.

    Worth noting, per the CDC: Because the common cold is caused by viruses, antibioticswhich treat bacterial infectionswont help you get better.

    Of course, you want relief from your symptoms, too. Susan Besser, M.D., a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, recommends taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and aches and a decongestant if you are uncomfortably stuffy. Honey is also excellent for coughs, she says. A steroid nasal spray like fluticasone can also help, she says.

    Ultimately for a cold, symptomatic treatment is best, Dr. Besser says.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If cold symptoms come and go, or are at least significantly improving, within a week, you probably dont need to see a doctor.

    If your congestion, sinus pressure, and other symptoms persist, see your physician or visit an urgent care clinic. You may need medication to treat an infection.

    For infants under 3 months of age, a fever at or above 100.4°F that persists for more than a day should prompt a visit to the doctor.

    A child of any age who has a fever that lingers for two or more days or gets progressively higher should be seen by a doctor.

    Earaches and uncharacteristic fussiness in a child can also suggest an infection that needs medical evaluation. Other signs of a serious viral or bacterial infection include an unusually low appetite and extreme drowsiness.

    If youre an adult and have a persistent fever of above 101.3°F , see a doctor. This could indicate your cold has turned into a superimposed bacterial infection.

    Also see a healthcare provider if your breathing is compromised, meaning youre wheezing or experiencing other symptoms of shortness of breath. A respiratory infection at any age can worsen and lead to pneumonia, which can be a life-threatening condition.

    Other serious sinusitis symptoms that should be evaluated by a doctor include:

    • severe headache

    What Is A Cold Exactly

    The common cold can be caused by many different types of viruses. Although it can be annoying, its usually harmless outside of people with weakened immune systems.

    Most people can expect to recover from a cold in 7 10 days. Signs and symptoms might include:

    • Runny or stuffy nose

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    How To Tell The Difference And What To Do About It

    It’s no fun coping with the stuffy, dripping head congestion of a winter bug. But how do you know if you’re fighting a common cold or a sinus infection? “The symptoms can overlap, and it can be hard to tell the difference,” says Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an otolaryngologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

    My Cold Has Turned Into A Sinus Infection

    How Do You Know When a Cold Has Turned Into a Sinus Infection?

    Sinusitis can follow a cold, allergies or anything else that can cause swelling in the sinuses, preventing the outflow of mucus. Symptoms of a sinus infection are similar to those of a cold but if they do not go away after 10 days see a doctor.

    Cold symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, headache, fatigue and a cough and mild fever. The symptoms last a few days to a week or longer.

    Sinusitis can follow a cold, allergies or anything else that can cause swelling in the sinuses, preventing the outflow of mucus. Symptoms of a sinus infection are similar to those of a cold but if they do not go away after 10 days see a doctor.

    Sinus infection symptoms include thick, yellow, foul-smelling nasal discharge pressure or pain around the face and eyes headache, generally in the forehead area nasal obstruction congestion post-nasal drip and fever or cough.

    Antibiotics are administered to treat sinusitis if the symptoms persist for more than 10 days. Decongestants and other medicines can help decrease the swelling in the sinus and nasal passages.

    A doctor may also recommend hot showers and steam to loosen mucus or a nasal saline to wash mucus from the nose. In rare instances, when sinusitis becomes chronic or long lasting, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed to establish adequate drainage.

    Todays expert is Stephanie Doine, APNP, ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca

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    Are Sinus Infections Contagious

    Sort of. If your sinus infection was brought on by a virus, then you can spread the virus to others. However, you can’t spread the sinus infection itself. The inflammation that builds up from a cold is what causes a sinus infection, but this doesn’t necessarily happen every time someone catches a cold.

    Family nurse practitioner Valerie King, a clinical assistant professor and coordinator of the nurse practitioner program at UMass Lowell, explains, Most sinus infections are caused by viruses. And yes, viruses can be contagious because they can be present on many items that people touch. But usually if you get sick with a virus that youve touched, you only develop cold-like symptoms. Its when the cold like symptoms, such as congestion, lingers and can actually develop into a bacterial infection.”

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