Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Do I Have A Sinus Infection Or The Flu

How Long Do Viral Sinus Infections Last

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

Viral sinus infections are the most common type of sinusitis. Therefore many patients wonder- how long do viral sinus infections last. It depends on a few different factors. Generally speaking, you should notice your symptoms start to improve after 5 to 7 days of feeling sick. However, many patients still have lingering symptoms even after this point. Getting high-quality rest, staying hydrated, and following your doctors advice can all help you recover as soon as possible.

Is A Sore Throat A Covid

While the early strains of Covid-19 caused more lower respiratory symptoms, recent Omicron infections tend to cause mild to moderate symptoms, including sore throat. Pierre has noticed that patients are noting a sore throat as a Covid-19 symptom more often.

Though some people with Covid-related sore throats have severe soreness, Pierre says that mild or itchy sore throats are the most common with Covid-19.

A sore throat may be someone’s only sign of Covid-19, but Pierre says it’s more common to have other symptoms, too.

Cold Vs Sinus Infection

A cold is an infection caused by a virus that finds a home in your upper respiratory system, including your nose and throat. Over 200 different viruses are capable of causing a cold, though most of the time a type of rhinovirus, one that primarily affects the nose, is the culprit.

Colds can be so mild you may only have symptoms for a few days, or a cold can hang on for weeks.

Because a common cold is caused by a virus, it cant be effectively treated with antibiotics. Some medications can help reduce symptoms, but rest is usually the main way to beat a cold virus.

A sinus infection causing inflammation of the sinuses, also known as sinusitis, is commonly caused by a bacterial infection, though it can be caused by a virus or fungus .

In some cases, you can develop a sinus infection following a common cold.

A cold can cause the lining of your sinuses to become inflamed, which makes it difficult for them to properly drain. That can lead to mucus becoming trapped in the sinus cavity, which, in turn, can create an inviting environment for bacteria to grow and spread.

You can have an acute sinus infection or chronic sinusitis. An acute sinus infection tends to last for less than a month. Chronic sinusitis lasts for more than three months, and symptoms may regularly come and go.

Among the symptoms shared by a cold and sinus infection are:

  • fever, though with a cold, it tends to be a low-grade fever
  • fatigue, or lack of energy

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Chronic Sinus Infections And Permanent Damage To Your Hearing

Chronic sinus infections can lead to permanent damage to your hearing. Long-term inflammation, essentially, isnt good for any part of your body, and your ears are no exception. The longer your sinus infection goes on, the more at risk you become for permanent hearing loss.

When your ears are permanently damaged by a sinus infection, your hearing will not come back once your sinus infection symptoms abateor, at least, it wont come back quite as strongly. In many instances, if you start experiencing tinnitus during a sinus infectionespecially if that tinnitus becomes quite persistenta trip to your hearing specialist just might be warranted.

That tinnitus could be an early warning sign. And if remedies arent sought, that tinnitusor hearing losscould become permanent.

How Can A Sinus Infection Cause An Ear Infection

Will Nasal Drainage Cause Sore Throat

Does a sinus infection cause an ear infection? Or is it the other way around? Actually, sinus and ear infections stem from the same root causes: viral infections and bacterial infections. Once an infection takes root in the sinuses, its easy for it to spread to the middle ear and cause an ear infection. Having these two infections at the same time means youve signed up for all the symptoms of a sinus infection, plus the additional symptoms of ear pain and/or clogged ears.

While these common causes can make diagnosing your ailment more difficult, they also make treating one infection akin to treating the other. Awareness of the common causes of sinus infections and ear infections, then, can make you less susceptible to getting both infections at once. Lets examine these causes now.

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The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection

The tell-tale symptoms you’re dealing with a sinus infection include:

  • Discolored and often thick, infected, green or yellow mucus coming from your nose, which will also be congested at this time.
  • A stuffy or uncomfortable feeling around your eyes or forehead because that’s where the sinuses are.
  • Fatigue and feelings of weakness.

Flu Vs Sinus Infection

The main difference between Flu and Sinus infection is that. When we suffer from very high fever, suffering from high body ache with strains of influenza virus it means we suffer from Flu infection. whereas When we suffer from a low degree fever with facial ache, having some cold or allergies means we suffer from a sinus infection.

Flu infection is a normal infection almost most people suffer from. Some people might know its symptoms and some dont.

Another name of flu is influenza. Those who have weak immune systems have more chances of flu infection.

More than 10 million cases rise per year in India.

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Ear And Sinus Infections

Many people will experience tinnitus when they have an ear infection, sinus infection, or cold.

These infections can cause sinus fluid to build up in the ear, triggering a change in pressure that causes tinnitus.

Ear infections often cause the area behind the eardrum to swell or build up fluid, which causes a temporary hearing loss, says Hadassah Kupfer, AuD, an audiologist and adjunct faculty at the City University of New Yorks Audiology Graduate Program.This typically resolves after the infection goes away.

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Blockage Due To Foreign Object

Is It A Sinus Infection, Cold Or Allergies?

You can do the following things at home as first aid for a foreign object in the ear:

  • if the object is visible, carefully use tweezers to gently remove it
  • tilt your head to the side to use gravity to remove the object
  • try to wash the object out using a small syringe with warm water to gently irrigate the ear canal

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What Causes Sinusitis And The Flu

Influenza and sinusitis arent caused by the same thing. Several influenza viruses cause the flu. Type B influenza viruses get people sick while Type A viruses can get people as well as animals sick. Type C viruses typically cause minor symptoms. Any type of influenza virus can get into your body and make you sick by entering through the eyes, mouth or nose.

Sinusitis can also be caused by a virus but not the influenza virus. Sinus infections can also develop due to bacteria and fungus, and chronic sinusitis can develop because of a problem with the structure of the sinuses or nasal cavity or because of ongoing inflammation caused by allergies or the common cold.

Why A True Diagnosis Of Sinusitis Matters

When your symptoms last for a week or more, or continue worsening, its important you receive a diagnostic evaluation. If you have sinusitis that progresses into an infection, you need the right treatment to prevent it from spreading and causing other complications, like anear infection.

Bacterial infections, like those common in sinusitis, can be treated with a course of antibiotics. However,antibiotics wont work on a viral infection or the common cold. For this reason, you need the guidance of Dr. Han and the team at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center who can determine the root cause of your symptoms and create a custom treatment plan.

Treatment for sinusitis focuses on both the short-term and long-term relief of your symptoms. Initially, you may find relief of pain and nasal congestion with over-the-counter products for acute sinusitis, allergies, and common cold symptoms.

If you suffer from chronic sinus inflammation associated with allergies or have recurrent sinus infections, Dr. Han can prescribe medications to keep symptoms under control or recommend a balloon sinuplasty.

Balloon sinuplasty is an in-office treatment that uses a small balloon to open blocked sinus passages and help you breathe more efficiently. By inflating the balloon inside the sinus cavity, Dr. Han also reshapes the passageway to promote long-term drainage of excess mucus.

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How A Sinus Infection Happens

Colds can progress to become sinus infections, but not all sinus infections are viral. Bacteria and even allergies also can cause sinus infections.

A sinus infection occurs when the sinus lining becomes inflamed, preventing the sinuses from draining, he says. The trapped mucous becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to a sinus infection.

Conditions that may make you more likely to get a sinus infection include:

  • Immunodeficiencies .

Telling The Difference Between Allergies And Hearing Loss

Is it Cold Or a Sinus Infection ?

Many people might put off a hearing test until allergy season is over. However, if your hearing loss doesnât go away after the season is over, you might have a more serious problem.

The only person that can definitely determine the difference between allergies and hearing loss is an audiologist. However, if youâve experienced temporary hearing loss in the past, you can rest easy knowing that your issues are most likely caused by allergies.

Allergy-related hearing loss is usually accompanied by dizziness, loss of hearing on one side, congestion, or an earache. As the fluid shifts around in your ear, your pain levels and hearing might change as well. However, if your hearing loss persists for a long period of time, you should see a doctor about the issue.

Many people discover they have permanent hearing loss after visiting the audiologist for allergies. The allergies donât cause the hearing loss â rather, they had existing hearing loss, and the allergies exacerbated the issue. If you still struggle to hear after pollen season is over, get a hearing test. You might be surprised by the results.

In most cases, permanent hearing loss is caused by the degradation of the cochlea. Hearing loss of this kind will affect certain frequencies of sound for example, someone with sensorineural hearing loss will struggle to hear womenâs voices or consonants in speech.

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How Severe Are The Symptoms

Most sinus infections go away on their own without severe symptoms or complications. If a sinus infection is caused by bacteria, you may need antibiotics.

Many cases of COVID-19 may be mild or moderate. The World Health Organization estimates that

Heres what to do next whether you think that you have a sinus infection or COVID-19.

When To Talk To Your Doctor

While most coldsand even sinus infectionsclear up on their own, its important to know when you need medical help. If youre having symptoms, heres when you should call a doctor:

  • Your symptoms are persisting or worsening after 10 days.
  • Pain and discomfort are severe.
  • You have a stiff neck or swelling around the eyes.
  • Youre experiencing changes in vision or mental function.
  • Symptoms go away but then come back.
  • You have a fever that persists beyond a few days.

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When To See A Doctor For Cold Or Flu Symptoms

Most cold and flu infections arent dangerous, but both colds and the flu can result in complications, such as pneumonia, especially for people over 65 or younger than two, Madsen says. It can also be more dangerous for people with compromised immune systems and those with chronic lung disease.

Here are some signs that you may need medical attention:

  • Shortness of breath.If youre having difficulty breathing you should go to the emergency department for a chest X-ray to look for pneumonia, says Madsen.
  • Severe weakness.If its becoming difficult to perform daily tasks due to this weakness you may also need to go to the emergency department for laboratory testing and IV fluids, Madsen says.
  • Abnormal fever.If your fever resolves and then after a day or two comes back, that could mean a bacterial infection on top of the influenza, Curry says. Bacterial infections like a sinus infection often require prescription antibiotics, so its important to talk to your doctor.
  • Persistent pain. Sinus, throat, or ear pain that starts suddenly or doesnt get better after a few days can be a sign of a bacterial infection.
  • Lingering cough. If you have a cough that continues for more than a week after your other symptoms go away, this can also be a sign of bacterial infection.
  • You arent getting better. Most people recover from the flu within two weeks, so if youre still sick after this time, you may want to call your doctor.

Sinus Infection Treatment And Sinus Pressure Relief

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

If youre suffering from a short bout of sinusitis which is inflammation of the sinuses from a cold or allergies, but not necessarily infection there are several things you can do at home to ease your sinus pressure symptoms. Use over-the-counter decongestants and saline nose spray to open up the nasal passages. Pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide relief from sinus pain as well.However, if your symptoms last more than a few days you should see a doctor for evaluation and treatment. If your cold or sinusitis has developed into a bacterial sinus infection, you may need antibiotics to treat it. Both adults and children can receive care for sinus infections at any of our PhysicianOne Urgent Care centers in Connecticut, Massachusetts or New York, 365 days per year. You can even check in online now at the center nearest you for a convenient appointment with minimal time in the waiting room.

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Is There A Vaccine For Meningitis

Yes, there is a vaccine for several types of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis, caused by Neisseria meningitidis, is one version for which vaccines are available. While viral meningitis is more common, bacterial meningitis can be more dangerous if its not diagnosed and treated quickly.

For that reason, the two primary vaccines for meningitis are for bacterial causes. The first vaccine, the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, features a vaccine that targets four of the most common types of bacterial serotypes. It lasts longer and offers greater protection, especially if you maintain booster shots.

The second vaccine, MenB, targets one specific strain, and its protection window is much shorter. Only certain populations are recommended to get this vaccine.

Side effects of a meningitis vaccine include soreness, redness, and burning at the injection site. Some people may experience a low-grade fever for a day or two following the injection. Chills, headache, joint pain, and fatigue are also possible.

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Check If You Have Sinusitis

Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.

Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
  • a reduced sense of smell
  • green or yellow mucus from your nose
  • a sinus headache

Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.

The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.

Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.

This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.

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How Colds And Sinusitis Develop

The common cold is a viral infection that spreads from person to person through contact with infected objects or in the air. After touching something infected with the virus and then touching your mouth or nose, the virus enters your body.

You may also be more likely to develop a cold if youre around someone with a virus whos coughing and sneezing.

While the common cold is linked to a viral infection, sinusitis may relate to a bacterial infection or allergies. When you make contact with a bacteria, virus, or allergy trigger, the membranes in your sinuses become inflamed, blocking the opening of your sinus cavity and making it difficult to breathe.

Your body also produces more mucus to fight the infection, further limiting your ability to take in air through your nose. This excess mucus can build up inside your sinus cavity and increase your risk for an infection.

Is Fever A Cold Or Flu Symptom

Is a Sinus Infection Contagious? [Infographic]

Fever is less likely to accompany a common cold. If there is a fever, it is usually mild. Children may be more likely to have a fever as a common cold symptom. Head cold symptoms do not usually make you feverish.

On the other hand, with the flu, most people will experience a fever of 100-102 degrees or higher, especially children. However, not everyone will develop fever as a flu symptom.

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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:

  • How long have you had symptoms? Cold symptoms typically peak after three to five days and then improve over the next week. A sinus infection can stick around longer, though. If you have a runny nose, stuffy nose or sinus pressure that lasts for more than 10 days, suspect an infection.
  • Do you have sinus pressure? If you have persistent facial pain, pressure or tenderness, you may have a sinus infection.
  • What color is your discharge? If you have clear mucous, you probably have a cold. If you have yellow or green mucous, its probably a sinus infection.
  • Do you have bad breath? If your breath has you reaching for a piece of gum, you could have a sinus infection.
  • 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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