The Difference Between A Cold And A Sinus Infection
The common cold is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. It’s also one of the most common illnesses in the U.S., with adults getting an average of two to three colds per year, and children catching between eight and 12 colds per year. Most of the time, colds resolve on their own within three to seven days, with some symptoms possibly lingering for up to two weeks. But in some cases, colds can temporarily weaken the immune system or cause swelling of the lining of the airways or nose. This can lead to a secondary viral or bacterial infection, such as a sinus infection.
A sinus infection or sinusitis is the swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose. The most common cause of a sinus infection is a virus associated with a cold. However, about two percent of sinus infections are bacterial infections. Sinus infections usually improve within 10 days, but when they last longer, they’re more likely to be bacterial infections.
Get Ahead Of Cold Symptoms
Though theres no promise youll escape cold and flu season without a runny nose or sore throat, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of staying healthy.
- Wash your hands frequently to help prevent coming into contact with or spreading harmful germs.
- Disinfect your environment and frequently clean commonly touched surfaces such as sink handles, doorknobs and handrails.
- Avoid sharing personal items, especially those that come in contact with your eyes, nose or mouth like utensils, washcloths or cups.
- Do not come in close contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections.
Overall, pursue a healthy lifestyle to boost immunity by eating nutritious food, sleeping eight hours, drinking water, exercising and managing stress.
Ways To Clear Clogged Sinuses
Food alone may not be enough to get rid of the symptoms of your seasonal allergies and infections. e may not be enough to get rid of the symptoms of your seasonal allergies and infections. When it comes to sinus problems the foods you eat are just as important as the foods you dont eat. Other lifestyle factors such as regular exercise and staying hydrated can all help prevent sinus problems and leave you feeling clearer. Try these easy activities to stay decongested and breathing fine even when sinus infections are at their worst:
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
When you have a sinus infection, you often have to go through your day in pain and in a fog. Sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses, is incredibly common, but many people suffer through it rather than get it treated. At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, McMinnville, or Beaver, OR, we use a variety of sinus management treatments to reduce the inflammation and immune response that are likely behind your sinus problems. Check out on how to get rid of sinusitis.
Anatomy Of The Paranasal Sinuses
The paranasal sinuses comprise four pairs of sinuses that surround the nose and drain into the nasal cavity by way of narrow channels called ostia . Mucus leaving the frontal and maxillary sinuses drains through the ethmoid sinuses , so a backup in the ethmoids is likely to clog the other two types of sinuses. The sphenoid sinuses are located deep in the skull, behind the eyes. Sinusitis develops when one or more sinuses become blocked.
There are millions of bacteria in our noses, and most of the time, they’re harmless. Even when a few creep into the sinuses, they don’t cause trouble, as long as they keep draining into the nose along with mucus. But if sinus drainage is blocked, glands in the sinuses continue to produce mucus, and the resulting pool of backed-up mucus provides what Dr. Metson calls “the perfect culture medium.” The bacteria grow out of control, causing infection, and the immune system kicks off an inflammatory response. The result: swelling, which causes and facial pain mucus buildup, which produces congestion and an influx of white blood cells to fight the bacteria, which thickens the mucus and may tint it yellow or green. Other symptoms include loss of smell or taste, cough, bad breath, fever, toothache, and fullness in the ears.
What Are Some Options For Sinus Headache Treatment
You can try some at-home lifestyle remedies, including drinking more fluids, using a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air, and using a saltwater nasal spray. You may also want to try applying a warm, wet towel to your face to help provide some relief.
In addition, the following are some common types of sinus headache treatment:
- Antihistamines These can help if your sinus headaches are caused by allergies, since they reduce or block histamines and help reduce inflammation and swelling. They are available over-the-counter and also by prescription and come in tablet or nasal spray form.
- These oral or nasal medications can help reduce the amount of swelling and mucus in your nasal passages. They shouldnt be used in the long-term, however.
- Nasal steroid sprays These are available by prescription or over the counter and can help reduce pain and congestion.
- Antibiotics These can be used if your doctor thinks your sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Most infections, however, are viral, and if this is the case, antibiotics wont help.
- Pain medication Medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium can be used.
If medications dont improve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery depending on the exact cause of your sinusitis and sinus headaches. The goal of surgery is to correct the underlying issue to provide long-term relief.
Surgical options can include the following:
What Is A Sinus Headache
A sinus headache is caused by swelling and pressure in your sinuses. These air-filled cavities usually allow mucus to freely drain and air to easily circulate throughout the nasal passages. When they become inflamed, however, mucus becomes trapped and isnt able to properly drain. This condition is known as sinusitis, and it can be caused several things, including a cold, flu, or allergies.
As pressure builds up, it causes pain that feels like a headache.
Also Check: Can Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain
How To Clear Your Sinuses Without Drugs In 60 Seconds
Everyone, at some point, has experienced the feeling of sinus congestion: headaches, difficulty breathing through the nose, the loss of the sense of smell, and even a change in the sound of your voice. There are many things that can cause sinus congestion, but for most people, the solution is usually the same: over-the-counter drugs.
While these drugs do work, they often have undesirable side effects like drowsiness, and there is also the cumulative effect of taking pharmaceutical medicines on a regular basis that can take a toll on the body over time.
The good news is that there is now a safe alternative: in this article, you will learn about a chemical-free solution to clear your sinuses that takes only about a minute, and is absolutely free.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Headache
Sinus headaches often cause the following symptoms:
- Pressure and pain in your face or head
- Pain that gets worse when you bend over, move suddenly, or lie down
- Pain thats worse in the morning
- Pain that gets worse when youre exposed to sudden temperature changes
- Swelling in your face
- Pain in your upper teeth
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Got Allergies Consider An Antihistamine
Swelling of the nasal tissues, especially when caused by allergies, often triggers increased , which can further obstruct your airways, explains Dr. Auth. Over-the-counter , such as diphenhydramine and loratadine , can help dry up excessive mucus, he says. If youre taking an antihistamine during the day, check the label carefully and choose one labeled nonsedating.
What Is The Drug
If you have a serious illness like the flu which is causing the sinus pressure, you should still take your medicine. However, you will still benefit from using this technique to clear your sinuses.
1. Position your body so that you are leaning back at a 45-degree angle. This is important for helping drain the fluid in your sinuses.
2. While sitting back in this position, turn your head to the side and rub the sternocleidomastoid muscle up and down, about four or five times . Turn your head again and repeat on the other side.
3. With your fingers, rub the sides of your nose, just below where the bony upper section meets the softer, lower part. Massage these areas in a circular motion as hard as you can for about 20 seconds. After this, rub the same area and the parts of the nose connecting to the cheek bones to relax them further.
4. After this, locate the super orbital notch, on top of the eye socket above the eyes. Massage these notches, again, in a circular motion, for 20 seconds. Then move to the forehead, and massage above the eyes in an outward motion for another 20 seconds or so.
The pressure exerted on the sinuses by these massages, combined with the angle of your body, will cause the mucus to drain out the sinuses and back down the throat. You will be able to breathe easier and be free of headaches and congestion.
READ ALSO: Tips To Treat A Cold Or Flu Video
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Boost Your Immune System With Vitamins And Herbs
Can cold-busting vitamin C also help zap congestion? Vitamin C has been demonstrated in some studies to shorten the duration of a cold and decrease the severity of symptoms but it doesnt directly affect congestion, says Stringer. So if youre battling congestion related to a cold, popping some extra vitamin C may help you get over your cold symptoms faster. But if your congestion is related to allergies, vitamin C wont bring relief.
A few herbal treatments, especially menthol and eucalyptus oil, can also help ease a stuffy nose. Menthol, a derivative of peppermint oil, can be found in inhaled balms and rubs for congestion. Menthol doesn’t actually decrease congestion, says Stringer. Instead, it stimulates the nerve receptors in the nose, which makes the nose feel like more air is going through it, and this is often perceived as cold air. But theres no real effect on congestion or the amount of air moving through the nose. Still, mentholated products are a good option to try when seeking fast short-term relief from sinus congestion.
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When To Call A Doctor
Most of the time, a stuffy nose will clear up on its own within a week. Nasal congestion that lasts longer may be a sign of a serious sinus infection in need of treatment. You may also want to see a doctor if the symptoms are interfering with sleep or your ability to function normally.
A stuffy nose may require medical attention if:
- You have a high fever.
- Your symptoms last longer than two weeks.
- Your nasal passages are completely blocked.
- Your skin or lips develop a bluish tinge .
- Your breathing rate is very rapid.
- You have difficulty breathing or catching your breath.
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Use Turmeric More Often
Turmeric is related to ginger and carries many of the same benefits. It is commonly found in Indian delicacies such as curry. The spice is a powerful medicinal plant used in many cultures around the world. Turmeric contains a group of compounds called curcuminoids. Out of these curcuminoids, curcumin is the most studied. Curcumin has been used to treat things like hay fever, depression, and high cholesterol.
Combine a little bit of turmeric with hot water, and then gargle the mixture to clear and heal the sinuses at the same time.
Medicine For Cold And Sinus
Headache, nasal pain, congestion, runny nose and fatigue.
There’s no doubt that these symptoms can make you feel miserable, but it can be hard to tell what’s causing the discomfort. Is it a cold or sinus infection? Both of these illnesses share many of the same symptoms, and treatment is often similar, too. Here you’ll learn about colds and sinus infections, including cold and sinus medicines.
Rinse With Salt Water
The irritants from dust, pollution, and fragrances can make their way into your sinuses and cause congestion. To get rid of these irritants, use a saltwater saline rinse either an over-the-counter saline nasal spray or a saline rinse from a neti pot, which is designed to pour saline water through your sinuses, says Dr. Kern.
As Phillip Tanner, 44, of San Francisco, California, says, “I use very warm water and a super-saturated hypertonic salt solution. It’s definitely an odd experience, even once you get used to doing it, but I find that it really does help my symptoms.”
How To Relieve A Head Cold And Sinus Congestion
Though there are some differences between head congestion and sinus congestion, the following tips can help provide relief from your symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Drink plenty of water: Water can help thin mucus, which is more likely to drain.
- Make a wrap: Applying a warm towel to your head to ease swollen tissues and relieve pressure.
- Get steamy: Inhaling steam helps keep nasal passages moist and assists with drainage.
- Find relief with SUDAFED®: SUDAFED PE® Head Congestion + Pain can help relievethe pain and pressure associated with head congestion while SUDAFED PE® Sinus Pressure + Pain with acetaminophen can help provide relief from sinus pain and pressure.
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Tips To Help You Get Relief From Your Head Cold
Oh, your aching head! If youâre suffering from unbearable nasal congestion and headache, you probably have a head cold. The reason youâre so stuffed up? When you have a head cold, the membranes lining your nasal passages become swollen and produce excess mucus to flush out whatever is causing the irritation, whether itâs a virus or an allergen. You might experience pain in your forehead, under your eyes or in your upper teeth.
The key to getting rid of a head cold is to reduce sinus swelling and help mucus drain from your sinuses. Although it might seem counterintuitive, keeping your nasal passages moist is the best way to clear out congestionâdry sinuses will only result in further irritation.
Try these simple tips to clear up a head cold and help relieve headache and sinus pressure.
Since breathing in dry air will dry out your sinuses, itâs best to add moisture back into your environment by using a cool-mist humidifier or steam vaporizer. You can also try breathing in steam from a hot shower. Doing so can help soothe the irritated membranes lining your nasal passages.
A great way to ease a headache and sinus pressure is to place a warm compress on your forehead and nose. If you donât have a compress, try moistening a washcloth with warm water and applying it to your face several times a day. This will help relieve nasal congestion and relieve your head cold symptoms.
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