Sinus Infection or a Cold

Sinus Infection or a Cold?

When you’re feeling sick, it can be tough to tell whether you are struggling with a sinus infection or simply have the common cold. The symptoms of these conditions can be very similar, but there are important differences between the two and they must be treated differently in order for you to find relief.

When you have a Cold, your body is fighting off a viral infection in your upper respiratory system. While a cold can sometimes irritate the sinuses and cause swelling, experiencing constant facial pressure and pain for days is often a sign of a sinus infection.

Clear, watery mucus is usually a sign of a cold. A sinus will often cause mucus to become thick and green or yellow in color. If you experience nasal discharge that is colored and have a difficult time blowing your nose, you may have a sinus infection.

When symptoms become bad enough or last long enough, it’s usually the time for you to seek medical advice. The treatment for cold and sinus infection are different. Antibiotics are effective to treat sinus infection, but it should not be used to treat a Cold.

Sinus Infection or a Cold

You can help prevent sinus infections by doing your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy, including:

  1. Clean your hands.
  2. Receive recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections.
  4. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
  5. Use a clean humidifier to moisten the air at home.


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