What is the Difference between a Sinus Infection and a Cold?

Colds(upper respiratory infection or URI) are caused by viruses. There are over two hundred viruses that cause colds. The most common is the rhinovirus. Symptoms of a cold are nasal congestion, nasal discharge(watery, cloudy, or sometimes colored), sneezing, sore throat, and cough. The symptoms of a cold generally last for 7-10 days. There is no cure for common colds. Treatment consists of fluids, decongestants(not for children under 12), and analgesics if there is associated pain or fever. If a cough(usually caused by post-nasal drip) is interfering with sleep, than taking a small dose of benadryl at bedtime is helpful.

Sinus infections are caused by bacteria. Symptoms of a sinus infection include nasal congestion, thick nasal discharge, colored nasal discharge, headache, facial pain or pressure, throat pain, cough, and possibly fever. Left untreated, sinus infections last more than 10 days. Treatment of sinus infections includes antibiotics, decongestants(not for children under 12), possibly steroids, and possible saline nasal irrigation.

An episode that begins as a cold may become a sinus infection.

If you think you may be suffering from sinusitis, make an appointment to see the experts at GREATNECKENT

Colds begin suddenly, and symptoms begin to improve within a few days. The symptoms of a sinus infection usually begin more gradually and do not improve without medical treatment.

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