What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
They may include things like:
- Thick, yellow, foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Pressure or pain around your face and eyes
- Blockage in your nose
- Fever or cough
These symptoms can also happen with a cold. But if they continue for more than 10 days, you may have a sinus infection.
But Sometimes Antibiotics For Sinus Infections Are Needed
So how does one judge when it is appropriate to prescribe antibiotics for a sinus infection? There are several sets of official guidelines, which are all similar. When a patient has thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pressure or pain for at least 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment. If a patient has had those symptoms, but the symptoms seemed to start improving and then got worse again, then even if its been less than 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment.
The authors, however, also suggest that doctors discuss watchful waiting with patients and explain that most sinus infections clear up on their own in one to two weeks, and its a safe option to hold off on antibiotics. The symptoms can then be treated with a cocktail of over-the-counter medications and supportive care, like nasal saline irrigation, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants, and pain medications.
Of course, many patients expect and demand antibiotics for sinus infections, and even those who are open to watchful waiting may hear about the rare but possible complications of things like, oh, brain abscess, and opt to treat.
In the case of my patient above, she met criteria for treatment. She weighed the watchful waiting option against the potential risks of antibiotics for her sinus infection, and chose the prescription. I can tell you from very close follow-up that she improved quickly, though in truth, we will never really know if she would have gotten better anyway.
Is It A Sinus Infection A Cold Or Allergies
Your nose is stuffed and your head is pounding. Here’s how to tell if a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection is to blame.
A stuffy nose and headache are common symptoms of many illnesses. So how can you tell whether the culprit is a sinus infection, a common cold, or allergies when the symptoms of these three conditions are so similar?
“It can sometimes be difficult even for doctors to differentiate,” says Alan B. Goldsobel, MD, an allergist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California and an adjunct associate professor at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. But there are some key differences that can give you some clues. Get to know more about the symptoms of these three conditions to help you pinpoint the cause of your sinus congestion:
A Sinus Infection
- What it feels like: You can expect a stuffy nose, but also some runny, discolored mucus, Goldsobel explains. You may also experience a sore throat, cough, sneezing, headache, or fatigue. Another sign is a rising temperature: Colds often trigger a fever, he says, but sometimes those fevers are so mild that people think they have allergies instead.
- What triggers it: A virus.
- How long it lasts: People usually fend off the cold virus within seven to 10 days, Baroody says. But if your symptoms have lingered past that window of time, you might have sinusitis. If you suspect you have a sinus infection, you should talk to your doctor.
An Allergic Reaction
Doctor’s Notes On Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is an infection of the sinus infection is inflammation of the hollow air cavities within the skull that are connected to the nasal passages. A sinus infection may be acute or may be chronic, meaning it persists over the long term. Viruses that cause common colds may also cause inflamed sinuses, and bacterial infections are also causes of sinusitis. Rarely, fungal infections may cause the condition.
Symptoms and signs of a sinus infection include:
- a headache that may worsen when bending down,
- feelings of pressure or pain in the sinuses, and
- swelling or tenderness of the face.
Other associated symptoms can include:
Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
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How Can You Know If Your Chills Are A Symptom Of Covid
It’s tough to say for sure without being tested for COVID-19. “Fever and chills are signs of many infections as well as other things. Some allergic reactions can give you a fever, for example,” Dr. Giordano says.
Also, it’s unlikely you would ~just~ get chills and not have any other symptoms. “Chills usually do not occur by themselves but are part of a constellation with fever, shivering, muscle aches, headache, and other systemic symptoms,” Dr. Sellick says. So, if you have chills a fever, cough, and muscle aches, “COVID-19 certainly would be a consideration, as would influenza at this time of year,” Dr. Sellick says. Basically, you should call your doctor about next steps.
Still, it’s going to be difficult for even your doctor to know what’s going on for sure. “The only way to know if you have COVID is to get a test for COVID,” Dr. Giordano says.
Sinus Infection Treatment In Will County And Dupage County Illinois
If youre experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, the experts at Oak Brook Allergists can help you find relief especially if you have chronic sinusitis. Our allergy and immunology physicians and specially-trained assistants work together to provide you with the relief you need.
Make an appointment today by calling 574-0460, or you may request an appointment online.
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Diagnosis For Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Diagnosis for sinus infection
Your doctor will examine you and ask about your symptoms, including where you are feeling discomfort and whether you have recently been sick with a cold or other illness.
Your doctor can typically diagnose a sinus infection based on your symptoms. Based on this information, your doctor will likely be able to determine whether you have infected or inflamed sinuses. If your sinus problems are chronic or recur often, a doctor who specializes in allergies called an allergist may do some allergy tests to try to help figure out the cause.
If your sinus infection has been going on for a long time, or you have frequent infections in your sinuses, your doctor may use other procedures to assess the problem. Using a long, flexible camera called a nasal endoscope, your doctor may look into your sinus cavities to see their condition. Alternatively, your doctor may recommend a computerized tomography scan to assess the infection.
Diagnosis for COVID-19 coronavirus
If you suspect you might have COVID-19 coronavirus, consult local sources about testing availability and sites. Coronavirus can be confirmed by a viral test often a nose swab that tells you if you have an active infection or by a test for antibodies, which would be mean you had a past infection.
Lack Of Smell And Taste
Sinus congestion will often impact your sense of smell. Because breathing through your nose becomes difficult, you wont be able to smell like you usually do. Your sense of smell informs your sense of taste, so while you will most likely be able to tell apart major ingredients, like salty instead of sweet, food will probably taste fairly bland for you while your sinuses are infected.
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What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
What You Should Do
Dr. Sedaghat recommends that you treat colds symptomatically. “I tell my patients do whatever makes them feel better. Pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help. Home remedies that can improve nasal symptoms include saltwater rinses for the nose,” Dr. Sedaghat suggests. He also points out that maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your energy levels up.
Sinus infections are treated the same way as a cold. If bacteria cause the infection, antibiotics are an option. But many bacterial sinus infections get better on their own.
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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.
How Long Do Symptoms Last
Typically, a sinus infection clears up within 2 to 3 weeks. COVID-19 lasts for about a week or two depending on its severity and your overall health.
A 2020 study surveyed 270 outpatients with COVID-19. Among them, 175 people reported returning to their usual level of health about 7 days after a positive COVID-19 test.
Some symptoms like cough and loss of smell or taste may linger temporarily after COVID-19. Some people may experience long-haul COVID-19, a group of symptoms that persist in the weeks and months following an infection.
Common Symptoms Of A Bacterial Sinus Infection
- Same symptoms of a viral sinus infection
- Symptoms start to worsen after 7-10 days
- Fever that lasts multiple days in a row
- Typically requires antibiotics
So, lets go back to the original question: Can you have a sinus infection without a fever? As you can now see, having or not having a fever wont always help you determine if you have a sinus infection.
However, one thing that you can say with more certainty is that you probably have a bacterial sinus infection if you have a fever that lasts multiple days and does not let up.
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.
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How Can You Tell If You Have A Sinus Infection Or Covid
You cannot tell if you have COVID or a sinus infection just based on your symptoms alone. Some symptoms of COVID overlap with those of a sinus infection, but there are also symptoms that are specific to one or the other.
While the symptoms of a sinus infection mostly involve your respiratory system, COVID can cause a range of symptoms that affect other parts of your body .
Its also important to note that you can have COVID and not have any symptoms.
Side Effects Of Medication
Some chills are the result of the bodys response to taking medications and adjusting or stopping medications:
- Diabetes medications: Insulin and drugs like sulfonylureas and meglitinides that increase insulin secretion by the pancreas can cause hypoglycemia-related chills. This happens if you have too much insulin and havent matched it with your food intake or physical activity level.
- General anesthesia for surgery: People can experience chills upon waking from anesthesia.
- Chemotherapy medications: Medications that you are taking to calm down your immune system and chemotherapy to fight cancer can have flu-like side effects, including fever and chills. Symptoms typically peak and resolve after treatment over a few days.
Make note of medication side effects to discuss with your healthcare provider. In severe cases, a healthcare provider may be able to prescribe other drugs to help you cope with your chills when they result as side effects to medications you are on.
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Do I Have Covid Or A Sinus Infection
Although some of the symptoms are shared, there are several distinct ways to tell if you have covid or a sinus infection.
Its human nature to sometimes think the worst if you experience any symptoms in todays environment but in fact, the common cold, influenza, allergies, and sinus infections share some of the same symptoms as the COVID-19.
Heres how you can tell the difference and when you should consider seeking medical help.
Fight Head Congestion With Sudafed
Consider taking SUDAFED PE® Head Congestion+Pain. With Ibuprofen and phenylephrine , this coated tablet can help provide relief from your head cold symptoms and combat pesky nasal congestion and swelling, sinus pressure, headache, fever, and body aches. Always read and follow the label carefully, and make sure the product is right for you.
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How To Tell The Difference
While both disorders include congestion on their list of symptoms, those with a sinus infection wont experience the other typical symptoms of COVID-19 such as body aches, nausea and shortness of breath.
It is also important to note that you can have both COVID-19 and a sinus infection as they are not mutually exclusive. Remember, what sets COVID-19 apart are the additional hallmark symptoms such as fevers, chills and a greater amount of fatigue. Loss of taste or smell, a common occurrence with COVID-19, is also rare in other types of illnesses and infections.
How Are Chills Treated
Layering clothes or getting to a warm place can make cold chills go away. You can also drink hot chocolate, coffee or tea to raise your internal body temperature.
If an illness, infection or another health problem causes chills, treating the condition should get rid of the symptom. Treatments vary depending on the underlying cause. They may include:
- Antibiotics for bacterial and parasitic infections.
- Antiviral medications for viral infections.
- Over-the-counter medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen , for conditions like flu that cause fevers and chills.
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How To Relieve A Head Cold And Head Congestion
If you start to feel bad from nasal swelling or a stuffy nose, you can take steps to improve your symptoms and make yourself more comfortable. Here are some remedies for head congestion. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Whether you catch the cold or flu, what your body needs most is rest. Go to bed early, take naps when needed, and dont be afraid to take time off work or keep your children home from school. Not only will this prevent you from overexerting yourself, but it also helps avoid spreading your germs to others.
Drinking lots of fluids is key to helping your immune system function properly, so consume even more than you do when healthy. Water, fruit juices with vitamin C, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey do the best job of keeping you hydrated and loosening congestion. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages like coffee or soda make dehydration worse, so avoid them until symptoms improve.
Add Moisture to the Air
Though it seems counterproductive, you dont want your nasal passages to dry up. Dry airways can increase nasal swelling that leads to a stuffy nose and nasal congestion. Keep moisture in the air with a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier be sure to change the water and clean the unit properly. Steam from a shower or a hot cup of tea can also add extra moisture to the nasal passages to help with drainage.
Dont Use Antibiotics to Treat Colds
Tips To Help You Feel Better Now
With respiratory symptoms, there are some things you can do to start getting some immediate relief, according to Dr. Buzzard.
The first tip I have is to take make sure you are getting an adequate amount of rest, as well as fluids. Secondly, over-the-counter medicines for cold symptoms can be helpful for symptoms like sore throat, fever, congestion, and cough. Check with your doctor if you have questions about what is safe and effective, says Dr. Buzzard. My third tip is if you are smoking, stop. Smoking will make your symptoms worse and can increase your risk of secondary infections like sinus infections or pneumonia. Finally, if you are getting worse or youve gone longer than a week without feeling better, come in to see us.
If you think you might have a COVID-19, a sinus infection, or another respiratory illness, a visit to one of Physicians Immediate Cares convenient locations in Illinois, Indianaand Wisconsin couldprovide the relief you need. In addition to caring physicians and staff who have been serving patients for more than 30 years, Physicians Immediate Care also offers evening and weekend hours, and no appointment is needed.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please let us know before you arrive so we can keep you safe with our enhanced health and safety protocols.
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