sinus infection vs. the common cold
It is not always easy to answer this question, but here are some general guidelines for you to go by:
Last 7-10 days and clears up on its own. Nasal congestion responds well to over-the-counter decongestants
Lasts more than 7-10 days. Also, at least 3 of the following are present:
- Nasal congestion with poor response to over-the-counter decongestants
- Feeling achy
- Headache or facial pain that is worse with lowering your head
what should you do?
- Drink a lot of fluids. 10-12 glasses a day! This helps thin out secretions.
- If stuffiness is your only symptom, use a decongestant such as Sudaphed. Be careful not to take too much because it can cause insomnia
- If you are having a headache, you may try Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin. If you have allergies, take an antihistamine. However, if you don't have allergies, taking an antihistamine can dry out the sinuses and prevent them from draining properly.
- If you have a cough you may try an expectorant such as Robitussin
When should you see a doctor?
If you have symptoms that last beyond 1-2 weeks of if you have three or more symptoms listed under sinus infection, call Student Health Services to make an appointment.
What are sinuses?
The sinuses are a labyrinth of air pockets throughout the bones of the face. The produce secretion that wash away dist particles, bacterial, and other pollutants from the air we breathe.
Is it a cold or a sinus infection... How will you know?
Common colds (caused by viruses) will cause sinuses to become inflamed. These type of infections (viruses) respond well to self-treatment and clear up on their own. Bacterial sinus infections may require a visit to the health center.