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:

common cold

Last 7-10 days and clears up on its own.  Nasal congestion responds well to over-the-counter decongestants

sinus infection

Lasts more than 7-10 days.  Also, at least 3 of the following are present:

sinus infection

what should you do?


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.