We all can relates to that feeling when your nose is running, one part seems blocked and you feel lousy. Sounds like a cold, but is it actually one? The truth is it old be a cold or not. What you may think is a cold could actually be a sinus infection.
Sinus infections tend to be sneaky and this makes a lot of people confuse them with a cold or other illness. This perhaps is because not everyone knows how they rear their heads.
Sinuses are actually the cavities that drain into your nose. A sinus infection can result when a virus, bacteria, or at rate times, a fungus gets into the lining of one or more sinuses.
One reason why people mistake a sinus infection for a cold is that it usually results after a cold. This is because the linings of the sinuses are more vulnerable to infection after a cold, since your sinus openings tend to swell.
Colds will typically disappear after about five days, anything that lasts longer than ten days is a sinus infection. Sinus infections can either be acute and last for about four weeks, subacute- lasting for between four to twelve weeks or chronic, lasting for twelve weeks or more.
A chronic infection can occur when an acute or subacute one goes untreated, and the symptoms are usually less severe but they can still lead to fatigue over time which is why you should treat them.
Here are four signs you maybe dealing with a sinus infection instead of a cold.
Having Pain In The Face
Since the sinuses are located on the forehead, between the eyes, and below the eyes, depending on which sinuses are infected, a sinus infection can cause you to feel pressure pain above your cheeks, between your eyes, over your forehead, or even in your upper teeth.
If the maxillary sinuses, located below your cheeks are infected, you will likely feel pain that is similar to having a toothache. If the problem is with your frontal sinuses, the pain will feel like a headache.
Having A Runny Nose Or Congestion
Sinus infections tend to prevent the sinuses from draining into the nose, leading to a buildup of mucus in your nose and sinuses. As such, if your drips or needs to be blown out often and the mucus coming out is thick or discoloured, you’ve got an infection.
You Have Post-nasal Drip
The mucus that builds up in your nose during a sinus infection may drain into the back of your throat. This may cause you to have hoarse voice, lose your sense of smell, have cough and sore throat. You may find yourself needing to clear your throat often, and you might cough up that same thick, discolored mucus.
You Have Bad Breath
The infected mucus dripping into your throat can cause your breath to smell bad. And since your nose is congested, you may breath through your mouth, which can dry it out, further contributing to bad breath.
What Can You Do About It?
If you have any of these symptoms for 10 days or more, it is best to see a doctor who can examine your throat with an endoscope and prescribe a nasal spray or another over-the-counter or prescription medication which may include antibiotics if there’s a bacterial infection. These treatments are enough to clear up your sinuses.