A 37-year-old female asked:
i have had major congestion for about the past week. should i see a dr? it started out as just a clear runny nose at the end of a cold. now it's more yellowish green and there is lots of pressure in my head/ears. i've been taking sudafed, which helps on
1 doctor answer
Dr. Bobak Ghaheri answered
22 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Generally : Generally speaking, i recommend that patients see a doctor when one of two criteria are met: 1) you have a cold that is not getting better after 7 days. Before 7 days, there's no way that a doctor can reliably tell if you have a bacterial vs viral infection. After 7 days, the odds are that it's bacterial, so if you have other signs of infection, antibiotics may be indicated. 2) if you are sick, and as you start to get better, you suddenly worsen (i call this "double worsening"). This indicates a bacterial superinfection on top of an initial viral infection. While sudafed can help, it can also dry out your secretions, making them hard to expel. I would recommend steam, lots of nasal saline spray, and even Mucinex (guaifenesin) to help loosen stuff up until you can get into a doctor for evaluation.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
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