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Doctor insights on: Sinus Infection Vs Common Cold

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How can you tell the difference between the common cold, allergies or sinus infection in a four year old?

How can you tell the difference between the common cold, allergies or sinus infection in a four year old?

Sometimes hard as...: ...They can share some qualities, so it is important to see your doctor. Allergies are associated with sneezing, clear stringy nasal discharge and watery eyes; sinus infections may have fever, purulent nasal discharge and facial pain, with a cough usually worse at night and early morning, and symptoms lasting more than 1 week. A cold may have a fever as well and usually resolves in a week or less. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
3 doctors shared insights

Sinus (Definition)

In anatomy, a sinus is a cavity within a bone or other tissue. Most commonly found in the bones of the face and connecting with the nasal cavities. Sinus (anatomy), description of the general term paranasal sinuses, air cavities in the cranial bones, especially those near the nose, including: the maxillary sinuses, also called the maxillary antra and the largest of the ...Read more


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How many % of sinus infections are caused by virus and how many by bacteria? Is the common cold a sinus infection?

How many % of sinus infections are caused by virus and how many by bacteria? Is the common cold a sinus infection?

Most viral: Studies have shown greater than 90% of "sinus" infections are viral. The common cold is viral. Symptoms lasting more tha 7-10 days or worsening symptoms after 5-7 days may have a higher chance of being bacterial rhinosinusitis. ...Read more

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Is keflex good for sinus infection and upper respiratory infection?

Is keflex good for sinus infection and upper respiratory infection?

Only: If it is a bacterial infection. Most upper respiratory infections however, are viral and many people mistake a viral rhinnitis for sinusitis and take unnecessary antibiotics. Sounds like you may be considering taking left over keflex. Would recommend against that. Rather consult your doctor. ...Read more

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How long will i be contagious for with a sinus infection or cold?

How long will i be contagious for with a sinus infection or cold?

There is difference: Most people do not transmit sinus infections; most clinicians agree that except for rare instances, sinus infections are not contagious expect in rare cases. A person infected with a cold virus may be contagious for two to three days before any symptoms appear and remain so until he or she doesn't show any symptoms. This is a period of up to two weeks or so. ...Read more

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How do I know when a cold stops and a sinus infection starts?

Sinusitis is typical: Vast majority of sinus infections are from cold viruses. Antibiotics won't help. Drink plenty of liquids, steam and saline mists help loosen thick mucous. They usually run their course in 10 days. If you are getting localized pain in a sinus either above or below the eye after you should have resolved you may have developed a secondary bacterial infection. This is not that common. ...Read more

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Sinus infection or coming on cold, how can I tell the difference?

Sinus infection or coming on cold, how can I tell the difference?

Duration ; severity: Colds are viral infections lasting 5-7 days and often associated with a low grade fever, clear nasal discharge, congestion and mild headaches. General aches and pains are common as well. Sinusitis usually takes 7 days to develop and associated with a higher fever, colored nasal discharge and severe facial pain. If symptoms persist longer than a week, see a doctor. ...Read more

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I think I'm getting a sinus infection or a cold. How can I go about treating if?

I think I'm getting a sinus infection or a cold. How can I go about treating if?

Sinus infection: Take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin for the pain . Irrigate the nose frequently with saline 1 tsp salt to one quart of water. 50 to 100 ccs each nostril 4 to 5 times a day. If fevers or chills repeat the Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin . You do not necessarily need antibiotics for an infection. Most will clear on their own in a few days. Use a syringe to irrigate. ...Read more

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Haven't had a full cold for months but this minor sinus infection persists. Anything i can do?

Haven't had a full cold for months but this minor sinus infection persists. Anything i can do?

See an ENT: For sinus infections that persist despite treatment or for infections that keep returning, you may need to see an otolaryngologist (ent doctor) who can examine your nose and sinuses to root out the cause for your chronic infection. ...Read more

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For the past year or so, every time i get a cold, i also get a sinus infection. Why does this happen?

For the past year or so, every time i get a cold, i also get a sinus infection. Why does this happen?

? chronic sinusitis: you need to see an ENT or an allergist, if you have access to one. You most probably have have chronic inflammation of your upper airways that needs attention, it could be due to allergies, so better see a specialist for better long term control of your condition, especially that you suffer from asthma as well, good luck ...Read more

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What to do if I have been sick for over a week. I thought it was a cold but now I wonder if What to do if I have a sinus infection. how can you tell?

Doctor TIME.: Some people like to 'wing it' with their colds, sinus infections, etc... It is not a bad idea. But when you continue to feel 'sick' or suspect of having a sinus infection, it's time to go see the doctor which could help you out with prescription medication to help you feel better. Sinus infections usually cause sinus pressure, and tenderness in facial bones. ...Read more

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I've had a bad sinus infection for about a week. Now i'm coughing when i drink cold water?

I've had a bad sinus infection for about a week. Now i'm coughing when i drink cold water?

You may be congested: If you're still recovering from your sinus infection, you might still be congested. So usually when you swallow, it's difficult to breathe at the same time, and you may end up coughing with your post nasal drip, if you're still having thick discharge and sputum. See you doctor, if the discharge has become colored, and if you are coughing more often. ...Read more

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Everytime i start working out again i end up getting sick (like a head cold or sinus infection). Why is this?

Everytime i start working out again i end up getting sick (like a head cold or sinus infection). Why is this?

See below: If working out at gym, may be frequently exposed to infections from sick people handling equipment & transferring germs to it; u use equipment, touch eyes or nose, & get infected. May also be working out so hard that you're lowering body's resistance to infection. Make certain you're getting adequate vitamin c, b vitamins, zinc, vitamin d. Wash hands frequently or wipe off equipment 2 sterilize. ...Read more

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I have a severe sinus infection from a cold. Can I take allegra (fexofenadine) D and laratadine in the same day?

I have a severe sinus infection from a cold. Can I take allegra (fexofenadine) D and laratadine in the same day?

Layering a-histamine: Shouldn't have any problem taking these two together, though you are duplicating antihistamine coverage. Allergra (fexofenadine) and loratadine together would have a low risk of sedation or over-drying, and the "D" is a decongestant, unrelated and possibly helpful in its own right. However, antihistamines persay would not be expected to do anything for a sinus infection. ...Read more

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Desperate - my ability to taste sweets has been gone for almost a week. I have a bad cold or sinus infection. When will normal taste return?

Desperate - my ability to taste sweets has been gone for almost a week. I have a bad cold or sinus infection. When will normal taste return?

After sinus recovers: It is not uncommon to lose taste function with a sinus infection and I would expect the function will return once the sinus infection becomes under control However be sure you are getting the right antibiotic for the sinus. ...Read more

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I am not sure if i have a sinus infection but my cold is really bothersome. I have been experiencing blood in mucus in the last couple of days. ?

Nasal spray Or ENT: This could definitely be a sinus infection. Try using an over the counter nasal spray like Afrin or Dristan or generic with Oxymetazoline. Use 3 puffs in each nostril 3 times a day for a week. You could also try oral decongestants to help open up the sinus passages. If you are not completely better in 7-10 days you shouid really see an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) doctor. ...Read more

Dr. Ira Katz
9 doctors shared insights

Infection (Definition)

Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more


Sinusitis (Definition)

A condition caused by an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining your sinuses. Acute sinusitis usually starts with coldlike symptoms such as a runny, stuffy ...Read more