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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. Ronald Krauser
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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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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Dr. Andrew Seibert
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


Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,349 doctors shared insights

Common Cold (Definition)

Viral upper respiratory tract infection, or URI, is a condition where there is a viral infection of the nose or throat, causing redness and inflammation, runny ...Read more