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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Sinus Infection And Just Sinus Congestion

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What is the difference between sinus infection and just sinus congestion?

What is the difference between sinus infection and just sinus congestion?

Infection or not: Sinus infection is when an organism colonizes the linings of your sinuses and lives there causing symptoms including pain and secretions. Congestion occurs as a reaction of the sinus lining to a variety of agents and irritants and fills up with secretions. It can lead to infection, but responds to irrigation and decongestants. They can occur simultaneously. ...Read more

Dr. Adam Lewis
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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I thought my sinus congestion was allergies but it hasn't gone away. It's been almost a week now, could it be a sinus infection?

I thought my sinus congestion was allergies but it hasn't gone away. It's been almost a week now, could it be a sinus infection?

Possibly: Keep in mind that allergies, particularly during peak periods like April-June, can linger far beyond a week's time. A sinus infection is usually considered after two weeks, and only if there is significant nasal drainage, occasionally fever, but also facial pressure/pain, post-nasal drip and fatigue. Otherwise, if you have known allergies, they are likely the culprit. ...Read more

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Can tension headaches cause sinus pain and congestion? Went to dr and have no sinus infection. Sinus congestion is always worse when I'm tense

Can tension headaches cause sinus pain and congestion? Went to dr and have no sinus infection. Sinus congestion is always worse when I'm tense

Consider seeing: an ENT doctor. He/she specializes in this combo of sinus pain and headache. Your doc can make a referral. There is a natural nasal spray called XLEAR that may be useful also. Peace and good health. Some folks prefer the use of a neti pot to cleanse nasal passages. ...Read more

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Fever of 100.2. Sinus congestion &pressure. Spitting up very thick sticky white and yellow sinus mucus. What causes this? Is this normal? Sinusitis?

Fever of 100.2. Sinus congestion &pressure. Spitting up very thick sticky white and yellow sinus mucus. What causes this? Is this normal?  Sinusitis?

Viral infection: Symptoms are typical of any number of viral upper respiratory infections. These are almost always normal symptoms and not a cause for alarm. They can last on average from 7 to 14 days. Treatment is symptomatic and can include decongestants, saline rinses and time. ...Read more

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Went for an Mri scan showed sinus congestion and swollen glands. Follow up blood test been referred to a specialist what could this be for Sinusitis?

Went for an Mri scan showed sinus congestion and swollen glands. Follow up blood test been referred to a specialist what could this be for Sinusitis?

MRI is not: actually generally done for sinus infection both because it is a LOT of work for a minor condition (there goes the NH budget !!!) but also because it isn't very predictive of who benefits from treatment. Studies have shown that looking for purulence at the back of the throat is a better test. this doesn't quite make sense. ...Read more

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What can I do about the congestion that remains after sinus infection?

What can I do about the congestion that remains after sinus infection?

Decongestants: Behind-the-counter pseudo Ephedrine can help, if it doesn't make you jittery or keep you up at night. Nasal steroid sprays work the best; if this is a recurrent problem, your doctor can prescribe a one-month supply each time you take an antibiotic. If you get more than two sinus infections per year, see an allergist to find out what can be done to keep them from coming back. ...Read more

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Not congested , can smell still but can't really taste anything. I'm not sick. Can this be related to sinus infection without congestion?

Not congested , can smell still but can't really taste anything. I'm not sick. Can this be related to sinus infection without congestion?

Loss of taste: You are describing loss of taste only, not smell. Usually, a sinus infection comes with congestion, nasal discharge, postnasal drip, and loss of smell. Then, taste is secondarily affected. You have to get evaluated by your doctor and probably an ENT to look into your loss of taste. ...Read more

Dr. Neigatha Graney
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. Mark Loury
731 doctors shared insights

Congestion (Definition)

Congestion refers to any situation of "backup of fluid." Congestion may refer to the sinuses being backed up with mucus, while pulmonary congestion refers to a backup of fluid into the lungs due to ...Read more