Signs Your Cold Has Turned Into A Sinus Infection
This entry was posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2016 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates
Although your sinuses are intended to be air-filled cavities that help collect bacteria and irritants to keep them from getting inside your body, your sinuses can quickly become sources of pain and discomfort when you have a sinus infection. At Allergy & ENT Associates, our medical professionals help treat sinus infections.
In many instances, a sinus infection starts as a cold and progresses. Its important to know when your cold may have progressed to a sinus infection because these infections may necessitate taking antibiotics for symptoms to go away.
Signs Your Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies
1. You have a combo of nasal congestion, a scratchy throat, a runny nose, pressure around your eyes, and itchy ears and eyes. Looks like allergies, smells would smell like allergies too, if you weren’t too stuffed up to smell.
2. Your symptoms last more than two weeks. If your nose runs on and on, with a scratchy throat and lots of congestion that gets no worse, but no better, it’s probably just allergies.
3. Your snot is yellow or clear. Even with pale yellow snot, you’re OK.
4. You’re fine the rest of the year. Asthmatic coughing and wheezing that starts up juuust about the same time as the flowers bloom in April, May, or June is an unlikely coincidence. *Puts money on allergies.*
5. If you do think you have allergies: Consider taking an OTC antihistamine, or better yet, see an allergist who can tell you exactly what to take and whether you could benefit from a nasal steroid or a nasal spray. And feel better!
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Treatment Options For Sinus Infections
Taking antibiotics can reduce the duration of a sinus infection for about five days. An estimated 70 percent of sinus infections resolve with time, so antibiotics arent always necessary to treat these infections. Other treatments that are available to relieve sinus infections include:
- Nasal decongestant sprays. However, these shouldnt be used longer than 10 to 14 days as they can result in adverse symptoms when used for too long.
- Antihistamines, such as Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin, which help to reduce the incidence of allergic reactions in your body.
- , such as Sudafed, to reduce the amount of mucus.
- Using salt water and/or baking soda and water mixtures to clear out the nasal passages. These can help to reduce dryness in the nasal passages that leads to discomfort.
Signs that its time to seek expert help are when your symptoms are keeping you from your work, school, and/or daily activities. You should also seek medical help if your symptoms last longer than two weeks. A long-lasting infection can lead to chronic sinusitis . For this reason, its best to seek medical help to keep the condition from becoming prolonged.
For more information on colds, sinus infections, allergies, and more, call our experts at Allergy & ENT Associates at
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Do I Have Allergies Or A Cold
Before my allergies develop into a year-round problem I only experienced symptoms seasonally.
My cold seemed to manifest every year at the same time. Some people would call this normal but I was skeptical. Was it really a cold? How come it never materialized?
My cold or allergy symptoms werent severe but they were certainly an annoyance and were always accompanied by fatigue. My main symptoms occurred in late winter and late summer when the heating and air conditioning was running. The symptoms included:
A scratchy throat
Repetitive clearing of the throat
Soreness when I swallowed
But something strange occurred. The symptoms never became a full cold. They would stay the same for a few weeks then disappear. I thought my body had fought them off but maybe it was just my allergies.
In the sections below Ill outline a few scenarios that can help you assess whether you have a cold or allergies. Use it as a checklist to evaluate yourself and your cold or allergies.
Colds And Allergies: Whats The Difference
Many of my patients are not sure how to tell the difference between a common cold and allergies. Its easy to get confused, since colds and allergies share some of the same symptoms. Heres how you can tell if your symptoms are related to a cold virus or allergies:
- Duration: Colds dont usually last longer than 5 to 7 days, but allergies can last as long as youre exposed to the thing youre allergic to, the allergen.
- Onset of Symptoms: Cold viruses take about three days to cause symptoms. The sneezing, watery eyes, etc., from an allergy can happen as soon as you are in contact with the allergen.
- Allergy Symptom Characteristic: Allergies never cause a fever or body aches. The following symptoms are more common in allergy sufferers : itchy, watery eyes clear mucus that doesnt turn yellow and symptoms that are triggered when seasons change.
- Cold Symptom Characteristics: The following symptoms are more common in cold virus infections : cough sore throat thick, yellow mucus and winter-time onset. Unlike allergies, the common cold is often accompanied by fever and body aches.
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Your Work Performance Could Suffer
Individuals suffering from allergies may often feel fatigued and/or irritable, Jimenez says. Allergy sufferers can have difficulty breathing when they are asleep due to inflamed nasal passages, which negatively impacts their quality of sleep.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology states that almost a third of allergy sufferers surveyed reported impaired performance at work and more than two perfect missed work altogether. Additional studies suggest that, on average, people lose 2.3 hours a day when they are suffering from allergy symptoms.
Is It A Sinus Infection A Cold Or Allergies Everyday
Relationship Between Sinus Conditions and Bronchitis/Pneumonia. When you have a viral infection, this could start with a runny nose, irritation in the throat, nasal discharge, and post-nasal drip. As the problem gets more serious, this is where the connection comes to the fore. With bronchitis, excess mucus production can occur as the glands. But if it is persistent or severe, then antibiotics such as amoxicillin, doxycycline and others may be used to treat the infection. Allergies can produce many of the same cold-like symptoms as a sinus infection, including sinus pressure, a runny nose and congestion. But the condition itself, called allergic rhinitis, is different In some cases, these infections develop into more serious issues, such as sinus infections or pneumonia. In this article, we explore ways to identify a URI, the possible causes, and the available.
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What Are The Treatments For Allergic Rhinitis
The first and best option is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your nasal allergies . When prevention is not enough, consider using over-the-counter or prescription medicines:
- Antihistamines are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
- are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages which relieves nasal stuffiness. These nose drops and sprays should be taken short-term.
- Nasal corticosteroids are used in nasal spray form. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers other than histamine that are involved in allergic reactions.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
Nasal allergy symptoms may disappear completely when the allergen is removed or after the allergy is treated. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about what is best for you.
Cold Or Allergies: Does It Appear When The Air Conditioning And Heater Are Used
Early in my life, my cold or allergy symptoms appeared at the same time as using the HVAC. The machine was only used for a few months in winter and in summer but within a few days of using the heater or air conditioning Id begin clearing my throat and my nose would get stuffy.
As I learned later, my family was using a cheap porous allergy filter and it wasnt catching the dust in the house . The HVAC blew dust and allergens around the house and gave me cold-like symptoms that made me feel miserable. I thought I had a cold but it was really allergies!
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Do I Have A Cold What Are The Symptoms Of A Cold
There are many different viruses that can lead to a common cold, and there is no cure. The only thing you can do for the common cold is treat your symptoms with over-the-counter medication, drink fluids and get plenty of rest.
The common cold is complicated to treat and cant be cured, but rest and nutrition seem to be the best approach, Weston said. You can take medications to treat the symptoms and make yourself more comfortable.
A cold can have a variety of symptoms, but the most common include:
- Mild fatigue
- Watery eyes or nose
- Head, chest or nasal congestion
A cold usually goes away within a week and typically doesnt warrant a trip to your health care provider. If youre still feeling bad after a week, if your symptoms are severe or if you have an underlying chronic condition like asthma, then it might be time to seek help. The common cold can happen year-round, however it seems to be more common in the colder months when everyone migrates indoors and the virus is more communicable.
Cold Or Allergies: Is It Worse At A Certain Time Of Day
Another way to discern whether youre suffering from a cold or allergies is to examine when youre experiencing your symptoms. A cold will slowly appear and continue to several days/weeks with symptoms throughout the day.
Allergy symptoms are often more pronounced during certain times of the day. I grew up with dust mite allergy and always had a cough in the morning
Id wake up with a sore throat and congested nose and Id find myself clearing my throat repetitively. By early afternoon my allergy symptoms would disappear only to return the next morning .
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Is It Sinusitis Or Allergies
What Are Colds And Allergies
They have different causes. You get a cold when a tiny living thing called a virus gets into your body. There are hundreds of different types that can get you sick.
Once a cold virus gets inside you, your immune system, the body’s defense against germs, launches a counter-attack. It’s this response that brings on the classic symptoms like a cough or stuffed up nose.
The viruses that cause colds are contagious. You can pick them up when someone who’s infected sneezes, coughs, or shakes hands with you. After a couple of weeks, at the most, your immune system fights off the illness and you should stop having symptoms.
It’s a different story with allergies. They’re caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless things, such as dust or pollen, for germs and mounts an attack on them.
When that happens, your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause a swelling in the passageways of your nose, and you’ll start sneezing and coughing.
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The Primary Difference Between Allergies And A Cold
According to Weston, the primary difference between seasonal allergies and a cold is that a cold often manifests with a fever, and allergies do not. Seasonal allergies often manifest with itchy or irritated eyes and noses, and colds do not.
Many people think the long length of their symptoms suggest allergies over a cold, but this is not necessarily the case. A cold can be very tricky because some of the symptoms may linger, Weston said. Sometimes your cold may be gone, but your cough could persist for another month.
Seasonal allergies usually last the duration that the pollen or allergen is around for you to be exposed, which is usually the entire season. If a cough from a cold lasts for weeks, then the symptoms can get confusing.
The answer is simple and can be reached with a few simple questions. Do you have a fever? If yes, then you most likely do not have allergies. Do you have itchy eyes and nose? If yes, then you most likely have allergies. However, it is possible to simultaneously suffer from a cold and seasonal allergies. If you are confused or unsure of your symptoms, then call your primary care provider for more guidance.
Is It Allergies Or A Cold
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold. There are more than a hundred strains of cold viruses. Each tends to become widespread at certain times of the year, which is why you may mistake a cold for a seasonal allergy. Allergies occur at the same time every year and last as long as the allergen is in the air . Allergies cause itching of the nose and eyes along with other nasal symptoms. Colds last about one week and have less itching of the nose and eyes.
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Is It A Summer Cold Or Allergies
You might expect to have a scratchy throat and a runny nose in the dead of winter, but on a beautiful summers day, these symptoms seem out of place . It is possible to experience the common cold during the warm-weather months, but the symptoms may actually be a sign that you have allergies, not a cold. How can you tell the difference when youre feeling lousy?
Although colds and allergies have some overlapping symptoms, there are reliable ways to tell them apart, including the presence or absence of certain symptoms and the duration of your discomfort, says Parneet Grewal, M.D., a family medicine specialist with Hackensack Meridian Medical Group.
Summer colds can be different
Most people who get colds in the winter are infected by common viruses known as rhinoviruses, which are most active during the chillier months. Youre less likely to be exposed to, or become ill from, rhinoviruses when its warm out.
Instead, a different type of virus causes colds more often during the warmer months: Enteroviruses. Theyre less common than rhinoviruses overall, but theyre more prevalent during the summer.
Rhinoviruses, which typically strike during the winter, reside in the upper respiratory system. Enteroviruses, which typically strike during the summer, inhabit the gastrointestinal system. Although both types of viruses can cause cold symptoms like coughing, sneezing, sore throat and runny nose, enteroviruses may also cause nausea, vomiting or rashes.
Is It A Cold Sinus Infection Or Allergies How To Tell
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