Is it a sinus infection or a common cold? The symptoms can be very similar, which is why so many people misdiagnose themselves. Knowing the difference can save you a needless suffering!

A Sinus Infection

Sinusitis, which is a sinus infection, occurs when a bacteria or viruses infect the sinuses. This produces an inflammatory response by the body, causing blood carrying inflammatory cells rush to the nose and face to fight the infection.

This results in the sinus tissue lining to swell, mucus and pus fills the sinus cavities and nose, and the cavities that drain the sinuses are blocked. It also causes pain and pressure in the face, eyes, and head.

The Symptoms of a Sinus Infection Include

Nasal congestion

The primary symptom of sinus infection is a stuffed up nose and congestion. It is also a classic sign of an allergic reaction or cold. When a sinus infection goes from being viral to bacterial, the congestion can get worse.

Green, yellow or grey mucus

Normal mucus is clear, if it changes color, you could have a sinus infection.  When your body is fighting the infection, white blood cells can cause the discoloration in the mucus. This happens in both bacterial sinus infections and colds.

Pressure and Pain on your sinuses, face, forehead, and eyes

All this extra mucus and congestion results in pressure on the nerves. Resulting in the pain and a ‘heavy’ feeling.

Pain in the gums and teeth

All that pressure build up can cause your teeth to hurt and your gums to ache.

Headache and loss of balance

The Eustachian tubes can be affected by the inflammation, which can alter your sense of balance. The unequal swelling, fatigue, and dehydration can also make you feel off balance. All the swelling, inflammation and pressure can cause a headache and muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders.

When to See a Doctor

If your symptoms linger for more than a week or over the counter medication aren’t receiving the pain or congestion, it is time to make an appointment with Orlando Ears, Nose and Throat.

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