Help! My Cold has Turned into a Sinus Infection!

Cold symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, headache, fatigue and a cough and mild fever. The symptoms last a few days to a week or longer.

Sinusitis can follow a cold, allergies or anything else that can cause swelling in the sinuses, preventing the outflow of mucus. Symptoms of a sinus infection are similar to those of a cold but if they do not go away after 10 days see a doctor.

Sinus infection symptoms include thick, yellow, foul-smelling nasal discharge; pressure or pain around the face and eyes; headache, generally in the forehead area; nasal obstruction; congestion; post-nasal drip and fever or cough.

Antibiotics are administered to treat sinusitis if the symptoms persist for more than 10 days. Decongestants and other medicines can help decrease the swelling in the sinus and nasal passages.

A doctor may also recommend hot showers and steam to loosen mucus or a nasal saline to wash mucus from the nose. In rare instances, when sinusitis becomes chronic or long lasting, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed to establish adequate drainage.

Today’s expert is Stephanie Doine, APNP, ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca