Is It A Cold Or A Sinus Infection? Apart from the common symptoms such as sore throat, watery eyes and dripping mucus, these are a few symptoms that might be different for a cold and sinus infection

As per some experts, colds usually don’t cause sinus infection but they can act as a breeding ground for it.

Winter is around the corner and so is the time for getting frequent colds and congestion. It is not fun to handle watery eyes, stuffy noses and long, uncontrollable bouts of sneezes. It is that time of the year, we would be hearing people say that they are suffering from a bad cold or sometimes words like sinusitis might strike our ears. Many of us find it difficult to take these two conditions separately. We might just pass the latter as medical jargon of a common cold. It might be interesting to know that a cold and sinusitis are two different conditions and they affect people differently.

As per some experts, colds usually don’t cause sinus infection but they can act as a breeding ground for it. While the symptoms of the two conditions might overlap to a good extent, some subtle differences can help us discern between the two conditions.

Cold and Sinusitis are not same

The common cold has a medical name and is called Rhinitis. More than 200 kinds of viruses can cause the condition. Cold is usually a condition that affects your upper respiratory system including the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. Typically adults can get two to four colds in a year. Sinusitis is usually a condition that affects your sinuses. Sinuses are air-filled cavities, connected spaces in your skull. These spaces are located behind your nose, cheeks, and forehead. Membranes of these cavities release mucus that can catch germs and other pollutants. When the lining of these cavities gets infected, then the condition is termed sinus infection or sinusitis. As per some experts, sinusitis usually happens when the sinus lining gets inflamed, trapping the mucus and preventing its drainage.

Which one do I have?

Cold is usually caused by a virus and it can sometimes lead to sinusitis. For instance, if the germs causing your cold come in touch with the sinuses and get trapped in the mucus. This can lead to the growth of germs in these membranes and cause a sinus infection. However, a sinus infection can be caused by other factors also including allergies, nasal polyps, or a deviated nasal septum. Apart from the common symptoms such as sore throat, watery eyes and dripping mucus, these are a few symptoms that might be different for a cold and sinus infection-

  1. Cold symptoms usually subside within a week but a sinus infection can stay for a long.
  2. You are not very likely to experience facial pressure or tenderness in a cold but in a sinus infection, it can be a common symptom.
  3. If your mucus has no colour, it is probably a cold but if it has a yellow or green hue, then it might be a sinus infection.
  4. In a common cold, you are less likely to have bad breath but in a sinus infection, your mouth can smell bad.
  5. Loss of smell is more prominent and usual in a sinus infection than in the common cold.

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