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Doctor On Demand Blog

When you have a sinus infection, sometimes it can be hard to differentiate it from a cold or flu.

A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed and swollen. This inflammation can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, allergies, or other factors. A cold, on the other hand, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system, including the nose and throat.

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

While the symptoms of a sinus infection and a cold can be similar, there are some differences. The symptoms of a cold typically include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Mild body aches

Sinus infection symptoms can include all of the above, as well as:

  • Pain and pressure in the sinuses (cheeks, forehead, or behind the eyes)
  • Thick, discolored nasal discharge
  • Congestion
  • Fever

It’s important to note that a cold can sometimes lead to a sinus infection, especially if the nasal passages become blocked and mucus is unable to drain properly. If you are experiencing symptoms of a cold or sinus infection, it is best to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

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Our doctors describe what symptoms you should look out for and what you should do.

What causes sinus pressure?

Sinus pressure can be caused by several factors, including:

  1. Sinusitis: This is a condition where the sinuses become inflamed and swollen due to an infection or allergies. The inflammation can cause pressure, pain, and congestion in the sinuses.
  2. Allergies: Allergies can cause inflammation in the nasal passages, leading to congestion and sinus pressure.
  3. Changes in air pressure: Changes in air pressure, such as those experienced during air travel or changes in weather, can cause sinus pressure and pain.
  4. Nasal polyps: These are noncancerous growths in the lining of the nose and sinuses, which can cause congestion and sinus pressure.
  5. Deviated septum: A deviated septum is a condition where the nasal septum (the cartilage that separates the nostrils) is crooked or off-center, which can cause congestion and sinus pressure.
  6. Colds and flu: Viral infections can cause inflammation in the sinuses, leading to pressure and congestion.
  7. Tooth infection: An infection in a tooth located near the sinuses can cause sinus pressure and pain.
  8. Tumors: Rarely, tumors in the sinuses can cause pressure, pain, and congestion.

If you are experiencing sinus pressure, it is best to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

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