At one time or another—and maybe even multiple times each year—we’ve all had the symptoms of a cold. But there's no worse time
to suffer the symptoms of a cold than in the summer. The familiar prolonged running nose and sniffling, and the sinus pressure that comes along with it. How do you know if it’s just a common cold or a sinus infection?
Ilana Seligman, MD, Pediatric Otolaryngologist at NorthShore, breaks down the differences between a cold and a sinus infection, and tells us the right time to make an appointment
with a doctor:
There are not perfect steps to follow for cold prevention; instead, it’s best to wash your hands frequently, and avoid sharing cups and toothbrushes. If you already have a cold, there isn’t much a doctor can do because prescribing antibiotics is not recommended.
You can, however, treat the symptoms. Most colds typically last 7-10 days, and common symptoms include:
Treating the Symptoms
A sinus infection is an infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. Very few colds—only 5-10%—will turn into sinus infections. Common signs your cold is a sinus infection include:
If you experience these symptoms it may be a sinus infection, which means it's time to consult your physician. Common treatment often includes prescribing antibiotics.
Do you know when you have a cold versus a sinus infection? What home remedies to you defer to when you have a cold?