When is it a cold—or a sinus infection?
If you’ve never had a sinus infection, they can come as quite the unpleasant surprise. But are sinus infections — also known as sinusitis — something to tackle at home with a little TLC, or is it best to seek a doctor’s care?
First, a quick rundown of common sinusitis symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
- Coughing or sneezing
- Discolored nasal discharge (often thick and yellow)
- Post-nasal drip
- Headache or facial pain
Many of these symptoms are similar to cold symptoms. Common colds can progress into sinus infections, so if you have a cold that lingers for more than 10 days, you might have sinusitis.
So what about that doctor’s visit?
If you have any doubts about your health, it won’t hurt to check in with a doctor — even for something that might seem small.
With that in mind, here are some cases when it’s advised to talk with a doc:
- You have a fever (fevers aren’t present with every sinus infection)
- Your symptoms are severe
- You have facial pain
- Your upper teeth hurt
- You have a headache that won’t go away with common pain relievers
- You have a fever of 101°F or higher
- You know you have a sinus infection, and antibiotics haven’t helped after three to five days
If you find out you have sinusitis, a doctor might recommend treatments like these:
- Nasal spray or drops
- Pain relievers
Think you might have a sinus infection? Our expert team of NYC sinus doctors can offer personalized advice, so just give us a call if we can help.