Sinusitis, also known as rhinosinusitis, is a medical condition characterized by the clogging, swelling, and inflammation of the sinus cavities in your face. Sinusitis can be acute and last less than a month. In this form, it may begin as a cold but persist after the cold subsides. It can also be chronic, which is when your symptoms last longer than 12 weeks even with treatment. Both chronic and acute sinusitis can be very uncomfortable and, untreated, can lead to bacterial infections and worsened symptoms. As such, it is best to seek sinusitis silver spring diagnosis and treatment as early as possible. The problem is that sinus infections often resemble colds. You can tell them apart through the following signs.
Facial Pain, Pressure, or Tenderness
Even when sinusitis shares similar symptoms to a cold, it is more likely to cause facial pain, tenderness, and pressure. This is usually caused by the sinuses behind your nose and below your eyes swelling and becoming inflamed. The ache may feel like a dull pressure and may appear between your eyes, in your upper teeth and jaws, on either side of your nose, or on your forehead. Sometimes, your face may also feel tender to the touch due to accumulated pressure.
Inflamed sinuses often restrict your breathing, particularly through the nose. This is because they tend to cause swelling in the nasal passages, leading to blockages. Consequently, you may be unable to taste or smell things you would normally taste or smell. This may often be accompanied by a feeling of “fullness” or “stuffiness” in the nose that can be very uncomfortable.
Post Nasal Drip and Runny Nose
Like a cold, sinus infections can cause nasal discharge. However, this is more likely to take on unusual colors like yellow, green, or cloudy. You may need to blow your noses regularly as the discharge from your inflamed sinuses drips into your nasal passages. Sometimes, it may drain instead into the back of your throat, also called a post-nasal drip. This discharge may lead to an itchy or sore throat. It can also smell bad and cause bad breath or halitosis when it enters the mouth.
Sore Throat and Cough
Postnasal drip can cause irritation at the back of your throat. If it persists, the irritation can morph into an annoying and persistent cough that worsens when you lie down or in the morning. This can make sleeping difficult. It can also lead to a sore throat and a hoarse voice.
Sinus Headaches and Fever
The swelling and built-up pressure in your sinuses can cause headache symptoms. These are often worse in the morning after a full night of fluid buildup and can also worsen when you move your head or the pressure around your head changes suddenly. In some cases, the headaches may be accompanied by fever as your body tries to fight off the infection.
Get Sinusitis Treatment Today
Sinus infection and cold symptoms can be very similar. This, and the fact that sinusitis often develops after a cold, can make them difficult to tell apart. However, a sinus infection is more likely than a cold to cause bad breath, facial pain and swelling, green discharge, and swelling. It is also likely to last longer and worsen without treatment. If you have any of these symptoms, set up an appointment with an ENT today to receive a sinus infection diagnosis and, possibly, treatment.