Find out if it’s just the common cold or a sinus infection.
Sinus infections are fairly common but yet they share a lot of similar symptoms to the common cold that they can often be overlooked. Of course, it’s important to be able to tell the difference so that you know how to effectively treat your symptoms and know what over-the-counter medications to take. Our Pittsfield, MA, otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, weighs in on the telltale signs of a sinus infection and when you should see a doctor.
What is sinusitis (sinus infection)?
This condition is characterized by red, inflamed nasal passages that can often become blocked if the condition is severe enough. A sinus infection is often viral in nature, but can also be the result of bacteria or fungus.
What are the symptoms?
Sometimes it’s challenging to pinpoint whether the symptoms you are dealing with are truly due to a sinus infection. Our Pittsfield ENT doctor is here to help you tell the difference between sinusitis and other respiratory problems. You may have a sinus infection if you have:
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain or pressure (you may feel pressure behind the eyes)
- Nasal discharge or postnasal drip
- Sore throat
When should you visit a doctor?
While not all sinus infections will warrant a trip to the doctor, it’s a good idea to give us a call if you notice a fever along with these other symptoms, or if your symptoms last more than 10 days. You should also schedule an appointment with us if your symptoms keep returning.
While a fever is not a common symptom of a sinus infection it could indicate that another respiratory infection is present, which should be treated as soon as possible.
Can a sinus infection become chronic?
Yes, it is possible to deal with chronic sinusitis. While this isn’t as common, those with a true chronic infection will experience symptoms that last more than 12 weeks and don’t go away with at-home care. If this occurs, you may need to talk to us about balloon sinuplasty or other more aggressive measures for treating your sinus infection.
Don’t let a severe or chronic sinus infection affect your life. Turn to our ENT specialist, Dr. Cavalli, in Pittsfield, MA, for the individualized care and treatment plan you need to breathe a little easier.