Your cold could actually be this common autumn illness

A cold, COVID, flu, allergies, and sinusitis have a lot of symptoms in common. Here is what differs sinusitis from the rest.

These are the telltale signs that show you have sinusitis
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These are the telltale signs that show you have sinusitis

It really sucks when Harry Potter and pumpkin spice latte season transforms into cold and flu season within a blink of an eye. The latter season has been pretty ambiguous lately, not gonna lie. Like, is it allergies, is it COVID, is it flu, is it sinusitis? Pick a side.

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All of the above have a lot of symptoms in common, such as runny and stuffed up nose, loss of smell, sneezing, and headache. While allergies and flu might occur during specific times of the year, the same does not hold for sinusitis, and obviously, COVID, duh.

What differentiates sinusitis from the rest, is that unlike some of the above-mentioned conditions that are caused by a virus, a sinus infection is often caused by bacteria. Additionally, sinusitis can occur any time of the year, but it usually flares up during flu, cold, or allergies. But, a cold that is caused by a virus, can lead to bacterial sinusitis. See the vicious cycle?

What is sinusitis?

According toWebMD, ‘sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses.’ Sinuses are located behind the cheekbones and forehead, and as stated by WebMD, ‘they make mucus, which keeps the inside of your nose moist’ which is said to help keep allergens and pollutants from entering our system through the nasal openings.

In simple math, while sinuses and their moisture trap the pollutants and viruses in the mucus, it can lead to a buildup and creation of bacteria – since it cannot drain – or what is commonly known as sinusitis.

Is it COVID, a cold, or sinusitis? Here is how to tell the difference Hello Africa

So, how to tell the difference?

We stated that a runny nose, fatigue, loss of smell, and headache among other symptoms can be pretty standard for, well, every time you get sick, there are some unusual symptoms that can help you find out if you have sinusitis.

According to CDC, these are the common symptoms of sinusitis, which can help you find out whether it is sinusitis or a cold:

  • Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better – if you have a cold or flu, the virus usually runs its course within a few days, however, if the symptoms are not getting better after 10 days, it is most likely a telltale sign that it is a bacterial infection a.k.a most likely sinusitis.
  • Post-nasal drip – remember the mucus buildup? This happens when it accumulates and goes down the throat and chest.
  • Facial pressure and pain – the stuffed-up nasal airways cause headache (no-brainer), however, the congestion caused by sinusitis leads to severe pain throughout the whole face that might even lead people to think it is a migraine or an infected tooth.

Read more:

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained, are strictly for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.

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