To properly treat symptoms, it helps to correctly identify what is causing them. If you are suffering from cold-like symptoms, read below on how you  can help you identify if your condition is a common cold or a sinus infection.

The Common Cold

The common cold affects millions of people in the United States every year. Even though the common cold is not considered a serious illness or medical condition, symptoms can be extremely bothersome for patients. Many patients have to miss school or work because of moderate to severe symptoms of the common cold.

Symptoms. A sore throat and runny nose are usually the first signs of the common cold. Accompanying symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, headaches, and body aches. Symptoms typically do not last longer than 7-10-days.

Causes. The common cold is caused by viruses, the most common of which being rhinoviruses.

Treatments. There is no vaccine for the common cold. Patients who have a common cold are advised to rest and stay hydrated. Over-the-counter medications and home remedies can be used to help improve symptoms. If symptoms last longer than 10-days, an appointment with an ENT specialist should be made.


Sinus Infections

The sinuses are important because they make up the part of the respiratory tract that connects the nose to the throat. Like the common cold, sinus infections are very common. However, there are key differences between the two.

Symptoms. The most common symptoms of a sinus infection include mucus discharge, difficulty breathing, and facial pain, pressure, and tenderness. A headache, cough, and fever may also present.

Causes. Sinus infections may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergens.

Treatments. Sinus infections are usually treated using a variety of home remedies and over-the-counter treatment options, including warm clothes compresses, vaporizers, decongestants, and saline nasal sprays. In some cases, antibiotic or corticosteroid medications may be prescribed to treat sinus infections. The symptoms of a sinus infection typically go away after 7-10-days.


Seeking Treatment for Sinus Infections

You now know the key differences between the common cold and a sinus infection. If you have any questions or are experiencing symptoms that will not improve, please contact our offices in Palm Beach and Ocala to make an appointment with Board Certified ENT Specialist, Dr. Neil Goldhaber.  Once the cause of your symptoms is determined, a treatment plan aimed towards eliminating them will be prescribed. You can expect results when you choose Goldhaber Sinus.

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