Are you suffering from sinus infection signs and symptoms or just a common cold? Are you battling a respiratory virus or are your symptoms a sign of sinusitis or an inflammation of your sinuses caused by a virus or a bacterial infection? While many of the symptoms of a sinus infection are similar to those of a cold or respiratory virus, there are a few tell-tale signs that indicate sinuses may be to blame for your discomfort.
- Cold symptoms do not improve—or worsen. Sinuses often become infected following a cold as the blockage of the nasal passages allow harmful bacteria to grown in the sinus cavities. If your cold has lasted longer that seven to ten days—or symptoms improve only to worsen again, a sinus infection may be responsible.
- Headache. Sinus headache sufferers know all too well the pain and pressure associated with such headaches. For others, however, severe pain and pressure, often in the forehead, temples or behind the eyes can signify the presence of a sinus infection.
- Pain and tenderness in the face. Feeling pain and pressure over the cheekbones? Is your facial skin tender to the touch? Infected sinuses cause pain and pressure in the face not generally present in a common cold.
- Toothache or pain and pressure in the jaws. If you are suffering from an infection in the maxillary sinuses—or those in the cheekbone area, you may experience pain in the jaws or teeth. Pressure in the cheeks and face from affected sinus cavities affects the nerve endings in the jaw line as well as facial muscles causing pain.
- Nasal congestion. As sinus infections often follow respiratory viruses, it may be difficult to distinguish congestion related to sinuses. Nasal congestion may be worse than with the previous virus or become worsened or more compact as time goes on.
- Fever. Fevers are frequently present with respiratory viruses. The onset of a sudden fever or a spike in fever after several days of cold symptoms is indicative of additional infection, such as a sinus infection.
- Sore throat and nasal drainage. As the sinuses and the nasal passages try to relieve the mucus and congestion, there is often a post nasal drip—or nasal drainage down the back of the throat. This drainage frequently leads to a sore throat.
- Fatigue and feeling unwell. While the initial cold has passed, the ill feeling may linger with a sinus infection. Feeling tired and generally unwell, along with other symptoms, may be an indication of a sinus infection.
- Bad breath. Suffering from cold symptoms and a rough case of bad breath? A persistent post nasal drip along with potential sinus bacterial growth and decay leads to breath odor frequently present during a sinus infection.
- Cough. Coughing associated with sinus infections are often related to post nasal drip or nasal drainage. The cough is often worse at night or while lying down.
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