About all

Do i have a sinus infection or cold: Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection? Symptoms & Treatments


Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection? Symptoms & Treatments

Watery eyes, a stuffy nose, sneezing: How long these symptoms last can be a clue to what’s causing your congestion. Is it a cold or a sinus infection?


If it’s a cold virus, you may find yourself close to a tissue box for several days. Most of the time, colds get better on their own in 10 days or less.

Cold Symptoms

Colds bring on a nasty mix of symptoms that can really wear you down. They can include:

Treating Your Cold

Because the common cold is a virus, antibiotics won’t help. But over-the-counter medications may make you feel better.

“The remedies you choose should be targeted at specific symptoms, so something for your headache, for your congestion, for your fever,” says Camelia Davtyan, MD, a professor of medicine at UCLA.

Davtyan also stresses getting plenty of fluids and rest. The latter, she recognizes, is often hard.

“Getting enough rest can be a problem, because people don’t want to skip work and they have so many things to do,” she says. You may also have a hard time staying asleep at night because you can’t breathe through your nose.

Davtyan recommends sinus irrigation. A neti pot helps thin mucus and flush out your sinuses with a mix of distilled water and salt.

“People who irrigate when they have a cold usually do better,” says Davtyan.

Sinus Infection

When your nasal passages become infected, that’s a sinus infection. And they’re harder to get rid of. Viruses, bacteria, or even allergies can lead to sinus infections.

Colds don’t usually cause sinus infections, says Davtyan, but they do offer a breeding ground for them.

“You touch your nose a lot when you’re sick, and each time you bring more bacteria to the sinuses,” she says. “Because your sinuses can’t drain, the bacteria stay there and grow.”

Sinus Infection Symptoms

Look for the following symptoms:

Treating Your Sinus Infection

If you think you have a sinus infection, you may need to see your doctor.

“Mostly, these acute infections go away on their own or after a simple course of antibiotics,” says ear, nose, and throat specialist Greg Davis, who practices at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

Davis recommends sinus irrigation for sinus infections. It can help ease your symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to do their job. Steroids, decongestants, and over-the-counter mucus thinners can also ease your discomfort, he says.

See an ear, nose, and throat specialist if your sinus infection doesn’t go away after one or two courses of antibiotics, Davis says.

Some people have sinus infections over and over. The only known risk factors, Davis says, are allergies and smoking (another reason to quit!) In rare cases, an acute infection can become chronic if it’s not treated successfully.

If you have chronic infections, and antibiotics and other treatments don’t help, you may need sinus surgery, Davis says.

Your doctor will enlarge the small or inflamed and swollen openings of your sinuses, allowing them to drain, and letting you breathe more easily.

How to know if it is a Cold or a Sinus Infection

When you have a cough, runny nose and fever, how can you tell whether it’s a cold or a sinus infection?

You’ve likely heard the term “the common cold,” but probably not “the common sinus infection.” Keep that in mind: while colds happen frequently, acute bacterial sinus infections are much more infrequent, and usually occur after a cold.

Here is what happens with a sinus infection: your cold causes the mucous membranes in your sinuses to swell. This, in turn, blocks the small openings into your sinuses, so they don’t drain properly. Then, bacteria begins to grow within the mucus.

Reserve Your Telehealth Visit

Check Your Symptoms

Check your symptoms against this chart to help decide if you have a sinus infection. If you suspect you have a sinus infection, you may want to visit your primary care physician or your urgent care provider.

Colds Caused by Viruses, Sinus Infections Caused by Bacteria

When it comes to colds, there are many over-the-counter drugs available that can help alleviate some of your symptoms, like pain relievers or decongestants. Some doctors also recommend saline irrigation to help with nasal congestion—essentially thinning the mucus in your nose with salt water—like using a neti pot. However, since colds are caused by viruses, you can only take steps to alleviate unpleasant symptoms, since they cannot be treated by antibiotics.

Sinus infections are different from colds because they are caused by bacteria, and because of this they may improve with antibiotics. If you feel you may have a sinus infection that is worsening, visit your urgent care clinic or primary care physician as soon as possible and get treatment that may help you recover faster.

When Should You Go to Urgent Care?

Still not sure what you have or if you need help?

“One sign of a possible sinus infection is when you have common cold symptoms,  but then develop pain or pressure in your sinuses, or in your teeth, or face. This may also be accompanied by a change in nasal discharge to a yellow or green color. Also, if your cold is lasting longer than 7-10 days it could possibly be due to a sinus infection,” says Dr. Terry Buzzard, Chief Medical Officer at Physicians Immediate Care. “If that’s the case, come in and see us and don’t wait since sinus infections can get worse before they get better.”

Your physician will help by giving you a physical exam and ask questions to diagnoses and determine the best treatment. Depending on your situation, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, decongestants or other drugs that can help relieve your pain and lessen the swelling in your sinuses.

Tips to Help You Feel Better Now

In the meantime, if you have a cold right now, or think you may have a sinus infection, there are some things you can do to start getting some immediate relief now, according to Dr. Buzzard.

“The first tip I have is to take make sure you are getting an adequate amount of rest, as well as fluids. Secondly, over the counter medicines for cold symptoms can be helpful for symptoms like sore throat, fever, congestion and cough.   Check with your doctor if you have questions about what is safe and effective,” says Dr. Buzzard. “My third tip is if you are smoking, stop. Smoking will make your symptoms worse, and can increase your risk of secondary infections like sinus infections or pneumonia. Finally, if you are getting worse or you’ve gone longer than a week without feeling better, come in to see us.”

Things to Keep in Mind

While colds can lead to sinus infection, it’s also important to be aware that any condition that blocks your sinuses can lead to a sinus infection, such as allergies or hay fever, as well as nasal polyps, which are small growths within the lining of the nose.  A deviated septum can also be a cause of sinus infections.

If you feel you have a sinus infection and need relief, a visit to one of Physicians Immediate Care’s convenient locations in Illinois and Indiana is one option to consider. In addition to caring physicians and staff who have been serving patients for more than 30 years, Physicians Immediate Care also offers evening and weekend hours, and no appointment is needed.  

Is it a Cold, COVID-19, or a Sinus Infection?

One of the challenging things about recognizing COVID-19 and other illnesses is that they can share some of the same symptoms. Many articles have been written comparing the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza, as these two illnesses have perhaps the most in common. But many symptoms of COVID-19 also resemble those of a cold or sinus infection (also called sinusitis). Learn to tell the difference and how to get the right treatment for your illness.

The common cold and COVID-19 are both caused by different viruses. The virus that causes the cold affects the upper respiratory tract, while the novel coronavirus can affect both the upper and lower respiratory tract.

A sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused when your sinuses get blocked and fill with fluid, allowing bacteria to grow. The blockage can be due to allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or a virus like the cold. The infection can cause swelling or inflammation in the sinuses. This can cause several symptoms, many of which are similar to that of a cold.

When it comes to COVID-19, the common cold, and sinusitis, all three have many symptoms in common. All three illnesses can cause a runny or stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, fever, fatigue, congestion, difficulty breathing, and coughing. So how can you tell them apart? While each illness has characteristic symptoms, many of them overlap, making distinguishing them based on symptomatology difficult.

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested – even if you think it could just be a cold or sinusitis. Due to the highly infectious and potentially severe nature of the illness, it is important to continue taking precautions against catching and spreading COVID-19.

A runny nose, facial pain, and postnasal drip are common symptoms of the common cold. With the exception of facial pain, these symptoms can also be caused by the prevalent Delta variant of COVID.

The same symptoms can also be caused by sinusitis. However, sinusitis has additional symptoms that help it stand apart.

Sinusitis shares many symptoms with the common cold. This can include coughing, sneezing, headache, postnasal drip, toothache, and bad breath.

“One sign of a possible sinus infection is when you have common cold symptoms,  but then develop pain or pressure in your sinuses, or in your teeth, or face. This may also be accompanied by a change in nasal discharge to a yellow or green color. Also, if your cold is lasting longer than 7-10 days it could possibly be due to a sinus infection,” says Dr. Terry Buzzard, Lead Physician at Physicians Immediate Care. “If that’s the case, come in and see us and don’t wait, since sinus infections can get worse before they get better.”

The most characteristic symptoms of COVID-19 are a dry cough, loss of taste and smell, and respiratory symptoms. Fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath are also common.

Of the three illnesses, only COVID-19 is known to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chest pain or pressure and loss of movement are severe symptoms of COVID-19 that require immediate medical attention.

However, the new Delta variant can have symptoms that are different from other COVID infections.  A runny nose, headache, and sore throat are common symptoms.  This makes it more difficult to distinguish from the common cold or even seasonal allergies.

In those individuals who’ve been immunized break-through COVID infections may be mild with a runny nose or mild sore throat.  Since these individuals are contagious, it is best to be evaluated by a medical professional.

When it comes to colds, there are many over-the-counter drugs available that can help alleviate some of your symptoms, like pain relievers and decongestants. Some doctors also recommend saline irrigation to help with nasal congestion—essentially thinning the mucus in your nose with saltwater—with over-the-counter products such as a neti pot. Since colds are caused by viruses, you can only take steps to alleviate unpleasant symptoms, as they cannot be treated by antibiotics.

Sinus infections are different from colds because they are caused by bacteria growing in blocked sinuses. Because of this, they may improve with antibiotics. Depending on your situation, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, decongestants, or other drugs that can help relieve your pain and lessen the swelling in your sinuses.

If you feel you may have a sinus infection that is worsening, visit your urgent care clinic or primary care physician as soon as possible. You could receive treatment to help you recover faster.

If you have respiratory symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19, self-isolate immediately and make an appointment to get tested. Some sites provide only the test, while others, like Physicians Immediate Care, provide a test and follow-up care.

If your COVID-19 test at Physicians Immediate Care is positive, your physician won’t just send you off; they will explain what you can do to help yourself while you isolate yourself at home. They will also check in with a phone or telehealth appointment during the isolation period to support your recovery. If your test comes back negative, your physician will help by giving you a physical exam and asking questions to diagnose the illness that’s causing your symptoms. Your provider can then determine the best treatment to help you feel better.

Severe cases of COVID-19 require hospitalization. Seek immediate medical attention if you become confused, feel persistent pain or pressure in the chest, have trouble breathing, are unable to wake up or stay awake, or have discolored skin, lips, or nail beds (pale, gray, or blue-colored).

With respiratory symptoms, there are some things you can do to start getting some immediate relief, according to Dr. Buzzard.

“The first tip I have is to take make sure you are getting an adequate amount of rest, as well as fluids. Secondly, over-the-counter medicines for cold symptoms can be helpful for symptoms like sore throat, fever, congestion, and cough.  Check with your doctor if you have questions about what is safe and effective,” says Dr. Buzzard. “My third tip is if you are smoking, stop. Smoking will make your symptoms worse and can increase your risk of secondary infections like sinus infections or pneumonia. Finally, if you are getting worse or you’ve gone longer than a week without feeling better, come in to see us.”

If you think you might have a COVID-19, a sinus infection, or another respiratory illness, a visit to one of Physicians Immediate Care’s convenient locations in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin could provide the relief you need. In addition to caring physicians and staff who have been serving patients for more than 30 years, Physicians Immediate Care also offers evening and weekend hours, and no appointment is needed.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please let us know before you arrive so we can keep you safe with our enhanced health and safety protocols.

Is it a cold or sinus infection — and am I contagious?

You wake up with a runny nose, headache, tenderness under your eyes and around your nose and maybe a cough. Is it a cold or is it a sinus infection?

Colds can progress into a sinus infection as they both are caused by a virus. But there are times where bacteria can cause a sinus infection.

It’s important to know the difference, said Melinda Cooling, vice president of advanced practice providers at OSF HealthCare and chief clinician executive for OSF Saint Gabriel Digital Health.

What is a sinus infection?

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, occurs when the air-filled pockets in the face, called sinuses, fill up with fluid, inflaming the sinus lining and preventing them from draining. The trapped mucus can allow bacteria to grow, which leads to an infection, Melinda said.

Factors that can increase the risk of a sinus infection include:

  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Structural problems with the sinuses
  • A recent cold

Symptoms of a sinus infection

Common symptoms of sinus infections may include:

  • Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than seven to 10 days
  • Complaints of drip in the throat from the nose
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Bad breath
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling around the eyes, worse in the morning

How are sinus infections treated?

“Many sinus infections caused by a virus will resolve on their own without any treatment with antibiotics,” Melinda said. “This is important because if you don’t need antibiotics, it’s better not to take them as they can cause side effects and long-term resistance. An infection caused by bacteria, however, will likely require antibiotics.

“Sometimes your health care provider may ask you to take over-the-counter medications to help your symptoms and monitor your condition further.”

Examples of over-the-counter medication include:

  • Saline nasal spray
  • Decongestant
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief
  • A warm compress on your nose and forehead to relieve sinus pressure

When to seek medical care

“You need to seek medical care if your symptoms are severe, such as a severe headache or facial pain, if your symptoms get worse after improving initially, if symptoms last longer than 10 days with no improvement or if you experience a fever longer than three to four days,” Melinda said.

Are sinus infections contagious?

“Because many times sinus infections are caused by viruses, they can be contagious like other infections, such as colds,” Melinda said. “If you have a sinus infection, it’s important to use good hygiene skills. Wash your hands, sneeze and cough into the nook of your elbow and use disinfectant wipes to clean everyday touched items like light switches and doorknobs. And try to keep your distance from your healthy family members during the short time when you may be contagious.”

How to prevent a sinus infection

“Prevention is really the key,” she said. “Staying healthy by drinking plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, decreasing stress and washing your hands are all good preventive steps.”

Make sure you get recommended vaccines such as the flu vaccine. Also, don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. And avoid close contract with others who have colds or other upper respiratory infections, Melinda said.

Getting care quickly

You can quickly get your sinus infection diagnosed using one of our convenient urgent care options or 24/7 virtual care with OSF OnCall.

What’s the Difference Between a Cold and a Sinus Infection?

Most people want to take care of their health, but it’s not always easy. So many illnesses have symptoms that overlap, making it difficult to know when to see a doctor and when to ride it out alone. Because a cold typically involves nasal congestion and swelling of mucous membranes, it can be hard to tell whether you have a common cold or a sinus infection. 

So how can you tell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection? Though cold and sinus infection symptoms overlap and colds can sometimes turn into sinus infections, there are still some signs that indicate you have one or the other.

Colds usually go away more quickly.

Typically, when you have a cold, symptoms last 10 days or less. There’s usually a clear arc of symptoms, first getting worse then getting better. You may have a runny nose for 2 to 3 days, then a stuffy nose and then you feel better.

Sinus infections don’t usually go away so quickly. Symptoms can last for more than a week and tend to get worse rather than better as the days go along.

Facial pain and pressure increases.

You may get a headache with a cold that’s caused by nasal congestion, but the pain you’ll feel with a sinus infection is usually worse. Because of where your sinus cavities are located, an infection can bring significant pressure or pain around and behind your eyes, cheekbones and forehead.

Color of nasal discharge may be darker, not clear.

Have you ever gone to your doctor and she asks “When you blow your nose, what color do you see in the tissue?” The reason for this question is that colds tend to produce clear mucus, while a hallmark of sinus infections is yellow or green mucus. A virus (a cold is a virus) can also cause mucus to be yellow or green, so it’s not a definitive test, just a potential clue to what is wrong.

Fever can be a sign of infection.

Colds usually do not bring on fevers, but again, this isn’t a surefire thing. Sinus infections typically do cause at least a low-grade fever and the flu comes with a fever as well. A fever is a sign your body is fighting off bacteria or a virus, so the best thing you can do is pay attention and call your doctor if the fever rises.

You can also use over-the-counter medications like BC® Cough & Cold multi-symptom relief powder or BC® Sinus Pain & Congestion powder to help relieve your cold or sinus infection symptoms. Both come in on-the-go, sealed stick packs, which make it easy to take with you or keep at your workstation at your job for fast relief anywhere you need it.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any medications you take, especially if you have other health conditions.

Do I Have a Cold, Sinus Infection or Allergies?

It starts innocently enough—a tickle in the back of the throat; a sneeze or two; red, watery eyes; a stuffy nose that seems to get worse the more you blow. These symptoms are easy to ignore at first, but then the question becomes unavoidable: do I suffer from a cold, a sinus infection or allergies?

The differences may seem subtle, but it is important to distinguish between them so that the condition can be appropriately treated if necessary, or left alone to heal on its own.

A Cold

Contrary to popular belief, one does not catch a cold by being physically cold. Caused by a virus (most commonly rhinovirus or another viral species), a cold is transmitted via tiny droplets released into the air by a sneeze or a cough, or by way of a contaminated surface such as a doorknob, computer or phone. The virus attaches to the lining of the nose or throat which triggers the body’s immune system to defend itself by releasing white blood cells, causing mucus to develop. The battle to fight off the virus-invader leaves the body feeling depleted, and the sufferer miserable.

The symptoms of a cold usually develop one to three days after exposure to a virus and can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue

What should I do about a cold?

There is no “cure” for a cold and antibiotics cannot treat it. A cold usually goes away on its own, running its course in about a week. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help relieve some of the symptoms and help the sufferer feel more comfortable. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen after three days, or if you develop difficulty breathing, an earache, stiff neck, difficulty swallowing, or a fever of 101 degrees or higher.

A Sinus Infection

A sinus infection (sinusitis) occurs when nasal cavities become inflamed and infected, often beginning as a cold, allergy or some other irritant to the tissues of the sinuses. Sinusitis is usually not spread by contact between people and may be classified as acute (e.g., starts suddenly with cold-like symptoms and last 2-4 weeks) or chronic (e.g., lasts twelve weeks or longer).

Many of the symptoms of a sinus infection are the same as a cold, but may also include:

  • Discolored nasal discharge
  • Cough
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Headache

Sneezing is not associated with a sinus infection.

What should I do about a sinus infection?

A sinus infection, when caused by bacteria, can be treated with prescription antibiotics. If a sinus infection is suspected, seek medical treatment by a primary care physician or at an Urgent Care center.


Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to a substance the body interprets as being harmful. This overreaction triggers the body to release chemicals that causes a response that can range from mild (sniffles) to life-threatening (anaphylaxis—a severe reaction marked by swelling, difficulty breathing and lowered blood pressure).

Allergies and the common cold share many symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. However, allergies and a cold differ in a few ways, such as:

  • Allergies can cause itchy eyes, nose, ears, and throat; a cold usually does not.
  • Allergies typically last only as long as the trigger (pollen, pet hair, foods, mold, dust, chemicals, etc.) is present. A cold runs its course in a week or so.
  • Allergies can cause wheezing and allergic skin reactions such as eczema and rashes (a cold can also cause wheezing in asthmatics and in people who have reactive airways).
  • Allergies often cause the mucous membranes inside the nose to be pale and swollen, whereas a cold will cause these membranes to be bright red. A physician can determine this by examination.

What should I do about allergies?

A stuffy nose caused by allergies can be relieved using OTC decongestants; however, Dr. Farber warns that decongestants can be dangerous to some people and should only be taken after consultation with a physician. OTC antihistamines can block the body’s chemical reaction to allergens and help to relieve allergy symptoms. A physician can treat chronic or severe allergies with prescription medications and allergy shots.

Need treatment?

Your primary care provider (PCP) is your best resource for diagnosing and treating illness. If your symptoms are persisting and you are wondering whether you suffer from more than just a cold, seek care from a trusted healthcare provider.

Reserve an appointment at Doylestown Health Urgent Care

About Doylestown Health’s Urgent Care

When non-life-threatening illness or injury just can’t wait, there’s Urgent Care. Staffed by Doylestown Health physicians, Urgent Care is open 365 days a year with extended hours, offering quick and convenient treatment to all ages. With electronic medical records that link Doylestown Health patients with Doylestown Health specialists, primary care physicians and Doylestown Hospital, your Urgent Care team can access health information in real time. Simply walk-in for treatment on your schedule. X-rays, sutures and common prescriptions are available on-site, allowing patients to get in and out and on and their way to healing – fast.

What Is Sinus Infection? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Favorite Organizations for Essential Sinus Infection Info

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

This academy’s website provides valuable information to help readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis. A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a “virtual allergist” that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)

In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology. The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America 

For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis. It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat. It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.

Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist

American Rhinologic Society

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website provides a valuable search tool to find a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Cleveland Clinic 

Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use “Find a Doctor” search tool.


ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip. As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to help you find an ENT specialist in your area.

Learn More About Sinus Infection and Chronic Sinus Infection Resources

Acute sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses (sinuses) surrounding the nasal cavity that lasts up to 4 weeks.

It usually presents with nasal congestion, headache, pain or tension in the face.

Most often, acute sinusitis occurs with a cold or immediately after it. Less commonly, it can be caused by a bacterial, fungal infection, or allergy.

In most cases, antibiotics are not required (unless symptoms of sinusitis persist for more than 7 days in adults and more than 10 days in children).

Russian synonyms

Acute rhinosinusitis, acute sinusitis, acute sinusitis.

Synonyms English

Acute sinusitis, Acute rhinosinusitis, Acute maxillary sinusitis.


There is no single symptom by which it is possible to accurately determine that a patient has sinusitis, therefore, when diagnosing this disease, the doctor takes into account all the symptoms and the history of the development of the disease.

Most common in sinusitis:

  • nasal congestion,
  • headache,
  • nasal discharge, light or yellow, green, as well as flowing down the back of the pharynx,
  • reduced sense of smell,
  • pain, tension, swelling in the area of ​​the face, respectively, the affected sinus: around the eyes, nose, in the forehead,
  • pain in the upper jaw, teeth,
  • bad breath,
  • cough, especially at night,
  • increase in body temperature,
  • weakness.

General disease information

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (sinuses) that surround the nasal cavity. It is called acute in cases where recovery occurs no more than 30 days after the onset of the disease, subacute – when it lasts from 4 to 12 weeks. If symptoms of the disease persist without interruption for more than 3 months, it is chronic sinusitis.

Sinusitis is very common at any time of the year, but it is more common in winter.

In fact, it is more correct to talk about rhinosinusitis (from the Greek.rhinos – “nose”), since inflammation in the sinuses is always accompanied by inflammation in the nasal cavity itself, which is called rhinitis, or, more simply, a runny nose.

The paranasal sinuses are air-filled cavities in the bones of the skull that connect to the nasal cavity. They are also called sinuses.

There are 4 groups of paranasal sinuses, and the following types of sinusitis are distinguished according to their lesion:

  • sinusitis – inflammation of the maxillary (maxillary) sinuses, located on the right and left sides of the nasal cavity, in the upper jaw,
  • ethmoiditis – inflammation of the ethmoid sinuses located between the eyes,
  • Frontal sinusitis – inflammation of the frontal (frontal) sinuses located above the eyes
  • sphenoiditis is an inflammation of the sphenoid (main) sinus, which is located behind the nasal cavity, close to the base of the brain.

Several sinuses can be affected at the same time, but maxillary sinuses are most often affected.

The exact function of the sinuses is unknown; it is assumed that they, among other things, are involved in warming and humidifying the inhaled air. They are covered with a mucous membrane with cilia that produces mucus. This mucus, due to the movement of the cilia, is excreted through small openings that connect the sinuses with the nasal cavity. Normally, mucus moves in only one direction, which ensures the sterility of the sinuses, despite the fact that the nasal cavity connected to them is inhabited by bacteria.

If the mucus exit holes are blocked or the cilia of the sinus mucosa are disrupted, the fluid stagnates and fills the sinuses, causing sinus symptoms: nasal congestion, headache. The accumulation of fluid in the sinuses becomes a favorable environment for bacteria to multiply, which makes the disease more severe and complications can develop.

Causes of acute sinusitis

  • Infection
  • Viral. Most often, acute sinusitis occurs with or immediately after a cold.The common cold is accompanied by inflammation of the sinus mucosa in most patients, but the addition of a bacterial infection is noted in less than 1% of cases.
  • Bacterial. More rarely, acute sinusitis is caused by bacteria. They most often complicate viral inflammation, although they may also be the primary cause of sinusitis. Sinusitis is thought to be caused by bacterial inflammation if symptoms persist for 7 days or more in adults and 10 days or more in children.
  • Fungal.Fungi can cause life-threatening sinusitis, which is extremely severe. Persons with reduced immunity are most susceptible to fungal infection, for example, HIV-infected.
  • Allergy. Swelling of the nasal mucosa due to allergies (for example, to pollen) can block the flow of mucus from the sinuses.
  • Anatomical causes, in particular curvature of the nasal septum, the consequences of trauma or polyps – abnormal growths of the mucous membrane inside the nose.
  • Chronic heartburn.
  • Chemical agents, including those contained in tobacco smoke, can impair the functioning of the cilia of the sinus mucosa.

Sinusitis can lead to the following complications.

  • Meningitis. In this case, the infection spreads to the lining of the brain.
  • Abscesses inside the skull – purulent foci that cause a rise in temperature up to 39-40 degrees, severe pain.
  • Ocular complications. With the transition of inflammation to the orbit area, vision can be impaired, up to complete blindness.
  • Chronic sinusitis, as evidenced by persistence of symptoms for more than 12 weeks.

Who is at risk?

  • With curvature of the nasal septum, polyps in the nasal cavity
  • Suffering from allergic rhinitis.
  • Suffering from chronic heartburn.
  • HIV-infected and other immunocompromised patients.
  • Active and passive smokers.


Acute sinusitis is diagnosed by examining all symptoms and course of the disease.There are no specific signs that, on their own, accurately indicate sinusitis. It is important to distinguish it from the common cold, which can also manifest as a runny nose and nasal congestion.

Most sinusitis is caused by viruses and does not require antibiotics (as they have no effect on viral infections), while bacterial sinusitis is treated with antibiotics. This is why it is important to distinguish between viral and bacterial sinusitis. In practice, however, this is extremely difficult to do, since there are no clear criteria for the addition of a bacterial infection.You need to know that thick, purulent yellow or green nasal discharge is not a sign of a bacterial infection and is often seen with the common cold that is caused by viruses. Currently, bacterial and viral sinusitis is conventionally determined by the duration of the course of the disease. If symptoms persist for more than 7 days in adults and more than 10-14 days in children, sinusitis is considered bacterial.

Usually, additional examination is not required, but in controversial cases it can be useful for making the correct diagnosis.

Laboratory research

  • Complete blood count. An increased number of leukocytes may indirectly indicate the bacterial nature of sinusitis.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). It can be significantly increased with severe bacterial inflammation.
  • C-reactive protein is an indicator characterizing the activity of inflammation. With sinusitis, it may be elevated, but this is not specific to the disease.
  • Rhinocytogram – taking a swab from the nasal cavity, followed by staining and examination under a microscope. By the ratio of cells in this analysis, one can judge the allergic or infectious nature of sinusitis, although the reliability of the results is not very high.
  • Sowing the contents of the paranasal sinuses. With a prolonged course of sinusitis or ineffectiveness of taking antibiotics, as well as with reduced immunity, the contents of the paranasal sinuses can be taken from patients for subsequent sowing on nutrient media where bacteria multiply so that they can be recognized.The most reliable results are obtained with a direct sinus puncture.

Other research methods

  • Skull X-ray. Allows you to identify a thickening of the sinus mucosa or detect fluid in them. At present, however, it is not recommended, since its reliability in the diagnosis of sinusitis is rather low.
  • Computed tomography (CT) of the paranasal sinuses. The most reliable way to study for sinusitis. Especially useful in case of complications.
  • Endoscopic examination of the sinuses. A thin tube is inserted into the nasal cavity to visually assess the condition of the paranasal sinuses. This method can be informative for fungal infections, tumors, polyps, developmental abnormalities.


A disease with moderate symptoms does not require medical attention.

Most patients recover without antibiotics. Treatment in this case includes the use of vasoconstrictors (no more than 3-5 days), rinsing the nasal cavity, inhaling warm steam, warm compresses on the sinus area, pain relievers, and taking a sufficient amount of liquid.

Antibiotics are usually required only in severe cases of the disease, with a clear suspicion of its bacterial nature or with long-term persisting symptoms, and the duration of their administration is usually at least 10 days. They do not help about 10-15% of patients, then a sinus puncture can be used, followed by washing it. It can also be indicated in the development of complications.

In case of severe purulent complications, operations are performed to eliminate the purulent focus, simultaneously with intravenous administration of antibiotics.


  • Avoid contact with patients with colds, wash hands before eating.
  • Receive annual influenza vaccination.
  • Correctly treat allergic rhinitis (incorrect treatment is, for example, uncontrolled and prolonged use of vasoconstrictor drops).
  • Use a humidifier at home, ventilate the room (moisturizing the nasal passages increases the resistance of tissues to microbes).
  • No smoking, avoid contact with tobacco smoke.

Recommended analyzes


  • Dan L. Longo, Dennis L. Kasper, J. Larry Jameson, Anthony S. Fauci, Harrison’s principles of internal medicine (18th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division, 2011.

Treatment of colds and runny nose in Yekaterinburg

What should I do if my nose is dripping? Runny nose – a harbinger of a serious illness or a slight malaise? What are the myths about the common cold? Answers to all questions in our article.

Many people think that a runny nose is not a disease. And in vain! It is with an innocent cold that a whole bunch of unpleasant diseases begins – from laryngitis to pneumonia. In addition, the “river” from the nose and respiratory failure delivers a lot of unpleasant sensations and poor health with a runny nose is provided.

The other extreme in the treatment of a common cold is emergency self-medication with active infusion of drops into the nose and swallowing of tablets, which often ends in compromised immunity, complications and dependence on vasoconstrictor drops.

Why is rhinitis causing so many problems? Maybe our poor awareness is to blame?

The main myths about the common cold

Myth 1. Feet wet – nose will run

It is not a cold that causes a cold, but a virus. Strong immunity will protect you from a cold and vice versa: a weak body will pick up the virus under a slight gust of wind. Get hardened, eat well, and frozen legs won’t give you problems.

Myth 2. If you sneeze, you will infect others

This is partly true, rhinitis is infected by airborne droplets.Only the patient’s personal items are also a source of infection. Try not to touch the patient’s personal belongings or wear his clothes.

Myth 3. Green snot is a sign of a bacterial infection

Not at all necessary. Rather, they say that the immune system is doing a great job. As more and more white blood cells die in the fight against infection, the color of the secretion changes from clear to yellow, and later to green.

Myth 4.To recover faster, you need to blow your nose more often

It’s hard for us to breathe not because of snot, but because of the swelling of the mucous membrane! You cannot often and strongly blow your nose – this is fraught with the fact that the infection will go deeper into the sinuses. You need to get rid of snot very carefully, alternately clearing each nostril.

Myth 5. If you warm your nose, you can get rid of a cold faster

Indeed, at the very beginning of the disease, when the snot flows like a river, warming up the nose helps to “dry” the runny nose: the blood supply to the mucous membrane improves, the edema decreases.But if microbes begin to actively multiply in the nasal sinuses, the heat will accelerate their reproduction – sinusitis or sinusitis may develop.

Myth 6. Burying your nose with onion or garlic juice is useful

No way! Pure juice can burn the mucous membrane, which deprives it of its protective forces. Better to breathe in garlic or onion essential oil.

Myth 7. Old people “snotty” more often than young people

On the contrary, children and adolescents are most often ill with infectious diseases. In people over 50, the body has developed a sufficient amount of antibodies to repel viral attacks.

What mistakes do we make when trying to get rid of a cold?

“At least some drops!” Random selection of the first drops from a cold in the pharmacy is the main mistake in treatment. There are many different types of rhinitis and the wrong choice of the remedy will be useless at best, and will aggravate the problem at worst. Cold or allergic, complicated by sinus inflammation … All these varieties require their own approach. The best option is to consult a doctor.

“And so it will pass.” Carrying a runny nose on your feet is not the best way out. Allow the immune system to cope with even such a seemingly frivolous disease. The body has thrown all its forces to fight the virus, and if you lead the same way of life, ARVI can dump you for a long time.

“I’ll heal myself.” Never prescribe medication for yourself, especially antibiotics. Before a cold, antibiotics are useless, in addition, the strains of pathogens get used to them and, when an antibiotic is needed, the medicine will not work.

“I will wash my nose and I will be cured.” At first glance, washing seems harmless, but there are a lot of subtleties. The penetration of the solution into the middle ear cavity causes otitis media, so you should not rinse the nose when it is blocked or press hard on the bottle.

If your nose is “dripping”, immediately go to see a doctor. A runny nose caused by an infection can often be the first symptom of a cold. One dose is enough and the correctly prescribed treatment will prevent the further development of the disease.

More details about the service on this issue can be found here

90,000 color will tell you the state of immunity and the method of treatment

Nasal mucus changes color and consistency for various reasons. In any case, it clearly reflects the state of health.

Liquid, transparent

They are also called vitreous. And it is the safest nasal discharge because it reflects the well-being of the body: there are no respiratory infections.Healthy nasal secretions are made up of water, proteins and dissolved salts. And our body produces it constantly, keeping the mucous membranes moist. This is how they perform their protective function.

Viscous, cloudy

Nasal discharge thickened, became “gelatinous”, became cloudy or whitish – this is the first signal of immunity: a cold or ARVI begins. At this point, the development of the disease can still be avoided by helping the body. Drink more fluids, avoid hypothermia, and include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.


It is the color of dead immune cells. Immunity actively fights against pathogenic microflora that has entered the body.


This color of discharge appears when the disease is gaining strength. Viruses or bacteria have taken root in the body, and the immune system is working at full capacity.


This is a signal to visit an otolaryngologist.Such secretions appear with diseases of the respiratory tract, for example, inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis).


A nasal secret of this shade is quite normal if you have been in a rather dusty place for some time. Once in the nose, the dust is captured by the cilia and settles in the mucus. This does not threaten health.

Traces of blood

Particles of blood can appear in nasal discharge due to a cold or flu.In most cases, this indicates a microtrauma of the mucous membrane. Strong and frequent blowing of your nose can cause nosebleeds. A single rupture of the vessel is safe for health, but if bleeding recurs and does not go away, see your doctor.

90,000 ARVI – description, symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of ARVI

What is ARVI?

ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection) – a respiratory tract disease caused by the ingestion of a viral infection.Among the pathogens, the most common are influenza viruses, parainfluenza, adenoviruses and rhinoviruses.

The affected area of ​​ARVI includes – nose, paranasal sinuses, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs. The conjunctiva (mucous membrane of the eye) is also under the “sight”.

ARVI disease is one of the most common infectious diseases. Most of all, children attending kindergarten and school are sick with it – up to 10 times a year. This is due to the not yet formed immunity, close contact with each other, lack of knowledge and / or unwillingness to comply with preventive measures to avoid infection.Other groups at risk are students, teachers, office workers, health workers and others. However, adults usually suffer less from acute respiratory diseases of viral etiology, which is associated with the formed immune system, as well as its resistance to these diseases due to other past diseases. However, even if an adult is not susceptible to the development of this infection in the body, and he does not have obvious signs of the disease, he may simply be a carrier of the infection, infecting everyone around him.

How is ARVI spread?

ARVI is transmitted mainly by airborne droplets (when sneezing, coughing, close conversation), however, infection is possible through direct contact with the pathogen (kissing, shaking hands and further contact of the hands with the oral cavity) or contact with objects of the carrier of the infection (dishes, clothes). When a person picks up an infection, he immediately becomes a carrier. At the first signs of ARVI (general malaise, weakness, runny nose), the patient begins to infect everyone around him.As a rule, the first blow is taken by relatives, workers, people in transport. This is the reason for the recommendation – at the first signs of ARVI, the patient should stay at home, and healthy people, if the media report an outbreak of this disease, avoid staying in crowded places (public transport, holiday gatherings on the street, etc.).

Incubation period and development of ARVI

During a person’s contact with an infection, the virus initially settles on the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract (nose, nasopharynx, mouth), its potential victim.Further, the infection begins to secrete toxins that are absorbed into the circulatory system and are carried by the blood throughout the body. When the patient’s body temperature rises, this indicates that the infection has already entered the circulatory system and the body’s protective functions have been activated, because the increased temperature actually destroys the virus and its derived toxins.

The incubation period for acute respiratory viral infection is about 2 days, i.e. from getting the virus to the mucous membrane and until the first symptoms of the disease appear.At this time, a person may feel mild malaise, irritability. Further, as infection progresses, the symptomatology increases.

After an illness, immunity does not develop resistance to ARVI, which is due to a large number of different viruses and their strains. Moreover, viruses are susceptible to mutation. This leads to the fact that an adult can get ARVI up to 4 times a year.

What is the difference between ARVI, ARI and colds?

Many people have many inaccuracies and ambiguities on this issue, therefore, let’s briefly go over the topic and find out how these terms differ.

ARVI – a disease of viral etiology, i.e. the cause of the disease is a viral infection.

ARI (acute respiratory disease) is the collective name for infectious diseases of the respiratory tract. It is used if the exact cause of the respiratory disease has not been established, i.e. the cause can be either a virus or a bacterium. The group of acute respiratory infections includes ARVI, influenza, parainfluenza, etc.

Cold is a colloquial term that means ARVI diseases.

Symptoms of ARVI

The onset of ARVI is characterized by symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing and redness of the eyes. In this case, the secreted mucous secret is liquid and transparent.

In a day, the secret becomes viscous and thick, and its color becomes yellowish or greenish. The body temperature begins to rise to 37.5-38 ° C, which indicates the beginning of the fight of the immune system against the infection.

Among other signs of acute respiratory viral infections are distinguished:

SARS in young children may be accompanied by:

Complications of ARVI

If during ARVI you do not take the necessary measures for its treatment, complications may develop, which are expressed in the development of the following diseases and conditions:

Causes of ARVI

The first factor that leads to ARVI disease, as noted above, is the ingestion of a viral infection into the body – influenza viruses (types A, B, C), parainfluenza, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, reoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), enteroviruses (Coxsackie), coronaviruses and others.Many of them die during drying, disinfection, ultraviolet irradiation, infections such as adenoviruses and reoviruses are able to stay indoors for a long time without succumbing to the usual preventive measures.

The second factor that leads to the development of ARVI is a weakened immune system, which performs the protective functions of the body against those very infections.

The immune system is weakened mainly by:

  • poor-quality nutrition – lack of vitamins and microelements in food, as well as the use of unhealthy and harmful food;
  • hypothermia of the body;
  • 90,035 stresses that have a detrimental effect on the immune system no less than hypothermia of the body;

    90,035 chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, ulcers, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.;

    90,035 plentiful intake of various medications;

  • unfavorable environmental conditions at the place of residence or work.

Diagnostics of ARVI

To make a diagnosis of ARVI, a thorough laboratory study is necessary, which can take about a week, therefore, most often in the presence of the above symptoms, a diagnosis is made – ARI (Acute Respiratory Disease). This is also due to the fact that in a week, the patient, in the absence of complications, can already recover from ARVI.

The diagnosis of “ARVI” is usually made in the event that in a given region, i.e. There were many other similar cases of the disease in the patient’s place of residence, and laboratory research was carried out earlier.

For the diagnosis of ARVI, the following examination methods are usually used:

  • Examination of the patient;
  • Immunofluorescence express diagnostics;
  • Bacteriological research.

Additionally, an X-ray of the paranasal sinuses (sinuses) and chest can be prescribed.

  • Forward>

Medical myths: when you have a cold, you can’t eat ice cream?

  • Claudia Hammond
  • BBC Future

Photo author, Getty Images

Many people believe that if you eat ice cream during a cold and generally consume dairy products, the disease will worsen. But is it true?

The nose is stuffy, the eyes are watering, the head is falling apart … In this state, you are unlikely to feel like eating.But if you do feel hungry, then there are many preconceptions about what you can and cannot eat.

And often you will hear that it is better not to eat dairy products. They say that one should refrain from ice cream, cheese and even milk.

The reason? Dairy products are said to increase the secretion of mucus in the body. But how close is this to the truth?

Do not frown at the mention of mucus: it plays an important role in our physiology.

The membranes that produce this secretion thus protect delicate tissues in some places of our body from irritation and damage – in the nasal sinuses, windpipe, lungs, esophagus and stomach.

So we need mucus – but, of course, not too large quantities, as, in particular, happens during a cold.

Indications of the relationship between milk and mucus secretion can be found in the medical literature of past centuries – for example, in traditional Chinese medicine or in the writings of the outstanding philosopher and physician of the 12th century Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides).

A comparatively recent study (2004) found that 58% of people still think so, with some having heard it from their doctor.

Photo author, Getty Images


Some argue that mucus begins to accumulate after one glass of milk is drunk

Moreover, as they say, a very small amount of dairy products is enough to start an unpleasant process.

A 1993 poll found that nearly two-thirds of recipients believe that just one glass of milk leads to more mucus in the throat. In response, people used words such as “thick”, “sticky”, “stuffy”, “heavy” and “hammered”.

This, of course, is not at all like milk allergy, which occurs in quite a few adults (where the symptoms are much more serious – vomiting, rashes and shortness of breath).

This is not like lactose intolerance, when a person lacks the necessary enzymes to digest the lactose found in dairy products.

People with this intolerance experience bloating, nausea, or diarrhea after drinking milk.

But what then do those who are inclined to believe in the negative effect of milk on a cold organism feel?

In order to detect this, it is necessary to offer people to drink a certain substance, which may or may not contain cow’s milk. And later ask what symptoms they were experiencing.

Researchers at a hospital in South Australia did just that. They asked 125 subjects to drink either cow’s milk or soy milk. Special processing made both drinks almost indistinguishable from each other in taste.

Subsequently, answering medical questions, those who drank cow’s milk said that they had difficulty swallowing, their saliva was, as it seemed to them, thicker, and the throat seemed to be covered from the inside with a certain layer.

It would seem that everything is clear with milk? The problem, however, is that those who drank the placebo (soy milk) said the same thing afterward.

Moreover, those who initially believed that there was a connection between milk consumption and mucus production, a little more often talked about the aforementioned sensations, no matter what they drank (however, this difference was statistically insignificant).

Photo author, iStock


The feelings of those who drank cow’s milk were no different from those who drank soy.

However, the participants in that experiment did not have a cold. What if you already have a stuffy nose? Will milk make the situation worse?

Warning: I advise against reading about the following experiment while eating.

So, the researchers deliberately infected the volunteers with the common cold virus, gave them milk to drink and asked not only to record any symptoms of congestion that occurred, but also to collect all their nasal secretions so that they could then be weighed.

Scientists have found that those people who believed in the mentioned connection were more likely to report symptoms, but in fact they collected no more secretions than those who do not believe that milk provokes the production of mucus.

It was found that milk consumption had no effect on the amount of secretion secreted.

So there is no hard evidence that dairy products lead to more mucus production.

Nevertheless, some people really feel discomfort after eating milk during illness – this explains why some are convinced of the harmfulness of dairy products, while others are not.And here, perhaps, a mechanism is at work that has nothing to do with the formation of mucus.

Milk is an emulsion, so after it has been mixed with saliva, its droplets come together to form loose, flocculated floccules (accumulations of small particles).

The same can happen when you drink soy milk, because it is nothing more than an emulsion. People have specific mouth sensations that make them think that this is due to mucus (although this is not the case).

True, so far we do not understand why some people feel it, while others do not.

By the way, what about ice cream?

We now know that the presence of milk in the composition of the product should not lead to more mucus production.

However, the main thing in ice cream is not this, but the fact that it is icy cold. Maybe there is a risk of aggravating the cold?

Hardly. Very cold food only lowers the temperature in your stomach at first, but as the food begins to digest, break down, heat is generated, and soon you will be warmed up again.

So if you have a cold and you feel like ice cream – don’t be afraid, eat.

Milk can also be drunk if you like the taste and feel afterwards. It will not cure you, but it will not aggravate your illness.

Legal information. This article is for general information only and should not be construed as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other healthcare professional. The BBC is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the materials of the site.The BBC is not responsible for the content of other sites linked to on this page, nor does it recommend commercial products or services mentioned on these sites. If you are concerned about your health, see your doctor.

To read the original of this article in English, visit BBC Future .

Runny nose


The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication.In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For a diagnosis and correct treatment, you should contact your doctor.

Runny nose – causes of occurrence, for what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and methods of treatment.

A runny nose, or rhinitis, is an inflammation of the nasal mucosa, accompanied by discharge and a feeling of nasal congestion.

A runny nose can be the result of various diseases.

Inflammation of the mucous membrane leads to stagnation of blood in the vessels and the release of part of the plasma through the vascular walls into the surrounding tissues. The mucous membrane of the nasal cavity swells, making breathing difficult, and a liquid discharge appears from the nose. If the inflammation is complicated by a bacterial infection, then the discharge becomes thicker in consistency and contains an admixture of pus.

Varieties of rhinitis

Rhinitis can be acute (up to several days) and chronic.

For the acute period, which can last up to two days, itching, accompanied by sneezing, dryness, and a decrease in smell are characteristic. Then there is a clear discharge from the nose, breathing becomes difficult. As the acute manifestations decrease, the discharge becomes thick and gradually disappears, the edema of the mucous membrane decreases, and breathing is restored.

If untreated, acute rhinitis can become chronic.

Depending on the cause of the disease, chronic rhinitis can occur at a certain time of the year or be constant (persistent), appear in a certain position (when going to bed or immediately after waking up in the morning) or in typical situations (in the cold, with excitement).

In the chronic course of rhinitis, the mucous membrane of the nasal passages changes.

As a rule, it grows (hypertrophy), which is accompanied by difficulty breathing, decreased sense of smell and hearing, and frequent headaches. The reverse process is also possible – atrophic, in which the mucous membrane becomes thinner, and the number of capillaries decreases. These processes lead to a decrease or complete disappearance of the sense of smell, a constant feeling of congestion and the appearance of dry crusts in the nose.

Possible causes

Most of the rhinitis is the result of a viral or bacterial infection. The most common infectious agents include influenza viruses (types A, B, C), parainfluenza, adenoviruses, rheo- and rhinoviruses. Of the bacterial pathogens, rhinitis can be caused by staphylococci, streptococci, as well as pathogens of diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Currently, the proportion of allergic rhinitis has increased dramatically.Plant allergens tend to cause seasonal manifestations of the disease (intermittent). Substances associated with a person’s professional activities (latex, resins) or his living conditions (dust, animal hair, mold fungi) cause the constant manifestation of rhinitis.

The most common mechanism for the development of rhinitis is vasomotor, that is, caused by the reaction of vessels to various stimuli.

Under their influence, there is hyperactivation of blood vessels, edema of the mucous membrane and the release of a large amount of liquid secretion.The group of vasomotor rhinitis often includes rhinitis medication caused by the constant use of vasoconstrictors, hormonal (for example, in pregnant women or adolescents in puberty), food (in response to irritants), cold and psychogenic.

Special attention should be paid to rhinitis medicamentosa because it can be easily prevented but very difficult to cure. Many patients, trying to quickly get rid of a cold, abuse vasoconstrictor drops, without considering the cause of the disease (especially a bacterial infection).In this case, the causative agent of the disease continues to multiply in the nasal cavity, leading to severe complications of rhinitis, and vasoconstrictor drops quickly enough cause atrophy of the mucous membrane, narrowing of the capillary lumen and a decrease in the ability to remove mucous secretions. As a result, an inflammatory reaction develops, which is accompanied by swelling and a feeling of congestion.

In rare cases, a runny nose can be caused by a violation of the anatomical structure of the nose (curvature of the nasal septum) due to trauma or developmental anomalies.

Diagnostics and examinations

As a rule, it is not difficult to diagnose the infectious form of the disease.

However, it is very important to distinguish viral from bacterial rhinitis.

Any virus that has entered the body, in addition to a runny nose, causes general malaise, a rapid rise in temperature, and headache. The diagnosis of rhinitis in ARVI is facilitated by the determination of the leukocyte formula during the delivery of a clinical blood test.

90,000 Does postnasal drip affect oral health?

The season for runny noses, sinus infections and colds has arrived. Not only are you not feeling well, there is also this tickling mucus on the back of your throat. What unexpected oral health problems can it cause?

The myth of bad breath

There is a common misconception that halitosis, also known as halitosis, can result from mucus running down the back of the nasopharynx.Erin O’Brien, MD, in response to questions asked by the ENT department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says that mucus dripping alone does not cause bad breath, but the symptoms that often cause it accompanying, such as an infection or common cold, can cause bad breath. If mucus production decreases due to illness or medication, it can cause dry mouth, bacteria, or decaying food debris, which in turn can lead to bad breath and tooth decay.

What is mucus for?

Slime running down the back of the nasopharynx is not a disease. The production of clear, odorless mucus is a natural condition for keeping the throat moist and healthy. If your body produces too much mucus, you need to cough it up. If you have excessive mucus production all the time, this may indicate the effects of gastroesophageal reflux and should be examined by a doctor.

If the drainage of mucus down the back of the nasopharynx is due to gastroesophageal reflux or other systemic disease, such as liver or lung disease, you may experience dry mouth and bad breath.Get regular dental checkups to keep your gums, teeth and tongue healthy.

Reducing mucus

With the guidance of your healthcare professional, you can significantly reduce the discomfort associated with increased production of mucus running down the back of the nasopharynx. Mayo Clinic recommends:

  • Sleep with your head slightly raised to facilitate mucus drainage;
  • If necessary, reduce body weight;
  • Avoid eating or drinking right before bedtime.

It is also helpful to limit the consumption of dairy products to reduce mucus production. Try giving your baby juice or water instead of milk for a while and watch for changes in symptoms. While ice cream or pudding can be pleasing to an irritated throat, dairy products can stimulate excessive mucus production.

In general, the drainage of mucus along the back wall of the nasopharynx does not harm the health of the oral cavity. Nevertheless, such a condition, if it begins to bother you, may indicate other disorders in the functioning of the body, which ultimately can lead to the development of other diseases, including the oral cavity.