ER in Clear Lake

Colds, sinus infections, and other allergies often present similar symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, general discomfort, and congestion.

Because of these similarities, it can be hard to distinguish between a sinus infection and a cold and know when you should go to an ER in Clear Lake TX. Although both conditions present overlapping symptoms, there are a few key signs that can help you follow the correct treatment.

Sinus Infections

As the name suggests, a sinus infection or sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses due to an infection or another condition. Sinuses are hollow spots in the cranial bones that produce mucus that then drains into the nose. In case of an infection, the sinuses are blocked and cause pain.

Common symptoms of sinusitis as described by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases include:

  • Fever;
  • Weakness;
  • Fatigue;
  • Coughing;
  • Congestion.

The NIAID also warns that sinus infections can cause post nasal drip, a mucus drainage at the back of the throat that can produce discomfort.

Treating a Sinus Infection

Most treatment options are designed to ease the symptoms of sinusitis and include painkillers, nasal sprays or antihistamines. If bacteria causes the infection, then doctors will prescribe antibiotics as treatment.


A cold is a viral disease that primarily affects the nose. The CDC reports that most people recover from colds in 7-10 days. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • A sore throat;
  • A runny nose;
  • Sneezing;
  • Headaches;
  • Coughing.

While there is no cure for common colds, rest and fluids, combined with some medication, can help relieve the symptoms. The CDC also warns against taking antibiotics to treat colds, as they do not work against viruses.

A Clear Distinction

One way to tell the difference between colds and a sinus infection is by considering the duration of the symptoms. People with colds begin to feel better after a couple of days while sinus infections tend to last longer.

Another way to separate the two conditions is by checking the mucus color. Colds produce a clear nasal discharge while sinusitis produces a yellow-green mucus.

If the symptoms linger for an extended period and seem to progress, patients should contact their physicians for a proper diagnosis. We at Physicians Premier can assist you and help you recover fast.

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