How Would Doctors Diagnose A Sinus Infection Vs Covid
The determination as to whether you have COVID or a sinus infection should be made by a doctor. If the doctor suspects COVID-19, he or she will test you for the virus by swabbing your sinus cavity and sending the sample to a lab.
When doctors suspect a sinus infection, they look inside the nose for redness and swelling and will ask you about the color and frequency of your nasal discharge. They will check to see if your face is tender and ask you questions about how long youve been suffering from the illness.
Dr. Chase suggest there are three primary criteria that indicate a sinus infection:
We dont usually diagnose a sinus infection until somebody has been sick for seven to 10 days. Typically, with that youre going to have the classic tenderness in your sinuses, he says. Usually youre going to have a yellow/green runny nose thats pretty consistent throughout the day, and youre going to have a fever. You want to see those three things before you diagnose somebody with a sinus infection.
With COVID-19, the duration of the illness is different, along with the sinus tenderness, and discharge. If youre worried about your symptoms and are suffering from pain, fever, headaches, or any other clinical symptoms, its a good idea to consult your doctor.
From Possible Exposure To Testing Positive
On day 11, my husband called to tell me that someone who was at the same event as us a few weeks before had tested positive for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
One thing to know about me is that I’m the type of person who never stops learning. Between my own research and the questions I’d asked the doctor I work with, I already knew most of what I needed to know about COVID-19 long before my husband told me that we’d possibly been exposed.
But, before I could really even process what this information meant for me and my health, I knew I needed to get tested immediately for the sake of my patients. Knowing that I interact with people every single day, including infants and the elderly, all I could think was: “What if I got someone sick?” and “What if I get someone else sick?”
I was symptomatic, I’d had a possible exposure and I needed to know if I had COVID-19. Thankfully, I was able to get tested. After a few swabs, some questions and a chest x-ray, my husband and I were sent home since our symptoms were minor. We immediately began quarantining.
A day later, we got the phone call. Both my husband and I had tested positive for coronavirus. We were two of the earliest COVID-19 cases caused by community spread in the Houston area.
Possible Causes Of Smell Loss
COVID-19The loss of smell, with or without changes in taste, related to COVID-19 infection typically occurs without the nasal congestion or runny nose that is typically seen with a cold. Associated symptoms may also include headache, a dry cough, shortness of breath, high fever, stomach problems, and a persistent sore throat. More severe symptoms such as these often point to COVID-19 or the flu. During the pandemic, anyone who has a new loss of smell or taste, even without any of those other symptoms, should be suspected of having COVID-19 and be tested, whether or not they have been previously vaccinated. Polymerase chain reaction testing for COVID-19 can be easily obtained and will identify those patients with COVID-19.
Patients that experience a loss of smell from COVID-19 that does not get better after several months may benefit from, smell retraining therapy. This treatment, which can be done at home by sniffing four different scents twice a day for four to six months, has proven to improve the smell for some, but not all patients. An ENT specialist may advise additional therapies, such as sinus rinses with topical nasal steroids. Parosmia, or altered sense of smell, may occur weeks or months after loss of smell with COVID-19.
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Whats The Main Difference Between Sinus Infection And Covid
The main difference between COVID and a sinus infection is what causes them. A sinus infection is caused by inflammation of the sinuses and often follows a cold or allergy flare-up. COVID-19 is only caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
Sinusitis Vs Covid: How To Tell The Difference
Stuffy nose, headache, sore throat?
Its easy to jump to conclusions, especially during a pandemic. Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are actually similar to those of other illnesses, like a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis.
In this article, Ill discuss the difference between sinusitis and COVID-19, the symptoms of each, how theyre diagnosed, and next steps if you are infected with either condition.
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What Can I Do For My Sinuses This Summer
- Be aware of your current environment, is it too hot? Too dry?
- Avoid any known allergy triggers as best you can. Schedule an appointment for allergy testing if you are unsure of what may be triggering your allergies.
- Rinse your nose and thoroughly wash your hands after coming in from outside to remove the presence of any allergens. If you have severe allergies, consider taking a shower or changing your clothes regularly.
- Limit time outside if use of a mask worsens sinus symptoms.
- Stay hydrated! Even and especially in air-conditioned rooms.
- Utilize any allergy or sinus medication as prescribed by your provider.
Suspect A Cold Dont Brush It Off
Have COVID-19 questions?
According to Brian Curtis, MD, vice president of Clinical Specialty Services for OSF HealthCare, a sore throat by itself is typically not something to worry about. Your throat could be irritated from allergies, air pollution or overuse. It could also be due to smoking, in which case the solution is simple . If a lone sore throat lingers longer than a week, however, you should contact your physician.
And if you develop any other symptoms even milder symptoms you typically associate with a common cold you should contact your physician or get tested for COVID-19. The common cold and the virus that causes COVID-19 are both the same type of virus called a coronavirus and can cause similar symptoms.
Mild cases of COVID-19 can even look to an average person exactly like a cold. But if you have a mild case of COVID-19, you could spread the coronavirus to someone who suffers a worse infection. You need to be sure you arent putting others at risk if you have any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
We have to be very vigilant with cold symptoms, Dr. Curtis said. We as a society used to be kind of dismissive of cold symptoms, but we cant be dismissive of them now. If you have just a sore throat with no other symptoms, its less likely to be COVID-19. But with other symptoms, it is possible you have COVID. Sore throat, cough, fever I would be worried about COVID.
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Symptoms Unique To Covid
While some symptoms overlap, COVID-19 has a few unique symptoms.
One might experience skin rashes that may occur on your finger and toes, including swelling and discoloration.
In some older people, confusion or delirium may be their only COVID-19 symptom. Some people with COVID-19 may also lose their sense of smell and taste.
Thick nasal discharge and significant sinus and facial pain are less common with COVID-19, but can occur.
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What Causes A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are more common in people who suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma. If you have a structural blockage in the nose, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps, you may have more frequent sinus infections. If you have a weakened immune system, you may be more prone to infections of all kinds, including sinusitis.
While the common cold and flu are caused by the influenza virus, and COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus, a sinus infection can stem from a viral or bacterial infection. Either way, its a painful condition that can make you feel lousy for weeks.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, those air-filled pockets that exist in your face:
- Behind the bridge of your nose
- Directly in front of your brain
- In the bony structures of your cheeks
- On both sides of the bridge of your nose
Normally, your sinuses are lined with a light layer of mucus that trap germs, dust, and other particles that we breathe. There are tiny hairs in your nose that sweep whatever is captured into the back of your throat and into your stomach. This is a normal cyclic procedure that happens without your awareness. That is, until something goes wrong with the process.
A sinus infection inflames the lining of the sinuses and blocks the flow of mucus to the back of the throat. The swelling stops up this efficient elimination system leading potentially to an infection.
What Does A Covid Headache Feel Like
- A COVID headache is commonly reported to be moderate to severely painful. It is often reported to occur on both sides of the head and is accompanied by a pulsing. COVID headaches typically occur with the onset of the virus and last for about 3-5 days .
- A sinus infection headache is typically reported to occur in the sinuses and forehead area. It may also be accompanied by a pulsing but is more likely to be dull and throbbing. Sinus infection headaches can also be reported as severe and are sometimes classified as migraines.
If you are concerned about your health and are experiencing symptoms of a sinus infection or COVID-19, please consult your physician immediately for professional advice. If youre looking for State specific information on COVID-19, please consult the US Government State Health Website.
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Herpes Ebv Or Trigeminal Neuralgia
38 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
The symptoms of herpes, Epstein-Barr Virus , and trigeminal neuralgia are varied and may include fatigue, inflamed throat, fever, and facial pain. These are also common symptoms of COVID-19 and 38 sufferers who participated in the survey reported experiencing symptoms of these conditions after the virus was gone.
41 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
GERD is acid reflux and it’s commonly known to cause excessive salivation, or drooling. According to University of Florida Health, trauma or infections in the throat, such as sinus infections or swollen adenoids, can cause GERD, which may lead to drooling.
41 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
Scientists are studying the rare but potentially severe personality changes that COVID-19 may cause in patients. According to an article published in Science News, symptoms related to the brain are often overlooked as medical professionals focus on the physical aspects of the virus. However, depression, personality changes, and confusion are some long-lasting symptoms that some COVID-19 sufferers may experience.
42 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
44 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
45 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
Other Factors To Consider
In any of these situations mentioned above, if OTC treatments do not provide rapid improvement in symptoms, seeing an ENT specialist can help differentiate between the various conditions that may be causing smell loss.
Your age as well as how long you have had symptoms of smell loss before seeking treatment, no matter what the cause, are the two main factors affecting your ability to regain your sense of smell. Therefore, if your smell does not return quickly, you should see an ENT specialist as soon as possible.
For those with loss of smell, there are safety concerns that should be considered, such as making sure all smoke detectors are working properly installing natural gas or propane leak alarms if there are gas appliances, fireplaces, furnaces, or water heaters in the home and checking food expiration dates.
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Ial Or Complete Loss Of Sense Of Taste
375 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
Loss of taste, called ageusia, and loss of smell, called anosmia, are common symptoms of the virus and the duration of these symptoms varies by patient. A study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science analyzed Korean COVID-19 sufferers and the duration of this specific symptom. The study found that, “Most patients with anosmia or ageusia recovered within 3 weeks.”
381 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
As COVID-19 takes its course, patients may report symptoms that change frequently. For example, a patient may begin experiencing a headache and fever, then move onto shortness of breath and muscle aches. According to the CDC, “U.S. COVID-19 patients report a wide range of symptoms across a spectrum of illness severity.”
385 People Surveyed Reported This Symptom
“Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach ,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Since the virus is known to cause gastrointestinal problems, some patients may take longer to recover from these inconsistencies than others. Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, and large meals may help curb these long-lasting symptoms.
/7when To Seek Medical Help
It is obvious to get confused between the symptoms of the two. But if you have come in contact with anyone who was COVID positive or went out to a public place without a mask, then it is better not to take your symptoms lightly. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms like:
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What Is A Sinus Infection Vs Covid
As doctors and researchers continue to learn more about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, you might be wondering how to tell if that is whats causing your symptoms. Some symptoms of a sinus infection can be similar to those of coronavirus. However, there are some important and noticeable differences between a sinus infection vs. coronavirus.
What is a sinus infection?
Inside your skull, there are open spaces that are filled with air. These cavities are called sinuses, and they are connected to the air passages of your nose. Your sinuses produce mucus, which helps to sweep bacteria and other microbes out of your nasal passage. Sinusitis or a sinus infection happens when these cavities become clogged with mucus and get infected or inflamed.
What is COVID-19 coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a new infectious disease that causes influenza-like symptoms it largely impacts the respiratory system. These symptoms are different depending on whether you have a sinus infection vs. coronavirus. COVID-19 has symptoms like cough, fever, and in extreme cases, difficulty breathing, and death.
/7sinus Vs Covid: What Is The Difference
Being a severe acute respiratory syndrome, symptoms of COVID-19 overlap with many seasonal diseases and infections. It is the reason why most people panic when they suddenly develop a runny nose and sore throat, assuming it to be a coronavirus infection. The confusion is rife among those suffering from sinus infections, especially now when we have officially entered the cold and flu season. On the surface, the symptoms of both infections are more or less the same, but when you dig deeper, it is easy to differentiate between the two.
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Smell Loss Related To Colds Allergies Sinus Issues And Covid
Anosmia is the lack of sense of smell and frequently goes hand in hand with the lack of taste. Since the smell receptors are in the upper portion of the nose, anything that can prevent air from reaching these smell receptors can affect your ability to smell. The receptors are located on both sides of the nose, so complete blockage of both your nasal passages may lead to loss of smell, but blockage of one side or the other can also cause this in some people.
Usually, when your nasal breathing improves, so does your sense of smell. Although congestion and obstruction are often the cause of smell issues, there are several other reasons not related to nasal obstruction why people can lose their sense of smell, including recent or repetitive head injury, a viral cold, COVID-19 infections, and many others including chronic nasal and sinus conditions, such as polyps.
How Can You Tell If You Have A Sinus Infection Or Covid
You cannot tell if you have COVID or a sinus infection just based on your symptoms alone. Some symptoms of COVID overlap with those of a sinus infection, but there are also symptoms that are specific to one or the other.
While the symptoms of a sinus infection mostly involve your respiratory system, COVID can cause a range of symptoms that affect other parts of your body .
Its also important to note that you can have COVID and not have any symptoms.
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