ZocdocAnswersHow should I treat this cold/ possible sinus infection?

Question

How should I treat this cold/ possible sinus infection?

I've had symptoms for about a week. Slight sore throat from post nasal drip and clogged sinuses. Mucus varies from clear to yellow to slightly green.

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have a 'cold' and that you think you may be coming down with a sinus infection. It is never fun being sick, and I hope that I am able to give you some information that is helpful, and that you get better as soon as possible. There are a number of different questions that I want to ask you, so that I can give you a more accurate answer specific to your situation (i.e. take a thorough history). As it is I am only able to give you some general recommendations, and information. I am ultimately going to recommend that you make an appointment to be seen by your primary care physician, or by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat physician). From a strict academic standpoint, the ENT literature does not consider someone to have a sinus infection, until the symptoms classically thought of as a sinus infection (nasal obstruction, sinus drainage, sinus pressure/pain, decreased sense of smell, etc) have been present for at least 2 weeks. That is because most upper respiratory tract infections (URI's) are caused by viral infections. It is normal for viral infections to cause sinus and nasal mucosal inflammation, so there are 'sinus infection' like symptoms present. Most URI's run their course in 7-10 days without treatment of antibiotics (which don't help in viral infections). Your general practitioner should be able to help you if you have symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks, or alternatively you could see an ENT. I wish you all the best.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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