Monday, August 4, 2008

Sinusitis vs. Common Cold: Which is Which?

By Paul Tamens

It can be difficult to determine whether you have a case of sinusitis or a case of the common cold. Many people mixed up these conditions all of the time. However the cold vs. sinusitis are two completely different ailments caused by two completely different sources. As such, the treatment of both will be different as well.

One of the reasons why it's difficult to tell both of these ailments apart is because of how similar many of the symptoms area. Both ailments consist of having a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and body aches and pains. Both aliments can make the person suffering from them feel sluggish and tired.

With such major similarities between sinusitis and the common cold, is it possible for you to be able to tell the difference? It is possible. However, you must know what it is you are looking for. The first area where these two ailments differ is how they develop. The common cold comes from a contracted virus passed from person to person. When the virus is attacked by the body's immune system, the common cold reveals itself in the symptoms that we come to associate it with.

Sinusitis develops differently from a common cold. Sinusitis develops as a result of an outside influence inflaming the nasal cavity. This outside influence can be a number of different factors. It can be a result of too much exposure to pollen, a result of pet mites or even the accumulation of too much dust. It can also come from bacteria.

As far as how the symptoms reveal themselves with sinusitis and the common cold, you can also distinguish the two ailments by looking at the symptoms themselves. One of the first things that you want to look at is the length you have the symptoms. A common cold should go away in a week or so. Sinusitis can last for much longer.

The symptoms that show up in the eyes also distinguish between the common cold and sinusitis. The common cold usually has no influence on the eyes. Sinusitis has a major influence on the eyes. The eyes are puffy and swells up rapidly. The eyes also scratch and become watery. Your face will also feel very uncomfortable. If you track how bad the symptoms are you may even be able to track the source of the allergic reaction as well as the symptoms will trigger up worse when you are exposed to whatever is causing the inflammation.

Identifying the difference between sinusitis and the common cold is important if you wish to effectively treat the ailment. A common cold can only be cured by the immune system. Medication only serves to minimize the symptoms not cure the ailment. Therefore the best strategy for treating a common cold is to get plenty of rest and give yourself time to fight it off. Sinusitis continues as long as you continue to expose yourself to whatever triggers the allergic reaction. If left unattended sinusitis can morph into additional and more serious illnesses.

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