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When a Cold Becomes a Sinus Infection

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How Is a Sinus Infection Diagnosed and Treated?

Your doctor will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. You might get an X-ray or a CT scan of your sinuses.

Your doctor may prescribe medication. He may recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days. Decongestants and other drugs help lessen the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.

Steam and hot showers can help you loosen mucus. Your doctor may also suggest nasal saline to wash mucus from your nose.

In rare cases, when a sinus infection doesn't go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.

When Should I Call the Doctor About a Cold or Sinus Infection?

Most colds go away without medical treatment. If you have pain around your face or eyes, along with thick yellow or green nasal discharge for more than a week, check with your doctor. Also call him if you have fever or symptoms that are severe or don't get better with over-the-counter treatments.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on July 15, 2014
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