A stuffed up nose, sneezing fits, watery eyes, nagging headaches. Experiencing these kinds of symptoms is no fun for anyone but in the winter it’s pretty common. Cold season really does mean cold season for many, as in the cold virus. But is what you are suffering from really a cold? Or is it a sinus infection, something that is a different thing altogether?
Colds and You
Almost everyone gets a cold from time to time, especially in the winter. Cold viruses are virulent things and it only takes a few unstiffled coughs and sneezes to start off a chain of infection that can quickly make its way through a whole family, a whole office or a classroom full of kids.
What are some of the classic symptoms of a cold? They generally include:
- Sore throat
- Nagging headache
- Stuffy nose
- Mucus Build Up
- Runny nose
- Swollen sinuses
- Fever – usually low grade in grown ups, often higher in kids
As horrible as they can be there is no magic bullet cure for the common cold. The person who comes up with that will certainly go down in history. This means that pestering your doctor for antibiotics is a waste of time (although many people do) Antibiotics treat infections, not viruses.
Walk into any drug store and you will find all kinds of OTC cold remedies. They usually promise a lot and of you are truly feeling dreadful they are terrible tempting. However they should be used with caution. Apart from the sleepy side effects many come along with OTC meds can react with prescription drugs and it’s important to remember they are not curing anything, merely masking symptoms.
- A better idea may be to follow some simple, tried and tested, good old fashioned home remedies:
- Stay hydrated. Hot drinks can be especially soothing and some herbal teas can really help relieve a sore throat.
- Eat light. That old chicken soup suggestion? Take it, even some recent scientific studies have concluded that it really can help you feel better.
- Get as much rest as possible. Hard, we know, especially if you are trying to keep working as most of us do but crucial if you want to get better faster.
Sinus Infections and You
Although they are easy to mistake for colds, sinus infections are completely different and should be treated differently. Viruses (including colds) bacteria, or even allergies can lead to sinus infections. And for some, unfortunately, they do seem to keep coming back all winter long.
How do sinus infections differ from colds, when it comes to symptoms? Common signs include:
- Sinus pressure behind the eyes and the cheeks, often accompanied by a terrible headache.
- A runny, stuffy nose that lasts more than a week
- Bad breath
- Thick yellow or green mucus draining from your nose or down the back of your throat (postnasal drip)
- Decreased sense of smell
Treating Sinus Infections
Usually a one off sinus infection will go away on it’s own or the process can be sped up with a course of antibiotics. The real problem is if these infections keep coming back, at which point it’s time to explore other options.
What many people don’t know is that a visit to their chiropractor can really help. Often recurrent sinus infections are the result of sinuses that simply don’t drain properly, so the natural healing process is impeded. Poor sinus drainage can actually be the result of a misalignment, especially in the neck, so fixing this issue can be very beneficial.
Acupuncture also helps many chronic sinus sufferers, helping to open up the sinuses so that they drain more efficiently. Needle-less acupuncture is appealing to many, as there are no scary needles involved!
Finally, as prevention is always better than cure, make sure that you practice basic cold and sinus infection prevention and that your kids do too.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face with dirty hands
- Avoid people who are suffering with a cold as far as possible
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes lots of Vitamin C which is great for helping to keep colds at bay.
We are taking new patients and offering free consultations, and that way we find out if you are someone we can help before going any further. Call us today for a free consultation at (913)-953-5959 or CLICK HERE for more information about our Overland Park chiropractic office.