Lasts more than 7-10 days. At least three of the following symptoms are present:
- Nasal congestion with poor response to over-the-counter decongestants
- Facial pain that is worse when you lower your head
What Should You Do?
At the first signs of cold or congestion:
- Drink lots of fluid — 10-12 glasses a day. This helps to thin secretions and makes it easier for you to get rid of them.
- If stuffiness is your only symptom, use a decongestant such as Sudafed. This will not cause drowsiness. Take only the recommended dosage or it may cause insomnia. Use caution with decongestants if you have a history of high blood pressure.
- If headache or facial pain is a problem, take Tylenol or Advil. Be sure to take Advil with food.
- If you have allergies, take an antihistamine. (It decreases the release of histamine, which can contribute to sinus inflammation). If you have sinusitis and do not have allergies, antihistamines can dry out the sinuses and prevent them from draining properly.
- If you have a cough, use an expectorant-suppressant such as Robitussin.
When Should I See the Doctor?
If symptoms last beyond 1-2 weeks or if you have three or more symptoms listed under sinus infection, see your doctor.