Pulmonary Medical Consultants

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Do You Have Covid-19 Or Sinus Infection? How To Differentiate?

Jul 30, 2021 | sinus infection or covid

If you’re experiencing symptoms like sore throat, stuffy nose, or fever, you may wonder if you have a sinus infection or COVID-19. Keep reading to learn the difference.

Differentiating sinus infection & COVID-19

COVID-19 and sinus infections have some common symptoms listed below:

  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • coughing
  • fever
  • weakness

Here are a few symptoms that a person affected by sinus infection can experience, but anyone with COVID-19 may not.

  • sinus pain or pressure around different areas of the face such as upper cheeks, forehead
  • tooth pain
  • foul taste in the mouth
  • postnasal drip
  • change in the color of postnasal drip
  • reduced smell sensations

If you have sinus pain and pressure along with postnasal drip, you can know for sure that you have a sinus infection. You may also have a runny or clogged nose.

Here are the symptoms of COVID-19 that don’t occur with sinus infections.

  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • pain in the body
  • loss of smell and taste

A person infected with COVID-19 can experience the loss of smell and taste completely, and it can happen even if there’s no runny or stuffy nose. With COVID-19, the sense of smell and taste can disappear for 9 days on average. One can expect the sensations to return within 30 days.

What to do about the infections?

Sinus infection

If you have a sinus infection, you should probably wait for the symptoms to disappear on their own. Meanwhile, you can opt for home remedies to ease the discomfort.

It happens rarely, but sometimes sinus infection can grow over sinus cavities and cause symptoms that last longer. Immediately book an appointment with your doctor if you’re experiencing an acute headache and a runny or stuffy nose persistent for many weeks.


If the symptoms of COVID-19 are visible, get a test as soon as possible. A test is the only way to find out if the symptoms are covid related and not any other illness.
While you’re waiting for your test results, it’s best to stay at home to prevent the spread of infection.

When should I see a doctor?

Being aware of your infection is good. Be it a sinus infection or COVID-19, it’s best to consult your doctor if there are no improvements to the symptoms or they’re getting worse.

See your doctor right away if you experience severe symptoms of COVID-19, including:

  • persistent chest pain or pressure
  • difficulty breathing
  • darkened skin, lips, or fingernails
  • difficulty staying awake
  • trouble waking up
  • perplexity

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please inform the staff before arriving at the facility. Schedule an appointment with Pulmonary Medical Consultants by calling (281) 357-1300.


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