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  • Writer's pictureDr. Koralla Raja Meghanadh

Can The Cold Affect Your Sinuses?


A cold, a nasal infection, can sometimes lead to complications like sinusitis and middle ear infections. While a cold is mostly due to a virus and is usually harmless, it can sometimes cause these issues. If the cold is a viral infection, it is called a common cold.

 

Can The Cold Affect Your Sinuses

Understanding Sinuses

Sinuses are air-filled cavities in our heads that help us breathe. However, unwanted particles like dust and bacteria also enter and settle in the sinuses and air. In response, the mucosa lining in the sinuses produces fluid to flush out these particles. Sinuses are lined with mucous membrane that generates mucus to effectively clear away these unwanted particles.

 

How Can a Cold Affect Sinuses?

The mucous membrane in the sinuses is connected to various parts of the respiratory system, including the nose, throat, eustachian tube, voice box, lungs, etc. An infection in the nose can easily spread to the sinuses, throat, and other connected parts, especially in the upper respiratory tract where the mucous lining is thicker.

 

How Cold Triggers Sinus Infections?

When fluids stagnate in the sinuses, bacteria can thrive, causing infection in the sinus walls, i.e., sinusitis. Cold can cause the mucosa lining of the nose to swell, leading to fluid stagnation and bacterial growth. This can result in more swelling and blockage, especially in people with underlying conditions.

 

Who Are More Susceptible to Sinus Infections Due to Cold?

Common colds usually resolve within 5 to 7 days with proper care. However, if left untreated or if a person has any underlying conditions responsible for sinusitis, the chance of a cold turning into sinus infection is high. These conditions include anatomical anomalies in sinuses, allergies, and lower immunity against bacteria by birth.

 

 

Preventing Sinus Infections

Treating your cold with simple steps like steam inhalation, staying hydrated, and using over-the-counter decongestants or nasal saline sprays can help prevent complications and promote faster recovery. Habits that keep your immunity up will always help fight any infection in the body, including sinusitis.

 

If you experience persistent or severe symptoms of a cold, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


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