We've Got

Sinus Infection vs. COVID-19

Picture of a woman lying on a couch experiencing sinus pain.So, you’re feeling under the weather. Is it a run-of-the-mill sinus infection, or could it be something worse? It’s very common for people to question what’s causing their symptoms, and even more so since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we understand our patients’ concerns, and with that in mind, we’ve put together some tips on how to tell the difference between a sinus infection and COVID-19.

Sinus Infection Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A sinus infection occurs when the sinuses become blocked—often due to a cold or allergies—and the resulting fluid build-up becomes infected with germs. Sinus infections can cause a number of symptoms similar to those of a cold, such as congestion, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, fever, headache, and fatigue. However, some of the hallmark symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Pain and pressure around the eyes, cheekbones, and upper jaw
  • Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
  • Bad breath
  • A decreased sense of smell and taste

In many cases, sinus infections resolve on their own, without the need for treatment from a medical provider. To relieve symptoms in the meantime, you can take over-the-counter decongestants or pain medication, use saline nasal spray or a neti pot, and apply warm compresses. But if your sinus infection lasts longer than seven to 10 days, or if your fever rises above 101 degrees, it’s important to seek professional care.

COVID-19 Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Similar to a sinus infection, COVID-19 can cause congestion, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, fever, headache, and fatigue. However, when compared to a sinus infection, COVID-19 tends to cause more respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. COVID-19 can also cause a new loss of taste and/or smell, as well as body aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Many COVID-19 cases can be treated at home without the need for professional care. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help to relieve your symptoms. While you’re recovering from COVID-19, it’s important to stay home (except to get medical care) and quarantine yourself from others in your household. You should also rest and keep yourself hydrated. Keep in mind that you’ll need to seek emergency medical care if you experience difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, new confusion, difficulty waking up or staying awake, or discoloration in your skin, lips, or nail beds.

COVID-19 Testing Near You

Of course, the only way to tell for sure whether you have COVID-19 is to get tested. If you’re at all concerned that you might have COVID-19, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care for testing. We’re a trusted immediate care provider that’s been serving patients since 2008, and we’re pleased to offer antigen and PCR testing to patients in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Click here to learn more about our COVID-19 testing services.

Health News + Events

What Is RSV?

What Is RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)? Whether you have a child in school whose health you need to worry about or have simply heard about the term while watching the news latel  Read More

How to Treat Cuts & Scrapes: What You Need to Know

Cuts and scrapes can happen, oftentimes all too easily. When they do, it’s important to know how to treat them properly to prevent an infection from developing and promote faster  Read More

RSV: What you need to know

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) is a very common virus that causes infection of the nose, throat and lungs. By the time most children reach the age of 2, they have alre  Read More

What Our Patients Are Saying

Rating 4.6
Rating 4.2
Rating 4.6
Rating 5.0

"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."

Derby, CT

"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"

Hamden, CT

"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."

Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

Somers, NY