Is It a Cold or Something More Serious?

Share Article

Hudson Valley ENT provides tips for when to see a doctor

The common cold is just that, common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60 million colds occur each year and they are responsible for a loss of approximately 20 million school days. But sometimes what people think is a cold actually is sinusitis, that is, inflammation and infection of the sinuses. Hudson Valley ENT provides a checklist below to serve as a guide.

“While many of the symptoms of the common cold and sinusitis are similar, some are quite different,” says Mark S. Driver, MD at Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT). “In each pair of cold-versus-sinusitis checklist answers below, the first one is more likely to be a cold symptom and the second is more often linked to sinusitis.”

Cold or Sinusitis?

1. Nasal discharge is:
□ clear
□ thick and green or yellow

2. Sneezing is:
□ frequent
□ infrequent or absent

3. Feelings of pain and pressure are:
□ infrequent
□ located behind the eyes, cheeks, and/or top teeth

4. Symptoms are:
□ bad for a couple of days and then get better
□ steady or getting worse over time

“Patients should consider contacting a doctor if they have symptoms that persist without improvement, are running a fever, or have cold symptoms that return month after month, as these may be signs of a sinus infection” says Dr. Driver. “Over-the-counter medications and plenty of fluids can relieve cold symptoms but sinusitis may require an x-ray for diagnosis, along with prescription medications, a nasal inhaler, or surgery in the most severe cases.”

Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C. is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Building B, Suite 220, Middletown, NY. For more information, please call 888.350.1368 or visit

About Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat
Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C., has been redefining the healthcare experience in the Hudson Valley for more than ten years. Its board-certified physicians, supported by licensed audiologists and dedicated staff, have established a reputation for superior care in treating patients with allergies, gastroesophageal reflux, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, hearing and balance disorders, nasal and sinus disease, head and neck cancer, sleep apnea, snoring, and pediatric ear and throat disorders. Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat utilizes state-of-the-art technology to make the patient experience as efficient, comfortable, and caring as possible.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kimberly Sawicki

Email >