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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: SINUS AND COLD

General Sinus & Cold FAQ

    Nasal congestion can result from inflammation of the lining of the nasal passages. It is caused by swelling of the blood vessels, excess fluid in the tissues and increased secretion of mucus.

    Congestion of the membrane lining of the nasal passages results most commonly from upper respiratory infections caused by a wide variety of viruses — for example, the common cold. It may also be caused by pollens and other irritants in the air.

    Pressure in the sinuses results from an accumulation of fluids and swelling of the blood vessels in the mucus membrane lining of the sinuses.

    A cold usually lasts approximately 7 days. Clinical signs and symptoms vary from person to person and may include sore throat, sinus pressure, minor body aches, headache, nasal and sinus congestion, and occasionally a slight fever. OTC medicines should temporarily relieve your cold symptoms.

    Handwashing is the most effective way to help prevent colds. If possible, one should avoid close, prolonged exposure to people who have colds. Daily diets should include foods such as fresh, dark-colored fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants that help support the immune system. Viruses causing the cold can survive hours on inanimate objects and skin. Therefore, cleaning household surfaces with antiviral disinfectant might also help prevent the spread of infection.

    Yes. Colds are caused by more than 200 different viruses. These viruses are spread by person-to-person contact through contaminated secretions on the fingers and hands and through particles in the air from sneezing and coughing.