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Evaluate Your Sinus Congestion

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Updated April 08, 2014

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Types of Sinus Congestion
sinus congestion

Human Nose

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What does your sinus congestion look like? What is it doing? Let's look at the different types of sinus congestion.

Do you have a runny nose?

Is your head stuffed up, making it difficult to breathe through your nose?

  • It may be a cold.
  • It could be a sinus infection (sinusitis).
  • It could possibly be the flu.

If you have drainage, what color is it?

  • Green or yellow: This color indicates an infection. See your doctor but may not necessarily need antibiotics. It could be sinusitis.
  • Clear and thin: It is probably a cold, the flu or allergies.
  • Thick and white or cloudy: It is most likely a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu.
  • Blood-streaked: It is usually caused by ruptured blood vessels in the nose. It can occur as a result of dry nasal membranes or from blowing your nose too aggressively. Look at other symptoms to determine whether or not you should see a doctor.

Do you have pressure in your face and eyes?

Find out when you should see a doctor for sinus congestion.

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