They've got some things in common, but there are ways to tell them apart.
As horrible as thick, sticky mucus is, it actually serves a vital function in the body. Mucus lines the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and gastrointestinal tract – helping to lubricate these surfaces, while acting as a filter to remove unwanted substances before they enter the body.
This incredible goo also contains antibodies and enzymes that help the body recognize and kill invaders like bacteria and viruses.
What Is a Common Cold?
It's an infection caused by a virus, a tiny living thing. You can't miss the symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip (drop-by-drop release of fluid from your nose into the back of the throat)
You may also get a cough and a mild fever. The symptoms usually build, peak, and slowly disappear. Some medications can ease symptoms. For example, decongestants may decrease drainage and open the nasal passages. Pain relievers may help with fever and headache. Cough medicine may help, as well.
Colds typically last from a few days to about a week or longer. Sometimes, a cold may cause swelling in the sinuses, hollow spaces in your skull that are connected to each other. The swelling can prevent the flow of mucus.
What Is a Sinus Infection?
It's inflammation or swelling of your sinuses. Normally they're filled with air. When they become blocked and filled with fluid, bacteria can grow there and cause infection. The result: a sinus infection. You may hear your doctor refer to it as sinusitis. Symptoms may include things like:
- Thick, yellow, foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Pressure or pain around your face and eyes
- Headache (generally in the forehead area)
- Blockage in your nose
- Post-nasal drip
- A cold that won't go away or gets worse
- Fever or cough
These symptoms can also happen with a cold. But if they continue for more than 10 days, you may have a sinus infection.
Although nipping the underlying cause of excess mucus in the bud is vital to normalize production, these natural remedies will help you manage your streaming or stuffy nose and congested chest in the meantime.
- Apple cider vinegar
Grate the ginger and combine it with the apple cider vinegar in a glass jar. Close the jar and leave it at room temperature for ten days, stirring it occasionally.
Inhale the mixture by placing your head over the bowl. Then, soak a cotton handkerchief in the solution and apply it onto your neck, leaving it on overnight. Repeat the treatments for five consecutive days.
Another way to use ginger to relieve sinusitis symptoms is to boil the root and inhale the vapors in the same manner, by placing the head over the pot. No matter which of the methods you decide to use, you`ll successfully treat your cold and overcome it naturally in a matter of days.