Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
March 8, 2021
Fever often accompanies sinus infections. Having a fever combined with pressure in the face is a sure sign of a sinus infection.
Everyone has experienced a sinus infection, and everyone despises them. Sinusitis is one of the most common and bothersome illnesses on the planet.
“Sinus infection (known as sinusitis) is a major health problem. It afflicts 31 million people in the United States. Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on over-the-counter medications to treat it,” according to The American College of Asthma & Immunology.
Contracting a sinus infection is pesky but usually not a big deal. However, in some cases, a simple sinus infection can become very severe and even develop life-threatening effects. A sinus infection can also mimic the symptoms of a more serious illness, such as COVID-19.
Though usually nothing to be afraid of, sinus infections warrant some level of additional care and attention. If your sinus infection begins causing fever spikes, it needs treatment.
EverydayDR is proud to partner with PlushCare, an award-winning telemedicine provider. They provide same-day doctor visits in a secure virtual environment. If you have a fever from a sinus infection, set up an appointment with PlushCare and see a doctor today.
Sinusitis and COVID-19 share some symptoms. Those with an advanced case of a sinus infection can lose their sense of smell and taste, which is also a commonly reported symptom of COVID-19.
Don’t fret. Sinus infections and COVID-19 are easy to tell apart. A sinus infection can be distinguished from COVID-19 by sinus pressure, which is typically absent with COVID-19. Furthermore, COVID-19 patients usually experience shortness of breath and fatigue, which is not associated with sinus infections.
Shortness of breath is a symptom of COVID because of the way the virus affects your lungs. Some sinusitis sufferers will find it difficult to breathe through their nose, and this may make you think that you’ve contracted COVID. However, if you can breathe through your mouth without issue, you most likely don’t have COVID.
The difficulty breathing associated with sinus infection comes from nasal congestion due to dried mucus, or sinus inflammation caused by the infection. If you find it difficult to breathe, but all of the pressure is in your face instead of your lungs, you’re experiencing normal sinus infection symptoms.
A sore throat caused by sinusitis stems from a post-nasal drip or the occurrence of mucus liquifying and dripping down the back of the throat. Over time this mucus intrusion will cause you to develop a sore throat.
A sore throat can also arise from COVID-19, but it is not the result of post-nasal drip. If you’re experiencing post-nasal drip, it’s unlikely that you have a sore throat from COVID-19.
Both COVID-19 and sinus infections are known to cause headaches in patients. It’s straightforward to tell which illness is causing the headache since a sinus infection headache has a unique characteristic. If you lean forward or bend over toward the ground in a bowing motion, sinus infection headaches will get more painful the further you lean.
Most sinus infection symptoms are isolated to your face, as your sinuses are passageways that connect and flow around your eyes, ears, nose, forehead, and cheeks. Most of the symptoms you will experience with a sinus infection involve the inflammation of these areas, but they can also affect other parts of the body.
Can sinus infection cause fever? Yes. Can COVID-19 cause fever? Also, yes. Both illnesses also cause fatigue, muscle soreness, and twitching too. If you’re feeling these symptoms, it’s hard to determine which illness is causing it. The best way to determine whether it’s COVID-19 or a sinus infection is to evaluate and compare other symptoms you’re experiencing.
If you’re also having trouble breathing despite little or no nasal congestion, are coughing excessively, or have a dry or sore throat, you may have COVID-19. If you notice pressure around your eyes, ears, nose, forehead, and cheeks, as well as a headache that gets worse when you lean forward, it’s probably just a sinus infection.
One thing to note is that some COVID-19 patients have developed a viral sinus infection after contracting COVID-19. It is possible to have both COVID-19 and a sinus infection, but if you’re only experiencing sinus infection symptoms in the absence of COVID-19 symptoms, you likely don’t have it.
It’s best to get a diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Play it safe, and consult with a doctor if you don’t feel well. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Using a telemedicine platform is a great way to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you are concerned that you have COVID-19.
Comparison of Symptoms Between COVID-19 and Sinusitis
|Sinus Infection Symptoms||Symptoms of Both||COVID-19 Symptoms|
|Sinus Pressure||Fever||Shortness of Breath|
|Post-nasal Drip||Sore Throat||Diarrhea|
|Nasal Congestion||Headache||Nausea or vomiting|
|A headache that gets worse as you bend over.||Muscle Soreness and Twitching||Chest discomfort or pain|
|A headache that gets worse as you bend over.||Loss of sense of taste and smell||Difficulty breathing through the mouth.|
|Difficulty breathing through the nose|
If you’ve determined that you have a sinus infection, you probably want to know the signs that you’re beginning to recover. Sinus infection symptoms revolve around the inflammation of your sinus, either caused by a virus like the common cold or a buildup of bacteria in the sinus.
The feeling of pressure in the face can cause watery eyes, nasal congestion, headaches, fever, post-nasal drip (which can further cause a sore throat), and other flu-like symptoms. In other words, you’ll know that your sinus infection is getting better when you notice that the symptoms are becoming less severe.
With the right treatment and proper rest, you will overcome the sinus infection, and these symptoms will subside.
Signs that your body is fighting off the infection include the loosening of your sinuses as the inflammation subsides. Relieving sinus pressure can be accomplished by inhaling steam through hot showers, saunas, steam rooms, or breathing over a pot of hot water. Doing this will open up your sinuses and help your body purge the infection through discharge.
Test the severity of your sinus infection by leaning forward toward the ground. If you notice that the intensity of the headache as you bend forward decreases from day to day, this means that your sinuses are loosening up.
If you have a sore throat due to post-nasal drip, this feeling will subside once fluid ceases to trickle down the back of your throat.
Only viral sinus infections are contagious. Suppose you developed your sinus infection by contracting a virus like the common cold. In that case, your sinus infection is contagious. You should wear a mask and socially distance yourself from others to avoid spreading it, much like COVID-19.
Bacterial sinus infections can be caused by pollen in the air. These aren’t infectious, and you wouldn’t need to take the same precautions as with a sinus infection resulting from a virus.
For more information on the treatment of sinus infections, visit an online doctor. Not only are virtual doctor’s visits often more affordable than in-person visits, but they’re also totally contact-free. Book an appointment with our partner PlushCare here and speak with one of the country’s best doctors today.
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