We all know the feeling: You’re stuffy, finding it difficult to breathe, suffering from pain and pressure in your head, and are generally feeling miserable. Is it a cold or a sinus issue? Did you know that head congestion can be a symptom of a cold? Find out the difference between sinus congestion and head congestion, and how to get relief.
Identifying Head Congestion
These questions and answers can help you learn more about head congestion from a common cold.
What is Head Congestion?
Head congestion refers to the pressure and discomfort you feel from a runny or stuffy nose caused by a cold.
How Do You Get Head Congestion?
Head congestion, or colds, are caused by different types of viruses, with the rhinovirus being the most common.
What Are the Symptoms of Head Congestion?
Symptoms of head congestion usually include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, headaches and body aches.
Where Do You Feel Head Congestion Symptoms?
Naturally, the discomfort felt from head congestion is, well, in your head.
Identifying Sinus Congestion
The following questions and answers can help you identify and determine the causes of your sinus congestion.
What is Sinus Congestion?
Sinus congestion is the “fullness” you feel in various places across your head and neck caused by a blockage of sinus cavities.
How Do You Get Sinus Congestion?
Sinus congestion occurs when the mucus in your nasal passageways doesn’t drain normally, causing a build-up that blocks your sinuses.
What Are the Symptoms of Sinus Congestion?
The mucus that builds up in sinuses causing sinus congestion also results in sinus pain and pressure. You may feel a sinus headache, have a stuffy or runny nose and experience pressure across your cheeks or other areas of your face.
Where Do You Feel Sinus Congestion Symptoms?
Pressure and pain from sinus congestion can be felt behind the forehead, eyes, cheeks or jaw, depending on which types of sinuses are affected.
How to Tell the Difference Between Sinus Congestion and Head Congestion
The main difference between sinus congestion and head congestion is the duration of symptoms. Sinus congestion may cause a sinus infection, which comes with symptoms lasting up to four weeks. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a sinus infection. Head congestion as part of a cold is usually gone in seven to 10 days.
How to Relieve a Head Cold and Sinus Congestion
Though there are some differences between head congestion and sinus congestion, the following tips can help provide relief from your symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Drink plenty of water: Water can help thin mucus, which is more likely to drain.
- Make a wrap: Applying a warm towel to your head to ease swollen tissues and relieve pressure.
- Get steamy: Inhaling steam helps keep nasal passages moist and assists with drainage.