Difference Between Sinus and Cold

Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus. Usually sinusitis is wrongly named as sinus. In the human skull, the air sinus are situated in the face to reduce the weight of the skull and also help the voice production. The sinuses can be inflamed by the viral, bacterial or fungal infections. Usually, sinusitis occurs followed by a sever cold which causes nasal congestion, and the sinuses get infected by viruses and secondarily by bacteria. This is usually present with headache and fever. The pain increases when the walls of the sinuses are pressed.

Some times the sinus may get infected from infected dental caries as both are in close proximities. Severe sinusitis may need the antral wash (washing the sinus with normal saline) and antibiotic treatment. The patients with nasal polyps are more prone to get sinusitis. The rare genetic condition called cystic fibrosis also causes severe sinusitis. Untreated sinusitis may infect the meninges and causes meningitis.

Common cold is also known as naso pharyngitis. It is an inflammation of the nasal cavity and throat. Usually influenza viruses causes common cold. There are several types of viruses. The infection spreads easily when a patient cough or sneeze. The seasonal changes also increase the infection rate in the community. The common cold cannot be treated with drugs. The conditions are self limiting. However the severe unresolved cold may need a medical care to prevent secondary bacterial infection or developing sinusitis. Sometimes the common cold may end up in pneumonia if it is prolonged.

In summary,

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses.

Clod is inflammation of the nasal cavity and throat.

Both can be caused by virus.

Severe Cold may end up in sinusitis.

Common cold is easily spread in the community.

Sinusitis is not a communicable disease.

Common clod usually self limiting and rarely needs treatment.

Sinusitis needs definite treatment.