Allergy, cold, and flu season tend to converge at springtime. Sometimes what starts as a simple cold or reaction to seasonal allergies can turn into a sinus infection if not treated quickly. Find out ways to tell if have a sinus infection, how Teladoc can help you treat it, and what you can do to prevent one in the future.

When you’re healthy, the natural fluid in your nasal passages, or sinuses, simply drains away. But with a sinus infection, which doctors call acute sinusitis or acute rhinosinusitis, the cavities around your sinuses swell and block the passages, so the fluid (mucus) becomes trapped in your sinuses. Here’s the good news: You can start the healing process faster and reduce your sick time by reaching out to Teladoc for help with diagnosis and treatment as soon as symptoms appear.

Extreme fatigue is a key sign of a sinus infection. You’re also likely to experience some of these symptoms:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Swelling in the face, especially around the nose or eyes
  • Thick mucus that is also dark or discolored
  • Headache
  • Stopped-up nose (difficulty breathing)
  • Loss of the sense of smell or taste
  • Trouble sleeping

Teladoc’s U.S. board-certified doctors can diagnose a sinus infection, recommend treatment, and even prescribe medications if needed. An infection caused by a virus usually resolves itself within about 10 days. But if it’s caused by bacteria, then you’re likely to continue feeling bad and may need an antibiotic to get well. No matter which type of sinus infection you have, be sure to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can also take a decongestant, inhale steam, and place a warm washcloth over your nose and forehead to help clear your sinuses.

If your diagnosis is a cold, flu, or seasonal allergies, here are some steps you can take to keep your illness from developing into a sinus infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially when you’re in public or around people who are sick
  • Use a humidifier to keep your nasal passages moist
  • Spritz your nose with a saline spray to clear out allergens and mucus
  • Close your windows to help keep outdoor allergens outside
  • Try a smoke-free environment
  • Drink water and cut back on beverages containing caffeine
  • Eat well and exercise to help strengthen your immune system
  • Get a flu shot each year

With Teladoc, recovery is closer than your corner store no matter the reason or season!