13 Sneaky Causes of Sinus Trouble


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If a cold does not resolve in 10 to 15 days, bacteria may have joined the party.

Bacterial infections rarely jump-start sinus infections, but they are almost always the cause of complicating, secondary infections, says William J. Hueston, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston. In these cases, it's most likely Streptococcus pneumoniae or Haemophilus influenzae.

These bacteria lurk in healthy people; they’re waiting for the right circumstances to grow. Take a decongestant during a cold to avoid those circumstances. If you do develop bacterial sinusitis, you can treat it with antibiotics.

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