Flu, cold and Sinusitis.

Patient: On wed. night on the way home from work all of a sudden my nose got stuffy and my head was hurting and it just got worse thursday. thursday night into friday morning i had a temp. my head was pounding and my nose is stuffy and runny. i work for in home healthcare and i want to check to see if this is the flu or a cold and if its ok to be going to work taking care of my patients even if im washing my hands after i sneeze and blow my nose

Doctor: I understand how concerned you are about your condition. According to your description of the events you might probably have developed acute sinusitis.Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold. Other triggers include bacteria, allergies and fungal infections. Treatment of acute sinusitis depends on the cause. In most cases, home remedies are all that’s needed. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications.In sinusitis the cavities around your nasal passages become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up and this produces gas that expands and cause headaches.Most cases of acute sinusitis are caused by allergies and the common cold and they last for a few days, however if they are produced by bacteria they usually last for more than 10 days. I would suggest you to take over the counter decongestants and pain relief medicine such as Sudafed and Tylenol respectively. If you feel that your symptoms interfere with your daily activities, it would be better to stay in home for a day but this condition shouldn’t impede you from working unless you have a bacterial infection. If the fever persists for more than a day, consult your primary care physician for a more detailed evaluation and testing. I wish you a prompt recovery.