Cold, flu, allergy, sinusitis can all involve the upper airway and cause diseases. The upper airway includes the nose, sinus, throat and larynx above the voice box. Many patients cannot differentiate if they are having a flu or cold; a nose allergy or sinusitis.
As patients may have been breathing poorly for years, many with significant nose block do not think their nose is blocked at all. Instead, many of my patients complain instead of snoring, no sense of smell, or bad breath. Chronic nose block can be from structural causes like deviated nose bone, large inferior turbinate nose tissues and nose allergy. These structural problems also causes a patient to be more prone to bad nose congestion and more frequent cold and flu - akin to a river that does not flow and prone to festering infections.
Cold symptoms are due to virus infections, and usually last 7 to 10 days. There is stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat. Unlike the flu, cold symptoms are milder, lower grade fever, and the patient is less ill and still active.
Flu symptoms are more intense and may last for weeks. Though arising from virus infections, a secondary bacterial infection is more common. Runny nose overshadows the nose block, and cough and bronchitis may be significant. There may be high fever, bad headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and severe body aches. Complications like pneumonia is higher in the elderly, very young, pregnant or immunocompromised patients.
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December 2017 - January 2018