Skip to Main Content

Matching your symptoms to a condition

When you have a common symptom like a stuffy nose or congestion, you don't always know what condition you have. Are those symptoms part of a cold, flu, allergic rhinitis or sinusitis? It is not always easy to know. Refer to the chart below to match your symptoms with the following conditions.

SymptomColdFluAllergic Rhinitis Sinusitis
CongestionYesYesYes
CoughYesYesYes
DizzinessYesYesOccassional
Sore throatEarlyMildYesYes
Runny noseYesYesYes
Stuffy noseYesYesYes
SneezingYesYes
Nasal dischargeMay be thick and yellowCloudyThin and clearThick, yellow-green
Duration5-7 days2-3 weeksEpisodicPerpetual if not treated
Generalized aches and painsYes, often severeMild
SweatingYes
Extreme exhaustionEarly and prominent
Fatigue/weaknessMildPronouncedMildMild
FeverHigh (102-104), lasts 3-4 daysLow grade
HeadacheRareYesYes
Itchy nose/eyes/throatYes
Seasonal patternYesYes (Winter) YesYes
HoarsenessYesYes
Facial painYes
Bad breathYes

 

Main Menu

Review Date: 6/29/2011
Reviewed By: Paula J. Busse, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com