A cold that lingers—and lingers—isn't something that happens only in winter. It may not even be a cold. It could be sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. You can relieve the symptoms of this common infection with several easy treatments, reports the March 2009 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch.
When the sinuses become blocked, viruses or bacteria in the nose can become trapped in a pool of mucus with nowhere to go. The germs can grow out of control, causing infection and inflammation. The result: swelling, which causes headache and facial pain; mucus buildup, which produces congestion; and an influx of white blood cells to fight the infection, which thickens and tints the mucus. Other symptoms may include loss of smell or taste, bad breath, fever, and fullness in the ears.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.