Sinus infection and Covid-19 both have similar symptoms. That’s why many people confuse one with the other. The sinuses are air-filled pockets located behind your face. A sinus infection occurs when fluid builds up in the region, allowing bacteria and viruses to multiply and cause a problem. Young children, in particular, have weak immune systems. So, they are more likely to get an infection of the sinuses, nose, and ears.

On the other hand, COVID-19 is a viral disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which can be in the sinus and nasal areas. Some symptoms of the coronavirus also overlap with sinus infection symptoms, including sore throat, fever, or nasal congestion. This is exactly why, at Pediatric Healthcare, our doctors will tell you the difference between them. By the end of this blog, you’ll tell a sinus infection and COVID-19 apart.

Sinus Infection vs. COVID-19: Unique Symptoms

Sinus Infection

Besides common symptoms of sinus infections and COVID-19, here are some sinus infection symptoms that are different:

  • Toothache
  • Sinus pain (felt around the forehead, upper cheeks, or near the eyes)
  • Bad breath
  • Postnasal drip
  • Colored nasal drainage


Symptoms of COVID-19 that aren’t normally present during a sinus infection are:

  • Body ache and pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Digestive problems, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Loss of taste and smell in COVID-29 is almost complete and can occur even without a runny nose.

Other ways to tell sinus infections apart from COVID-19

Below are some other ways you can tell COVID-19 and sinus infections apart:

  • Duration of symptoms
  • Severity of symptoms
  • When symptoms initially appear

If your symptoms appear after you’ve already gotten sick, you might be suffering from a sinus infection. Conversely, if the symptoms develop between 2 to 14 days after you’ve been sick, you may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

Another way to tell these two conditions apart is the duration of symptoms. Sinus infection typically clears up within 2-3 weeks, whereas COVID-19 lasts for about a week or two.
Sinus infections generally resolve on their own without severe complications. If bacteria causes it, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics for treatment.

Things to do if you have a sinus infection

You can generally treat a sinus infection at home. A sinus infection rarely spreads beyond your sinus cavity. Visit your doctor if you experience severe nasal symptoms and head pain for several weeks.

Steps to take if you have COVID-19

Once you notice symptoms of COVID-19, get a test right away to be sure. You can contact your doctor or your state’s health department to locate testing sites near you. In the meantime, stay at home and observe safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 to others.

When to see a doctor?

See your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or start to worsen. If you think you may have COVID-19, make sure to tell the medical staff before you arrive at the office. Seek urgent medical care if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Gray or blue skin, fingernails, or lips
  • If your child has these symptoms, visit Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest Houston. COVID-19 Vaccines are now available for ages 12 and above. Call us at (281) 655 1500 Houston or (936) 539 8190 Conroe, and get the most affordable pediatrician service.

Covid vaccine now available