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Sinus Infection vs COVID: Which One Is More Deadly?

It can be hard to tell the difference between a sinus infection and COVID-19, two fast-spreading and potentially-dangerous illnesses. Both cause fever, coughing, and chest pain.

So which one is more deadly between Sinus Infection vs COVID?

Sinus infections and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses that can cause similar symptoms, like a runny nose, coughing, and congestion. However, sinus infections are usually caused by viruses like the common cold or the flu, while the novel coronavirus causes COVID-19.

Sinus infections affect around 30 million people every year in the United States. COVID-19 has infected more than 595-million people globally since it was first identified in 2019.

Table of Content

Sinus Infection vs COVID: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 has significantly impacted sinus infections. The pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people with sinus problems.

In some cases, COVID-19 has made sinus infections worse. Sinus infections are also one of the most common complications of COVID-19.


While sinus infections are often less severe than COVID-19, they can still be fatal if left untreated.

If you think you might have a sinus infection, see a doctor right away for treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to preventing fatalities from both diseases.

Symptoms of Sinus Infection vs Covid

SymptomsSinus InfectionCovid
Nasal CongestionYesYes
Sore ThroatYesYes
Sneezing/Runny NoseYesNo
Nasal DripYesNo
Facial PainYesNo
Swelling Around the EyesYesNo
Neck StiffnessYesNo
Loss of Smell and TasteNoYes
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)NoYes
Digestive DiscomfortNoYes
Chills and AchesNoYes
Shortness of BreathNoYes
Bluish Lips or FaceNoYes

Sinus Infection Symptoms

The most common sinus infection symptom is a headache. Other symptoms include

If you think you might have a sinus infection, see a doctor right away for treatment. 

Sinus Infection Causes

Sinusitis is caused by a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. Sinus infections are more likely to arise when a cold or allergy attack occurs or if there is a problem with the nose.

For example, when you get a cold, the virus attacks your sinus lining, resulting in swelling. An increase in mucus production leads to an accumulation of germs, which causes an infection.


Sinus Infection Treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to preventing fatalities from both diseases. Doctors can treat sinus infections with antibiotics.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissue. COVID-19 is still relatively new, so there is no standard treatment. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting the respiratory system.

Sinus infections caused by Covid-19 can be treated with antiviral drugs, antibiotics, and corticosteroids. Surgical debridement may also be necessary to remove infected tissue. 

However, a sinus infection a month after covid may not be that deadly unless you have an underlying health condition.

COVID Symptoms

Covid symptoms can vary depending on the type of Covid. The most common symptoms are

Causes of COVID

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19. Infected individuals can experience symptoms ranging from a moderate cold to a life-threatening respiratory infection.


A combination of vaccination and preventative measures, such as wearing a face mask and avoiding close contact with sick people, are the most effective ways to guard against COVID.

COVID Treatment

In most cases, there is no need to treat COVID-19. They tend to get well on their own, and it’s not uncommon.

The following are likely to be prescribed by a doctor:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Nasal decongestants or rinses
  • Plenty of rest
  • Hydration

You may need medication, though, if you have a severe case.

A doctor may provide antiviral medicine to treat the consequences of severe COVID-19 that may also require hospitalization and oxygen therapy. Hospitalized patients and those at high risk of complications are often given these treatments.

Can Covid-19 Cause a Sinus Infection?

A recent study showed a mimicked fungal infection in the respiratory tracts of two Covid-positive patients. Although they were diagnosed negatively with fungal diseases, doctors believe the Covid condition may influence the mimicked infection.

Doctors refer to a respiratory tract infection as a COVID-19 symptom. Asthma can affect both the upper and lower respiratory tracts at the same time (windpipe and lungs). Whether COVID-19 causes sinusitis is unknown at this time.

Nasal Congestion and Covid have a close tie. But it doesn’t mean you have Covid if you have a stuffy nose. Sinusitis, common cold, or allergic reactions can initiate nasal congestion.

Prognosis of Sinus Infection, Covid, and Covid Induced Sinus Infection

The prognosis for both sinus infections and COVID-19 is good if the disease is caught early and treated promptly.

Sinus infections are often less severe than COVID-19, but they can still be fatal if left untreated. COVID-19 is a new disease, so the long-term prognosis is not yet known. However, most people who contract the disease will recover without lasting effects.


Whether COVID-19 can cause sinus or not still requires in-depth research, so it’s impossible to say anything about the prognosis. However, if someone gets a sinus infection while infected by COVID-19, the situation can worsen very quickly.

Can I Have Sinus Problems After Covid Vaccine?

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine can make sinus infections worse. However, the vaccine may cause side effects that mimic sinus infection symptoms, such as fever and fatigue.

If you experience these side effects after getting the vaccine, see a doctor to rule out a sinus infection.

Cold vs Sinus Infection vs Covid

It is vital to know the differences between the sinus and cold symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms because they can appear identical and overlap. You and your healthcare provider can better coordinate your care this way.

SymptomColdSinus InfectionCOVID-19
Fever and chills  X
Muscle and body aches  X
New loss of taste or smell XX
Nausea or vomiting  X
Diarrhea  X
Shortness of breathX X
Difficulty breathingX X
Nasal congestionXXX
Discolored nasal drainage X 
Foul odor in the nose X 
Itchy or watery eyesX  
Facial pain X 
Sore throatXXX
Runny noseXXX


If I Have A Sinus Infection Will I Test Positive For Covid?

The short answer is no. Sinus infections and COVID are two completely different diseases. If you have a sinus infection, you will not test positive for COVID. However, if you have COVID, you may also experience sinus congestion as one of your symptoms. So if you’re feeling under the weather, it’s always best to see a doctor to get tested and determine what’s causing your symptoms.

How To Clear Your Sinuses After Covid?

If you’ve had Covid, you may struggle with sinus problems afterward. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to clear your sinuses and reduce the risk of infection. One of the best things you can do is to rinse your sinuses with saline solution. This helps to flush out any debris or mucus that may be clogging them up. Another helpful tip is to use a humidifier. This will help keep your sinuses moist, preventing them from becoming irritated and inflamed.

Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

Sinus infections are not generally considered contagious; however, the viruses that cause colds and allergies can be spread from person to person. If you have a sinus infection, you can help prevent the spread of the virus by washing your hands often and avoiding close contact with sick people.

Final Words

COVID can cause respiratory symptoms, so that you may be concerned. Your symptoms could be the result of the virus, but they could also be the result of another illness, such as a cold or a sinus infection.

Your doctor is the only person who can tell you for sure what is wrong. It is possible to discuss your symptoms with them, screen your risk of contracting COVID, perform diagnostic tests to discover what is causing your illness, and have the right therapy.

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