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Just a cold or bacterial sinus infection?
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Just a cold or bacterial sinus infection?

I came down with a cold over the past weekend.  Started with a cough and tight chest, had a sore throat for a couple of days, and then finally my sinuses became very congested and I had a great deal of nasal discharge and sinus pressure along with a  low grade fever.  Since I am prone to sinus infections and have asthma, I went to my doctor and he said I just had a cold (like everybody else) and he did not think there was any bacterial infection.  I was told that if I don't feel better in a few days or have a fever over 101 then I would need antibiotics.  He also prescribed Allegra D.  I feel much better now, no fever, still a bit stuffed up, but it does seem to be clearing up without antibiotics.  However, tonight when I blew my nose I noticed a small amount of blood.  Does that mean there is a bacterial infection present or can blood come from the sinuses in a viral case also?  I do not want to take antibiotics if they are not necessary and even wonder if in the past doctors have been too willing to prescribe them for me even though the "infection" probably would have cleared up on its own in a couple of days (the same number of days it took to feel better allegedly because of the antibiotics).  I would like to hear any ideas people here have on how to tell if an upper respiratory infection is viral (a cold) or caused by bacterial such as bacterial sinusits?
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It's really almost impossible to diagnose via the Net, however, your problem may be as simple as a busted capilary in your nose, which would resolve itself very quickly.

Phil
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