Frequently Asked Questions

Cold and flu have slightly different symptoms because they are caused by different viruses. In fact, there are approximately 200 different cold viruses but just 3 main flu viruses that most of us need to worry about. However, the obvious difference is that flu can cause a more severe infection.

Cold symptoms often begin with a sore throat. After one or two days, this typically gives way to nasal symptoms and congestion along with a cough. Fever is uncommon in adults, but a slight fever is possible. Children are more likely to have a fever with a cold.

Flu symptoms come on more quickly than cold symptoms. Symptoms of flu include fever, sore throats, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, congestion and coughs. Most flu symptoms will usually peak after two to three days and you should begin to feel much better within five to eight days. Seasonal influenza is not usually associated with diarrhoea and vomiting, at least not in adults. However, these symptoms appear with stomach flu, which is a popular but inaccurate term for gastroenteritis.

An allergy is where the body has an adverse reaction to a usually harmless substance called an allergen. Allergens include pollen, house dust mites, pet dander (e.g. tiny flakes of dead skin), food, amongst others.

Sinusitis is the inflammation caused by an infection of the lining of the sinus cavities. These are the hollow spaces in your cheeks and around your eyes.

You have four pairs of sinuses in your head:

  • two behind your forehead
  • two at either side of the bridge of your nose
  • two behind your eyes
  • two behind your cheekbones

Your sinuses open up into the cavity of your nose and help control the temperature and water content of the air reaching your lungs. Usually, the mucus naturally produced by your sinuses drains into your nose through small channels.

When sinuses are infected and inflamed, the small drainage channels become blocked. The sinuses behind the cheekbones (the largest ones) are the most commonly affected. Sinus infections often follow a cold and can cause pain and pressure in your forehead, eye and jaw area.

If you feel pain and pressure in your face, and have a stuffy or runny nose, then there’s a strong possibility you are suffering from sinusitis. You might also feel an increase in the pain and pressure in your face when you lean forward or move your head. If you have severe pain in your sinuses, or a headache, fever and thick nasal discharge, please consult your doctor.

Other common symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • pain and tenderness in facial sinuses
  • runny nose
  • blocked nose
  • headaches
  • bad breath
  • thick nasal discharge

Sinusitis can be caused by:

  • viruses
  • bacteria
  • allergies

For congested nasal or sinus mucosa, if you are aged 12 years old or over you can use Otrivine Adult Measured Dose Sinusitis Spray (xylometazoline hydrochloride) to relieve congestion associated with sinusitis.

If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.