You feel stuffy. Your head hurts. You wake up not being able to breathe through your nostrils. Maybe you cough and see something coming out with a funky color. All of this is less than pleasant, but you don’t really feel that sick. If you’re experiencing mostly head congestion, coughing, and a sore throat, then you might have a sinus infection.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection. Typically, a cold doesn’t hang around as long as a sinus infection and will clear up on its own. A sinus infection usually lasts for a week or longer and may need antibiotics to clear up. If you have a sinus infection, you’ll likely feel your best during the day and worse at night and in the morning when you wake up.

Something usually causes a sinus infection to take place. A cold can turn into a sinus infection, but a lot of the time it can also be caused by allergies. Sinus infections typically take place more during the winter months when it’s cold and dry. Blasting your heater can be a big trigger for a sinus infection to start.

If you think some bacteria may be burrowing into your sinuses, it’s time to see a doctor. Even though the symptoms might not make you as miserable as a cold or the flu does, a sinus infection probably won’t go away on its own. Antibiotics will help to clear up the infection. If you’re experiencing painful or irritating symptoms from the infection, there are a few things you can do to alleviate sinus pressure and congestion.

Try using a neti pot twice a day to clear out your sinuses. This is a pot that you use to irrigate your sinuses with water, but make sure to use sterilized or distilled water! Nasal sprays can also help alleviate symptoms. Use a nasal spray twice a day to help clear up congestion in your sinuses. Mucinex can also help if you’re feeling extra congested and experiencing sinus pressure. It will help to get the sinuses flowing, so have some tissues nearby!