16 Signs & Symptoms of Influenza

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Coming down with a bout of influenza is never easy. Therefore, knowing the difference between just your average garden variety stuffy nose and a case of full blown flu is incredibly important; it can spell the difference between spending a few days at home recuperating, or in some extreme cases, being checked into the hospital for viral pneumonia, sinus infections, acute asthma attacks, or even heart failure.
Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, is a viral infection that can attack your lungs, throat, and sinuses. It usually spreads through the air from coughs or sneezes, and often happens when someone who is coughing or sneezing constantly is near you. It can also be contracted when you touch something contaminated by the virus and then touch your mouth or eyes shortly thereafter. If you would like to know whether what you have is just a common cold, or if you are actually down with the flu, take a look at these 16 signs and symptoms of influenza.

1. Nasal Congestion

Commonly known as a stuffy nose, nasal congestion is actually much more than a cold. It is the blockage of the passages in your nose due to inflamed blood vessels, which cause the membranes lining your nose to swell. Nasal congestion can make hearing and speech difficult, as our sinuses are all connected via the same membranes that we use to breathe. Congestion can even interfere with sleep, resulting in sleep apnea (where your body stops breathing while you’re asleep) or snoring, which is a mild but irritating effect of nasal congestion.