What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
When a sinus infection results from blocked sinuses, symptoms may include:
- Thick white, yellow, or greenish mucus from your nose or drainage down the back of your throat
- Bad breath from postnasal drip
- Blocked or stuffy nose
These symptoms may be similar to some respiratory viral infections. They may require different treatments.
Treatment For Sinusitis And Bronchitis
You can treat a sinus infection at home with a combination of medications such as antihistamines, nasal decongestant sprays, topical nasal corticosteroid sprays, and nasal saline washes. All of these methods can help address the inflammation and swelling that occur in the nasal passages and sinus openings due to a sinus infection.
However, topical nasal decongestants should only be used for three or four days, as overuse can result in dependency. Likewise, over-the-counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines may contain drying agents that can thicken mucus and should be used sparingly and with caution so as to not cause additional congestion.
Home remedies for bronchitis include increasing the amount of fluid you consume and using a cool-mist humidifier. Drinking more fluids can help to thin the mucus in the lungs. Using a humidifier can soothe irritated airways.
The most common medications that can assist with bronchitis are bronchodilators and decongestants.
Bronchodilators can provide relief by opening tight air passages in the lungs. If you experience any wheezing, a doctor may prescribe one for you. Decongestants may relieve some of the symptoms associated with bronchitis. Because bronchitis is generally caused by a virus, antibiotics are not helpful in its treatment.
What Are The Types Of Sinusitis
There are two types of sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis is a temporary swelling of the sinuses. The mucous membranes inside your nose, sinuses, and throat swell. This could happen when you have a cold or allergies. The swelling blocks the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus from draining. This causes mucus and pressure to build up.
Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms become more frequent or worse. Sinus infections may cause long-term sinus inflammation and symptoms. If you have more than three sinus infections in a year or have symptoms longer than 12 weeks, you could have chronic sinusitis.
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Symptoms Of Ear Infections
- Intermittent mild dizziness
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Inner ear infections are usually preceded by upper respiratory tract symptoms such as cough, sinus pressure, nasal congestion, runny nose or sneezing, Kristin said.
Sometimes, the eardrum ruptures. This usually causes less pain and some bleeding from the ear.
If that happens, protect the ear from wind and do not submerge head underwater for about six weeks, Kristin said.
Symptoms of an outer ear infection might be slightly different:
- Pain with any touching or movement of the ear
- Ear may appear reddened or dark
- Swelling of the ear
- Facial pain on the same side as the infected ear
- Fluid or pus leaking from the ear
- Feeling itchy in on or around the affected ear
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When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Structure Of The Middle Ear
outer ear or auditory canalmiddle ear eardrum
A narrow passage called the eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and nose. The eustachian tube functions to control the airflow and pressure inside the middle ear. It lies closed and opens with the swallowing movement allowing air to enter the middle ear. This mechanism maintains a constant pressure gradient and replaces the oxygen that has been absorbed by the lining of the middle ear. Sometimes the pressure is not equalized with the environment outside. This can be felt on an airplane or at high altitudes and may cause some discomfort.
The tympanic cavity also plays an important role in hearing. Three small bones called ossicles are found in the middle ear. These bones form a chain and conduct sound vibrations from the eardrum to the fluid-filled inner ear. Sounds are then converted into nerve impulses and carried to the brain by the auditory nerve.
Extending from the air space of the middle ear is the mastoid bone. It is made of small, connected air spaces and resembles a honeycomb. The structures that are responsible for facial expressions and balance are found in this part of the inner ear. While the exact function of this bone is not clear, it is known to be involved in chronic ear infections.
How Do You Get Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis means that a sinusitis becomes persistent and lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis is uncommon. Most cases of chronic sinusitis develop following an acute sinusitis infection. Most cases of acute sinusitis go away within 2-3 weeks, often much sooner. In some cases the symptoms do not go and become persistent . The following are causes of acute sinusitis that may progress into a chronic sinusitis:
- Cold or flu-like illnessesâ in most cases, acute sinusitis develops from a cold or flu-like illness. Colds and flu are caused by germs called viruses which may spread to the sinuses. The infection may remain viral before clearing, causing a viral sinus infection. In a small number of cases, germs called bacteria add on to an infection that started with a virus. This can cause a bacterial sinus infection which can make the infection worse, can last longer and may cause more damage or changes to the lining of the sinus.
- Dental infectionsâ in some cases, infection spreads to a cheekbone sinus from an infected tooth.
- Other risk factors for sinus infectionâ in a few people, one or more factors are present that may cause their sinuses to be more prone to infection. Acute sinusitis may be more likely to progress into chronic sinusitis as there is an underlying problem. Risk factors for sinus infection are dealt with in detail in our separate leaflet called Acute Sinusitis.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Chronic Sinusitis
Remember, your health is your business. You do not have to put up with feeling ill for long periods of time. Pay attention to how long you have sinus symptoms because this is something that your care provider will ask you. Keep track of things that you have done to make yourself feel better. If medications are prescribed, make sure you store them and take them as instructed.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
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When Should You See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
You should seek a doctor’s advice when symptoms become severe and you have had the symptoms for more than ten days. If you develop symptoms likesevere headaches or a fever that lasts for more than three days, it is time to seek medical care.
It is best to follow a doctors guidance whenever you feel uncomfortable. If you are looking for an experienced doctor to help you with chronic sinus infections, contact the sinus specialistDr. Thomas S. Higgins, MD, MSPH. Dr. Higgins is an experienced ENT surgeon who will perform a complete assessment of your problems and develop an effective plan to help you breathe better. Call 502-894-8441 orto book an appointment.
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Fungal Ball Sinus Infection
A fungal ball sinus infection, or mycetoma, is a condition in which fungal hyphae accumulate in the sinuses and form fungal balls. If left untreated, these balls can grow bigger and block the sinuses, causing facial pain, swelling, and tenderness. Fungal balls can also trap bacteria, which can lead to a secondary bacterial infection.
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How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
Conditions causing your chronic infections may include:
When Is Face Pain An Emergency
If you experience facial pain that appears suddenly and radiates from the chest or the left arm, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately. This may be the sign of an impending heart attack.
Facial pain usually isnt a medical emergency, and you can often receive treatment at a regularly scheduled doctors appointment.
When visiting your doctor, make sure that you tell them:
- what part of your face is hurting
- how often you feel pain
- exactly where the pain is coming from
- what kind of pain you feel
- how long the pain lasts
- what relieves the pain
- any other symptoms experienced
Your doctor may order an imaging test, such as an X-ray or MRI scan to make a diagnosis. These imaging tests are useful in diagnosing problems within the bones, muscles, and tissue. Your doctor can also use an X-ray to check the sinuses.
Your doctor may take a blood sample to test for certain infections. This is a procedure with minimal pain that involves drawing blood from your arm.
If your symptoms reveal a possible eye condition or if your doctor is concerned you may be having heart problems, theyll order additional tests.
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Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
The primary symptoms of an ear infection include acute ear pain and hearing loss. You will have the sensation that your hearing is muffled or youre experiencing hearing loss and you may experience referred pain in your throat or fluid in the middle ear.
When youre experiencing an ear infection, you may not necessarily see a change in color in or outside your ears.
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
Sinusitis describes inflammation of one or more of the paranasal sinuses, the air-filled spaces in the facial bones that open into the nasal cavity. This condition often occurs because of infection. Although infectious sinusitis is certainly uncomfortable, it usually does not pose a serious health threat. However, rare complications of infectious sinusitis can be dangerous and potentially life threatening if not diagnosed and treated promptly. These complications involve spread of the infection to the structures around the eye, the facial bones and/or the nervous system. Although rare, its important watch for warning signs and symptoms that might signal a potentially serious infectious sinusitis complication.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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When To Seek Emergency Care
The following signs and symptoms can be caused by a serious infection.
- Fever above 101 degrees
- Swelling or redness around the eyes or eyelids difficulty opening or moving your eye a protruding eyeball
- Changes in your vision, including loss of acuity or double vision
- Excessive sleepiness or difficulty waking up
- A severe headache in the front of your head, one you might classify as one of the worst of your life.
Who Gets Sinusitis
A sinus infection can happen to anyone. However, people with nasal allergies, nasal polyps, asthma and abnormal nose structures are all more likely to get sinusitis. Smoking can also increase how often you get a sinus infection.
There are an estimated 31 million people in the United States with sinusitis.
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Is It A Cold Covid
One of the challenging things about recognizing COVID-19 and other illnesses is that they can share some of the same symptoms. Many articles have been written comparing the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza, as these two illnesses have perhaps the most in common. But many symptoms of COVID-19 also resemble those of a cold or sinus infection . Learn to tell the difference and how to get the right treatment for your illness.
Signs Of A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections: Theyre painful, annoying, and sometimes debilitating. Powering through work amid an infection is like attempting to stroll through molasses youd just have better luck giving up. The signs of a sinus infection are distinct, setting themselves apart from other nasal and sinus dilemmas.
But occasionally a sinus infection is mistaken for allergies or a viral infection. Without the proper information, its reasonable to assume that a simple sinus inflammation could be confused for a common cold or the more ominous COVID-19.
Having said that though, things like colds and allergies factor into sinus infections. If youve had one, more than likely, youve previously had a virus or an allergic reaction to something. Even after the symptoms of said cold and allergic reaction dissipate, a sinus infection still develops.
Before we start on the signs of a sinus infection, here are two types of sinus infections you should be mindful of. First, acute sinus infections are more common and less debilitating. Second, chronic sinusitis lasts much longer and occurs more frequently. If you experience the latter, its time to visit a specialist, like the ones at the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute.
Anyway, heres why you opened the blog in the first place.
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Causes Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Part of the common cold. A cold infects the lining of the nose. It also involves the lining of all the sinuses.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. A problem when the sinus becomes infected with bacteria. . It starts as a viral sinus infection. Main symptoms are increased sinus pain or return of fever. The skin around the eyelids or cheeks may become red or swollen. Thick nasal secretions that last over 14 days may point to a sinus infection. This can occur in younger children.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Sinus congestion often occurs with nasal allergies . Sneezing, itchy nose and clear nasal discharge point to this cause.
Schedule An Appointment With Independence Ear Nose & Throat
At Independence Ear, Nose & Throat, we have the expertise and experience to diagnose your symptoms and prescribe the proper ear, nose, & throat treatment to make your life easier. All you have to do is call us today at 772-888-1880, and well book you an appointment with one of our hearing health professionals.
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Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.