When Things Get Chronic
If youve had a sinus infection and suffered from inflammation for three months or more, you may have chronic sinusitis. This can lead to scarring, and can actually trigger pain and problems in your ear and upper jaw.
To avoid developing chronic sinusitis, take care to:
- Avoid people with colds
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Can Allergies Turn Into A Sinus Infection
Whether its sneezing, wheezing, coughing, or sniffling, allergies can make any great day a nightmare, especially if these allergy symptoms grow into something much larger, like a sinus infection!
Now, it is important to understand thatallergies and colds are not the same, but the two may have similar symptoms. Colds, unlike allergies, develop when persons are infected by tiny viruses.Allergies, on the other hand, are triggered by allergens, which can vary from person to person. That being said, the symptoms of either a cold or allergies may grow into a much worse condition like asinus infection.
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As colder weather returns to our region, many people begin to experience colds, sore throats, allergies, and sinus issues. Often, symptoms are relieved by over-the-counter medications, drinking fluids, good nutrition, and rest. Even chicken soup can help people feel better. However, for those with recurring and chronic sinus infections, this time of the year often makes them feel even worse.
Sinusitis, Allergies, or a Cold?
According to Dr. Lauren Anderson, a board-certified Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, most sinus infections are viral and will go away in a week or so. However, for bacterial infections antibiotics are sometimes needed to treat serious sinus infections, but most will go away on their own within 7 to 10 days. Anyone who is sick more than 10 days or runs a fever more than 4 days or has a high fever, needs to see a doctor.
Both viral and bacterial infections are contagious, so good handwashing habits are extremely important to prevent the spread of germs. It is also a good idea to use household disinfectants, especially on items you touch or grasp with your hands. And do not smoke, because this negatively impacts your recovery and harms your entire respiratory system.
When to See an ENT
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Forehead Pain And Swelling
An infection of one or both frontal sinuses that spreads to the overlying bone can cause a lump-like swelling of the forehead and possibly the front of the scalp. The swelling is usually limited to one side. This uncommon complication of sinusitis, known as frontal bone osteomyelitis, is rare but serious. Usual accompanying symptoms include fever, pain and tenderness of the involved bone, and frontal headaches. Frontal bone osteomyelitis was previously known as Pott puffy tumor, a misnomer because the condition is caused by infection of the frontal bone rather than a tumor. This complication of infectious sinusitis can develop at any age but is more common in adolescents and young adults than it is in older adults.
- An infection of one or both frontal sinuses that spreads to the overlying bone can cause a lump-like swelling of the forehead and possibly the front of the scalp.
When A Sinus Infection Wont Go Away
While its true that sinus infections sometimes clear on their own, antibiotics can sometimes shorten their duration.
Talk with your doctor if your symptoms dont subside within 10 days or if you have persistent fevers, facial swelling or neck stiffness. As with colds, make sure you hit the sheets and get enough rest and drink your H2O. Proper hydration and nasal irrigation can ease sinus infection symptoms.
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Allergies Vs Colds: Whats The Difference
Allergies vs. cold Its an internal debate people often have when they find themselves sneezing and blowing their noses frequently. Why does it matter whether its allergies or a cold thats causing their symptoms? The duration of the episode is one reason. A cold will run its course, but allergies can go on indefinitely, so you have to plan for that.
There are differences between allergies and a cold, but not everyone knows what they are. This article explains them.
Allergies Vs Sinus Infections
It is not uncommon for different medical conditions to have similar symptoms. This is one of the many reasons why it can be problematic trying to determine what is troubling you through an online search engine . Instead, visiting your Murrieta doctor can give you a more accurate and correct diagnosis.
Allergies and sinus infections are often mistaken for each other. Below is a breakdown of how you can tell these two conditions apart.
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How Colds And Sinusitis Develop
The common cold is a viral infection that spreads from person to person through contact with infected objects or in the air. After touching something infected with the virus and then touching your mouth or nose, the virus enters your body.
You may also be more likely to develop a cold if youre around someone with a virus whos coughing and sneezing.
While the common cold is linked to a viral infection, sinusitis may relate to a bacterial infection or allergies. When you make contact with a bacteria, virus, or allergy trigger, the membranes in your sinuses become inflamed, blocking the opening of your sinus cavity and making it difficult to breathe.
Your body also produces more mucus to fight the infection, further limiting your ability to take in air through your nose. This excess mucus can build up inside your sinus cavity and increase your risk for an infection.
You Likely Have A Cold If
These are some of the most common signs that you have a head cold:
- Mucus Color and Texture: When you blow your nose, if you notice that the mucus is thickening or changing color, then the congestion is probably caused by a cold. The immune response within your body can cause the mucus to turn yellow or green, and it thickens up.
- Other Symptoms: The runny nose and congestion are present along with other symptoms, such as a fever, cough, body aches, headache, and SORE THROAT from drainage.
- Changing Symptoms: It is common for the symptoms of a cold to change every few days. For example, it often starts as a sore throat, which eventually leads to a fever and stuffy nose a few days into the illness.
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When It Comes And When It Goes
If you have allergies, you’ll start feeling symptoms soon after you come into contact with the stuff you’re allergic to. Your symptoms keep up as long as you’re still surrounded by those triggers.
Allergies can happen any time of year. They may be “seasonal,” which means you get them only in the spring or fall. Or they may be year-round. For instance, you might be allergic to pets or mold, which can be a problem no matter the season.
Sinusitis usually happens after you’ve had a cold or allergies. But certain symptoms will keep going, even after your cold goes away. You’ll probably have a stuffy nose and cough for more than a week or two.
You may hear your doctor talk about two kinds of sinusitis: “acute” and “chronic.” There’s a simple way to tell them apart. If your symptoms last less than 4 weeks, it’s acute. If they go on for 3 months or longer, you have chronic sinusitis.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis emerges more insidiously than acute sinusitis. At times, however, the symptoms start suddenly and may resemble that of the common cold or acute sinusitis that just wont go away.
Chronic sinusitis is most likely if you have two or more of the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Mucus and pus-like discharge
- Facial pain, pressure around your eyes and nose, or fullness
- Partial or complete loss of your sense of smell
Chronic cough, sore throat, and fatigue may also be seen in a chronic sinus infection. That said, these symptoms are not required for the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis.
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Is It Allergies Or A Sinus Infection
What is the difference between seasonal allergies and a sinus infection? Allergies cause inflammation of the sinuses, productive mucus and congestion and may lead up to an infection in some cases, including a sinus infection. But if you experience headaches and facial pain or tenderness that affects the cheekbones, area above the nose or upper jaw, then its likely a result of buildup of potentially infected mucus and can indicate a sinus infection. Just as important, allergies cause clear, white or, at most, mucus with some grey streaks from dust particles. Mucus produced during a sinus infection typically changes color as the infection progresses and may turn yellow or green.
Both sinusitis and allergic rhinitis can cause loss of smell and taste, but only sinusitis causes bad breath, jaw or ear pain. With allergies, everything itches your eyes, ears, nose, gums, throat -, your eyes are watery and red, you sneeze all the time and are constantly filled with mucus making your nose runny. Fever is a symptom characteristic of a sinus infection. In addition to tenderness and pain in the middle of the face, congestion caused by a sinus infection leads to pressure that intensifies when you lean forwards, tilt your head back or lie on your back.
Is It Allergies Or A Cold
What is the difference between seasonal allergies vs the common cold? Allergies are extremely common, especially in springtime. With allergies you sneeze all the time, especially early in the morning when you wake up or if you go outside, particularly on a windy day. Youll likely be sneezing for as long as the plant youre allergic to is in bloom producing pollen. If theres more than one, then therell be a lot of sneezing for weeks maybe. Not to mention the red, watery, itchy eyes, a symptom specific to allergic rhinitis. By comparison, sneezing occurs mostly in the beginning of a cold and tends to slowly let down as the infection progresses towards other symptoms.
Allergies also cause mucus to build up in the throat and nose and make you cough up phlegm or give you a runny nose all the time. The biggest sign its allergies youre dealing with is the fact that the mucus is usually either transparent or white, sometimes with grey streaks from dust you may inhale, and does not change color. Find out more about what white mucus in nose and throat means.
Allergies dont typically cause green mucus, or yellow for that matter. If its an infection like a cold, the mucus changes color from white to yellow or even green. The difference in color is a sign of the progression of the infection. Colors such as yellow or green may indicate the presence of white blood cells together with viruses that have been destroyed by the immune system.
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Treating Your Sinus Infection
If you think you have a sinus infection, you may need to see your doctor.
âMostly, these acute infections go away on their own or after a simple course of antibiotics,â says ear, nose, and throat specialist Greg Davis, who practices at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
Davis recommends sinus irrigation for sinus infections. It can help ease your symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to do their job. Steroids, , and over-the-counter mucus thinners can also ease your discomfort, he says.
See an ear, nose, and throat specialist if your sinus infection doesnât go away after one or two courses of antibiotics, Davis says.
Some people have sinus infections over and over. The only known risk factors, Davis says, are allergies and smoking In rare cases, an acute infection can become chronic if itâs not treated successfully.
If you have chronic infections, and antibiotics and other treatments donât help, you may need sinus surgery, Davis says.
Your doctor will enlarge the small or inflamed and swollen openings of your sinuses, allowing them to drain, and letting you breathe more easily.
The Difference Between Allergies And Sinus Infections
Allergies and sinus infections have many of the same symptoms. Both manifest nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through your nose, headaches, coughs, and fatigue. These may also alter your sense of smell.
However, there are different symptoms that come with allergies and sinus infections. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, and watery swollen eyes. These symptoms typically arent seen when the sinuses become infected.
Sinus infection symptoms include pain or tenderness around the cheeks and eyes. This typically feels worse when bent over. Sinus infections also cause thick yellow or green discharge from the nose, tooth pain, fever, and bad breath. These symptoms are not associated with simple, uncomplicated allergies.
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Treating A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are different from colds because they are caused by bacteria growing in blocked sinuses. Because of this, they may improve with antibiotics. Depending on your situation, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, or other drugs that can help relieve your pain and lessen the swelling in your sinuses.
If you feel you may have a sinus infection that is worsening, visit your urgent care clinic or primary care physician as soon as possible. You could receive treatment to help you recover faster.
What Are The Differences
Even though both conditions share similarities such as runny noses, nasal congestion, and sore throats, there are key differences that will help you better diagnose your condition.
Post nasal drip caused by allergies often have accompanying symptoms like sneezing, an itchy nose, and teary/itchy eyes. It is also a seasonal condition that most commonly affects children and young adults.
Post nasal drip induced by a sinus infection is when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen and inflamed by a virus or bacteria. Symptoms include facial pressure or pain around the nose, eyes, forehead and upper jaw. Mucus associated with a sinus infection is usually thicker, cloudy and can have a yellowish or greenish color to it. Sinus infections also may have lingering symptoms long after treatment such as a persistent cough and a sore throat.
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Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
You also may experience nasal congestion, facial pain, and an overall sense of pressure in your face and forehead. In some cases, you may even experience pain in your upper teeth.
Causes Of The Common Cold Covid
The common cold and COVID-19 are both caused by different viruses. The virus that causes the cold affects the upper respiratory tract, while the novel coronavirus can affect both the upper and lower respiratory tract.
A sinus infection is caused when your sinuses get blocked and fill with fluid, allowing bacteria to grow. The blockage can be due to allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or a virus like the cold. The infection can cause swelling or inflammation in the sinuses. This can cause several symptoms, many of which are similar to that of a cold.
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Signs Of A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is something you want to deal with right away to prevent it from escalating. However, its not easy to discern between the different symptoms and what they mean. After all, an infection manifests itself in a similar way to the flu or a cold, so you cant always act decisively.
With that in mind, here are some signs you have a sinus infection and should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.
Fungal Infection In Nose Ie Fungal Sinusitis
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There has been a notable increase in reported cases of fungal infection in the nose, or fungal sinusitis, over the last three decades according to The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
This is attributed to three main factors, namely heightened public awareness, use of immunosuppressive therapies e.g. cyclosporine medications that are used to fool the immune system in order to stop organ rejection, and excessive use of antibiotics.
With a suppressed immune system, fungi kick into action and invade the body, resulting in numerous side effects. The damp cavities in the sinuses are ideal for fungal activity and because fungi require no light in order to breakdown food substances, they thrive very well in there, causing fungal sinusitis.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery, there are four main types of fungal sinusitis and treatment varies from one to the other as follows:
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, or sinusitis, occurs when the air-filled pockets in the face, called sinuses, fill up with fluid, inflaming the sinus lining and preventing them from draining. The trapped mucus can allow bacteria to grow, which leads to an infection, Melinda said.
Factors that can increase the risk of a sinus infection include:
- Swelling around the eyes, worse in the morning
Sinus Infection Treatment In Will County And Dupage County Illinois
If youre experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, the experts at Oak Brook Allergists can help you find relief especially if you have chronic sinusitis. Our allergy and immunology physicians and specially-trained assistants work together to provide you with the relief you need.
Make an appointment today by calling 574-0460, or you may request an appointment online.
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