What You Can Do
- Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, noting any major stresses, recent life changes, your daily routine including sleep habits or exposure to anyone with mononucleosis.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you’re taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For mononucleosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What are the likeliest causes of my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests do I need?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Do I need to stay home from work or school? How long should I stay home?
- When can I return to strenuous activities and contact sports?
- Are there any medications I need to avoid?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions.
Causes Of Getting Sinus Infections
- Virus the basic symptom is common to that of cold. Sinus starts with virus infections. If you are affected by the sinus virus then the symptoms will grow stronger day by day. One must be away from infected sources. Virus infections can be spread from person to person.
- Allergies if you are a person who gets allergies from many things, then it is easy for you to get infected with the sinus virus. Being allergic shows that you have a weak immune system and thus any virus or bacteria can easily infect your body organs.
- Bacteria if you are suffering from a cold and even after taking antibiotics your cold does not get resolved then you might have been trapped with sinus infections. You must not avoid this and must visit a doctor as soon as possible.
- Fungus it is also one of the main reasons for getting infected with sinus. If your immune system is trapped with a harmful virus of fungus then sinus can grow easily.
How Long Is A Sinus Infection Contagious
It is important to note that a sinus infection caused by viruses lasts between 7-10 days, while bacterial ones can last up until two weeks. If your symptoms go away after one week then its most likely not contagious since they subside again before returning for good however there may be some cases where you could still pass on something like rotavirus or cooties but this would only happen if both parties involved had close contact with breathable air during the time frame in which each respective type of rhinovirus was present!
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How Is Hay Fever Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will examine you, ask about your symptoms and evaluate you for other conditions, such as a cold or asthma. To measure your antibodies to specific allergens, your provider may take a blood sample and send it to a lab for testing. This blood test is called an immunoglobulin E test. It can detect all types of allergies, including food allergies.
Your provider may recommend a skin prick test to determine what allergens are causing your symptoms.
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What Causes Sinus Infections
The most common cause of sinusitis are viral respiratory infections that lead to swelling and irritation of the sinuses, the most frequent being the common cold.
Other ways to contract a sinus infection include:
- Nasal polyps, or small growths in the lining of the nose, that may be asymptomatic but block the normal sinus pathways
- Any structural change to the nasal cavity, such as a deviated septum or history of sinus or nose surgery
- Hay fever causing swelling to the noses lining, usually during common allergy seasons
While sinus infections are common and most adults will experience one over their lifetimes, there are outside influences that can lead to more frequent cases of sinusitis.
Risk factors for an increased chance of a sinus infection include:
- A lasting cold
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- A broken nose or other structural problems within the sinuses
- A weak immune system, or starting the cycle of a new drug that weakens the immune system
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Diagnosing A Sinus Infection
Since you cant tell if an infection is viral or bacterial just from looking at the symptoms, your surgeon will most likely run a few tests to diagnose the problem before recommending treatment. Diagnosing the infection can involve imaging to examine the sinuses and a mucus culture. Taking a sample of mucus from the nose or sinuses will help your surgeon determine if a bacteria is to blame and, if so, what type of bacteria is responsible. Knowing the type of bacteria thats causing your infection allows your surgeon to prescribe the type of antibiotic that would be most effective in treating it.
Treating A Viral Or Bacterial Sinus Infection
How you treat a sinus infection depends on whether bacteria or a virus is to blame. In the case of a viral infection, your surgeon or doctor is likely to recommend a wait and see approach, since there is no type of medicine that will kill the virus and speed up healing.
While you do have to wait for a virus to clear up on its own, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable in the meantime. Your surgeon might recommend using a saline rinse in your nostrils to help clear away mucus and debris. Pain relievers can also reduce any discomfort youre experiencing due to headaches or facial pain. A pain reliever can also help lower a fever.
Medicine is available to treat a bacterial sinus infection. If your surgeon determines that bacteria is the source of your infection, he might prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria and speed up healing. Depending on the type of bacteria thats causing the infection, you might need to take antibiotics for just a few days or for a few weeks.
Theres one thing thats important to understand about antibiotics: They wont help viral infections at all. In fact, they might make things worse. While they wont exacerbate the infection, antibiotics can cause some unpleasant side effects. They can also lead to antibiotic resistance, making future bacterial infections more difficult to treat. Its important only to take antibiotics if your doctor prescribes them.
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Can You Recognize A Sinusitis Infection
You may have sinusitis without knowing it.
Have a question about
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses, the air-filled spaces or cavities on the face near the nose. These spaces are connected to the inside passages of the nose.
Sinusitis is a very common complaint, affecting one out of every seven adults in the United States. It is often as common as a cold in some people. Weather patterns may have a role in the prevalence of sinusitis because it tends to occur in early fall and spring. Sinusitis is more common in adults than in children, whose sinuses are not yet fully developed.
The inside of the sinuses is normally sterile, having no bacteria or viruses. The sinuses have several important functions that most of us overlook. The spaces in sinuses lighten our otherwise bony face, help resonate our speech, serve as a sort of crumple zone to protect vital structures in case of injury, and humidify and heat the air we breathe.
The sinuses are lined with cells that continually produce mucus to moisturize and lubricate the cavity to avoid friction when you move your face or swallow.
Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become inflamed due to bacteria or viruses. The presence of bacteria or viruses triggers inflammation and infection. If this happens, the lining of the sinuses become swollen, causing very uncomfortable symptoms.
How Long Can A Sinus Infection Last If Not Treated
If you dont see a doctor for treatment, how long will it take a sinus infection to go away?
Depending on which type of sinus infection you have, a sinus infection can last anywhere from 10 days to 3 months. Its best to see a medical provider for treatment if you can., Dr. Varghese says.
Most acute sinus infections last about 10 days, while chronic sinusitis lasts longer than 12 weeks.
Viral sinus infections typically improve after about seven to 10 days, but mild symptoms may last longer than that. Bacterial sinusitis, on the other hand, may actually get worse after the seven-day mark and can persist without improvement for 10 days to a few weeks.
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Understanding Bacterial Sinus Infections
Bacterial sinus infections most often occur following a cold or flu when the sinuses have become blocked or filled with mucus. The inability for a blocked sinus to drain combined with the naturally warm, moist environment create optimal conditions for bacteria to grow and spread, eventually turning into a sinus infection.
The most common bacteria associated with sinus infections include:
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Streptococcus pneumonia
Bacterial sinus infections are more likely to be found in individuals who have symptoms for 10 to 14 days or exhibit more severe symptoms, such as a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher as well as facial pain lasting more than four days.
Although bacterial sinus infections can be more severe and last longer, they actually arent contagious. You cant spread the bacteria causing the sinus infection.
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The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
People often assume that its possible to tell the difference between a viral and bacterial sinus infection based on the type of symptoms they experience. Unfortunately, thats not the case. Usually, the symptoms of a sinus infection are the same or very similar whether its caused by bacteria or a virus.
Common symptoms of either a viral or bacterial sinus infection include green or yellow mucous/discharge, bad breath, headache, and fever.
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Regardless Of Whether Your Sinus Infection Is Contagious Youll Treat It The Same Way
Most sinus infections are pretty good at clearing up on their own, so all youll need for the next few days is some good ol self-care . On your next CVS run, snag a saline nasal spray to dial down swelling, a good OTC decongestant , andif youre super stuffed upa neti pot to mechanically wash out mucus with warm salt water, suggests Dr. Husain. Just do not share your nasal spray or neti pot with anyone .
To ease the pain from sinus pressure, press a warm compress to your face or breathe in lots of steam from a hot mug or shower for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a day.
If its been 10 days and youre still suffering from the same symptoms, call up your doctor to schedule an appointment, as you may have a bacterial sinus infectionwhich will require a prescription for a course of antibiotics, says Dr. Husain.
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Common Infections And Your Child
It may seem like your child is always sick. Thats because young children are exposed to many new germs and havent yet built up enough defenses against them. Most young children will have 8 to 10 colds a year. The good news is that most of these infections are mild and wont last very long. As children get older, they get sick less often.
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Preventing The Spread Of Viruses
If you have an ear or sinus infection caused by a virus, you can help prevent the spread of the illness to others. Viruses that cause colds and flus that can contribute to ear and sinus infections are spread by infected people. You can become contagious before you get symptoms of a cold or flu, which is why it is important to always practice good hygiene. Cold and flu viruses can be spread through the air if you breathe in air with droplets containing a virus, you can become infected. Also, personal contact can spread the virus. Kissing, hugging, shaking hands and other touching can spread the virus from person to person.
To reduce the chance of viral infections and subsequent ear or sinus infections, those who are sick with a cold or flu should stay home. Those who are sick should cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing to reduce the number of droplets spread into the air. Everyone should wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth this can introduce viruses into the body. Sanitizing surfaces like counters, door handles and other common areas can also reduce the spread of contagious illnesses that can cause ear and sinus infections.
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How Long A Sinus Infection Lasts
While the symptoms youre experiencing wont necessarily help you determine the cause of your infection, the duration of the sinusitis can provide some clues. Often, viral infections dont last that long. If your sinus infection lasts for about a week, its usually due to a virus.
Bacterial sinus infections, on the other hand, can persist for some time. They usually last for 10 days or longer. While viral infections usually start to get better after a few days, bacterial infections tend to get worse over time. Bacteria are usually responsible for cases of chronic sinusitis.
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Viral Sinus Infections: Contagious
Acute sinusitis caused by a virus or viral infection is often considered contagious. Interestingly, however, the sinusitis itself isnt whats causing you to be contagious. The culprit is, in fact, a virus, such as the one that causes the common cold. These viruses, such as rhinoviruses, influenza A, and influenza B, cause your body to respond with acute sinusitis, a symptom of a larger problem.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis caused by a viral sinus infection often last a week to ten days. During this time, its possible for the virus to spread from one person to another. The most common type of transmission occurs via hand-to-hand contact. Simple precautions such as hand washing can easily prevent the virus and acute sinusitis from spreading.
Are There Different Types Of Sinusitis
Physicians classify sinusitis in three ways:
- Acute * sinusitis often develops after a person has had a cold, with symptoms lasting less than 3 weeks.
- Chronic * sinusitis can last 3 to 8 weeks or longer it often occurs in people who have allergies or asthma.
- Recurrent sinusitis consists of several acute episodes of sinusitis in 1 year.
* cystic fibrosis is a disease that causes the body to produce thick mucus that clogs passages in many of the bodys organs, including the lungs.
* polyps are bumps or growths usually on the lining or surface of a body part . Their size can range from tiny to large enough to cause pain or obstruction. They may be harmless, but they also may be cancerous.
* acute describes an infection or other illness that comes on suddenly and usually does not last very long.
* chronic means continuing for a long period of time.
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Types Of Sinus Infections
There are several types of sinus infections, which are classified by duration.
They include the following:
- Acute infections that last for about 4 or less weeks
- Subacute infections that last for about 4 12 weeks
- Chronic infections that last for longer than 12 weeks
- Recurrent infections that occur several times a year
Additionally, each type of sinus infection has several potential causes, including bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
Some cases of sinusitis occur with only swelling and inflammation due to blockages in the nasal passages or deformities in the sinus cavities. Allergies and chronic exposure to pollutants can also lead to sinus infections.
Sinus infections often feel like a bad cold. It may be difficult for people to distinguish between a cold and a sinus infection. Some of the most common symptoms resemble a cold. These include:
- pressure in the sinus cavities
Sinus infections caused by bacteria have a few additional symptoms. These symptoms include:
- pus-like or thick nasal discharge
- symptoms lasting longer than a week
- facial pain
For most sinus infections, treatment focuses primarily on symptom relief. There are many options available to relieve bothersome symptoms.
- nasal irrigation to reduce mucus drainage and remove irritants
- medicated nasal sprays containing corticosteroids that reduce inflammation
- oral steroids for more severe infections
Some of the most common over-the-counter treatments to help treat sinus infections include:
A More In Depth Explanation Of Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.
With acute sinusitis, it might be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face might feel swollen, and you might have throbbing facial pain or a headache.
Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a week to 10 days.
In most cases, home remedies are all thats needed to treat acute sinusitis. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis.
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