When To See A Doctor For Sinus Pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment. Allina Health has many convenient care options for care, from online visits to walk-in care, to help you get better fast.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat for your treatment options.
What Are The Common Medications To Treat Sinus Infection
The primary six types of medications and surgery used for treating sinus infections include:
They help in reducing swelling, pressure, and congestion of mucus in the nasal passages. Usually used as nasal sprays, such as Afrin Nasal Spray and oral pills like Sudafed. These medications should be taken as prescribed by the doctor and for a maximum of three days.
Tylenol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Over-the-counter pain relievers may help reduce symptoms associated with a sinus infection. It helps relieve pain, swelling, and fever. However, these should not be taken for longer periods.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are usually not necessary for sinus infections, but physicians may prescribe one if they suspect a bacterial infection is the cause of sinusitis. Generic antibiotics like amoxicillin or cefdinir can be used to stop the growth of or kill bacteria to resolve a sinus infection. Other popular antibiotics prescribed for sinus infections include Zithromax or . Common side effects of antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Steroids:Corticosteroids can improve sinus drainage by reducing inflammation of the sinuses. Doctors typically only prescribe steroids for severe sinus infections. The most common steroids used for sinus infection treatment are prednisone and Medrol . Prolonged use of steroids can cause disruptions in the bodyâs hormone levels, so they should only be taken as advised.
Home Remedies For Sinus Infections
When pressure builds in your forehead, your nose is running, and you just dont feel good, you may have a sinus infection, or sinusitis.
Most sinus infections will resolve themselves in seven to 10 days, just by taking care of yourself at home, said Riverwood Physician Assistant Emily Goranson. Start taking an antihistamine during the allergy season or use a Neti pot right away at the onset of a cold.
Here are six at-home treatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.
Flush your nasal cavity. Use a Neti pot, a container designed to rinse debris or mucus from your nasal cavity. This is a therapy that uses a salt and water solution to flush your nasal passages. Remember to use distilled water only. Neti pots are often available in pharmacies, health food stores and online.
Use a decongestant spray. Use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray that contains salt water to help keep your nasal passages moist, unblock congestion and treat inflammation.
Drink a lot of fluids. Drinking water and/or juice can help thin your mucus. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can cause dehydration.
Get plenty of rest. Sleep helps your body fight infection and speed up recovery. While you sleep, prop yourself up with a couple of pillows to help you breathe more comfortably.
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Whats Happening In My Body
Most sinus infections come from colds that start in the nose.
A lot of sinus infections are caused by coronaviruses.
These viruses replicate in the nose. Your immune system then kicks off an inflammatory response to help kill the virus. This can cause swelling in the sinuses, leading to your symptoms.
Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections dont respond to antibiotics and usually just need to run their course. But you dont have to take it lying down!
Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
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Do These Things Work For Kids
Sinus infections make everyone miserable, children as well as adults!
Most of the tips above also work for kids, but antihistamines arent recommended for young children.
Young children cant blow their noses well, so helping them thin and clear the mucus from their nose is beneficial.
A nasal aspirator or a product like the Nose Frida can be a lifesaver in helping young children breathe through their nose.
A warm bath can help clear the sinuses and take a childs mind off their illness.
Kids are often fascinated by the condensation that forms on surfaces in a steamy room. To occupy them while a hot shower runs in the bathroom, try tracing pictures with them on the mirror!
Should You Visit A Specialist
If your sinus infection just wont go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:
- Youve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
- Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
- You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks
Living with a sinus infection is miserable and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.
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Can I Prevent Sinusitis
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
- Donât smoke, and avoid other people’s smoke.
- Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season, and try not to touch your face.
- Stay away from things you know youâre allergic to. Talk to your doctor to see if you need prescription medicines, allergy shots, or other forms of immunotherapy.
If your sinus problems keep coming back, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery to clean and drain the sinuses.
How Can You Tell If You Have Chronic Sinusitis
Does it feel like your sinus infection just wont quit? If you experience at least two of the following for 12 weeks or more even though youve been treated it may be chronic sinusitis:
- A stuffed nose
- Discharge of mucus or postnasal drip
- Pain or pressure in your face
- Problems with smell
Chronic sinus infections can be triggered by colds but are typically caused by long-term inflammation. Sometimes, when treatments to control that inflammation fail, people with chronic sinusitis need surgery to drain their mucus.
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Can Sinusitis Be Prevented
Simple changes in your lifestyle or home environment can help lower the risk of sinusitis. For example, during the winter, use a humidifier to keep home humidity at 45%50%. This will stop dry air from irritating the sinuses and make them less of a target for infection. Clean your humidifier often to prevent mold growth.
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Get Your Antibiotics Fast
No one likes being sick, and having a sinus infection can be very uncomfortable. Getting antibiotics as fast as possible is crucial to healing, and is made possible with PlushCare. Our online doctors can diagnose your sinus infection, write a prescription, and send it to your local pharmacy in 15 minutes. PlushCare can help you effectively, quickly, and easily treat your sinus infection.
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How To Prevent Sinusitis
- Drink a lot, whether it is water or juice. More than two liters a day, especially if the symptoms continue.
- Avoid dust or smoke pollutionbecause this further irritates the nasal cavity.
- I prefer humid places, and To wet the room, you can place water or use special equipment.
- Wet your nose with compresses of hot water. Showers are also recommended because the steam helps release the nasal sinuses.
- Do not use too many inhalers because, in the long run, they will be counterproductive.
- Clean your nose well. You can find some products containing water and salt in the pharmacy.
Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.
I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.
When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.
#2: Mucous Color
I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.
Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.
So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.
#3: Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.
However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
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Saline Spray And Sinus Rinses
Using a saline solution, rinse your nose and sinuses with a neti pot or other irrigation system.
You can buy saline solution over the counter or make your own at home with distilled water and saline packets. Saline spray also comes in small bottles that you can spray directly into your nose.
Sinus rinses like these work by flushing mucus out of the nose and sinuses to keep things flowing freely.
Saline also has a natural decongesting effect, meaning it shrinks your swollen nasal tissues and makes it easier for you to breathe through your nose!
Drinking Liquids Help Ease Sinus Pain And Loosens Congestion
Staying hydrated keeps your sinuses moist so you feel better, and it also decreases the thickness of sinus mucus so it flows out more easily, Del Signore says.
Everyone is guilty of not drinking enough water, he says, recommending people get from six to eight 8-ounces glasses every day.
Steer clear of too many caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, which can cause dehydration.
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What Are The Best Home Remedies For Sinus Infections
There are a few simple home remedies that can be effective for relieving your pain and helping you clear your sinuses. To avoid using medications, try a warm compress on the nose and face, and flush nasal passages with a warm saline irrigation, says Dr. Elmore.
A homemade solution for nasal irrigation is one of the best home treatments for a sinus infection. You can use a syringe or a neti pot to stream a solution of non-iodized salt, baking soda, and lukewarm distilled water through the nostrils to help keep your nasal passages clean. Or, you can choose a product at your pharmacy that is already prepared and ready to mix packets.
Other home remedies for sinus infections include staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water, using decongestant nasal sprays, and inhaling steam over the stove or in the shower. Certain lifestyle adjustments may also promote nasal drainage such as sleeping with your head elevated at night or keeping a humidifier running in your home to avoid an arid environment.
To relieve pain at home, you can use a warm compress or take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce headaches and facial pain from congestion.
Natural Home Remedies For Sinusitis
Sinusitis is a condition that impacts the daily lives of 1 in 10 of our family, friends, and neighbors in Scottsdale and surrounding areas. If you are one of the thousands in our community that are trying to find out how to cure sinus infections permanently, then you understand how the symptoms of sinusitis make daily life difficult. Dizziness is one of the most common sinus infection symptoms and a sinus headache follows as a close second. Sinus sufferers also struggle with symptoms such as:
- Sleep disruption
- Nasal congestion or post-nasal drip
- Breathing problems
- Facial pain
- Coughing, sneezing, runny nose
These symptoms result in countless hours of missed work/school, a loss of productivity, and impaired ability to fully enjoy all that life has to offer.
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Natural Home Remedies For A Sinus Infection
If you are one of the more than 30 million Americans who find themselves suffering from sinus infections , then you understand the daily struggle. Depending on the day or the season, your symptoms may range from a minor inconvenience to a major battle. Youâve battled to breathe, battled to sleep, battled to focus at work, all the while dealing with headaches, coughing, ear pain, and so much more. The good news is that sinusitis treatment is available and it does not always require invasive and risky surgical procedures.
Too often people find themselves confused and frustrated as they desperately seek the elusive sinusitis cure. This search sometimes drives sinusitis sufferers to the extremes from a constant rotation of ineffective over-the-counter medications to invasive and irreversible surgery. Some sinus sufferers are so disillusioned by these options that they choose to do nothing and are resigned to living without any relief from these agonizing symptoms. The good news is that real and lasting sinus infection treatment options are available and it is possible to find relief without risky surgery or complicated pharmaceuticals.
What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.
Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives. Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever. Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose. About 30 million adults have “sinusitis.” Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.
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Over The Counter Medications
For help alleviating sinus pressure and pain, try ibuprofen and a decongestant. Some medications include a combination of pain reliever and decongestant.
Mild antihistamines like Claritin and Allegra are helpful in moderation. Strong antihistamines like Benadryl are often way too drying. Be careful not to take antihistamines too often.
Even though you want your nose to stop running, too many antihistamines can make it more likely that youll get sinus infections in the future.
Drugs like Mucinex and Flonase can also be helpful in thinning the mucus in your nose and sinuses.
If you use Afrin, make sure you stop after three days. Though it can seem like a miracle drug, using it more than three days in a row can lead to something called rebound congestion. In other words, when you stop using the Afrin after continuous use, your nose becomes more congested than it was in the first place!
Sinus Infection Or Allergies
Sinusitis Symptoms , Allergies, and Common Cold are almost identical.
How can you tell which one is responsible for your misery?
Well, apparently a bacterial sinus infection lasts longer than the common cold. The mucus tends to thicken and discolor, and pressure and pain are involved in the horror story too.
Allergy Signs and Symptoms:
- Sneezing & stuffy or runny nostrils
- Clear or whitish nasal drip
- Itchy watery eyes
- Pain in the upper teeth
- Pressure or pain in upper cheeks, top of the nose, between eyes or forehead
- Stuffed nose, mucus is thick and yellow, greenish or grayish
- Symptoms last more than 10-14 days
But whatever it is, the following remedies can help either.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
What Is A Sinus Infection
The sinuses, or sinus cavities, are hollow spaces that air flows through within the bones surrounding the nose. A sinus infection or sinusitis occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed. Normally, your sinuses are filled with air. When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.
How long do sinus infections last? Well, that depends on what type of sinus infection you have. Acute sinusitis can last over two weeks even with appropriate treatment. If your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 to 14 days, then youre more likely to have bacterial sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis lasts much longer at least 12 weeks! Chronic sinusitis with polyps is an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts 12 weeks or longer and is associated with having nasal polyps. Other forms of chronic sinusitis are associated with allergies or a deviated septum and also last 12 weeks or longer.
How can you tell what type of sinus infection you have? Your doctor wont be able to tell you if your sinus infection is bacterial or viral based on symptoms or an exam alone. The best way to tell the root of a sinus infection is symptom duration. If its a viral sinus infection, it should start to improve after five to seven days. On the other hand, a bacterial infection often lasts seven to 10 days or even longer and the infection can get worse after seven days.
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