Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
What Is A Sinus Headache
- A sinus headache is the result of inflammation and a build-up of pressure within the sinuses of the skull.
- The sinuses are cavities or pockets located within the bones of the skull.
- In addition to contributing to the strength and stability of the skull, the sinuses help to humidify and filter the air.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, is a condition where the tissues lining the nasal passages become inflamed. Sinus infections are very common, affecting nearly 30 million people in the U.S. each year, and a large percentage of these infections resolve on their own. Common sinusitis symptoms include nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, and facial pain.
Simply explained, a sinus infection occurs when there is an infection in the sinuses, a connected system of air-filled spaces in the skull. Under normal conditions, mucus drains out so that air can pass through sinus cavities. When fluid builds up in the sinuses, germs grow and an infection can occur.
Sinus infections can cause facial discomfort because of nasal congestion. You may experience a headache, pain behind the eyes, and facial tenderness or swelling. Other sinus infection symptoms are similar to having a bad cold or intense allergies including nasal discharge, postnasal drip, fatigue, sinus pressure, loss of sense of smell, throat irritation, and even a fever.
Typically triggered by allergies or a cold, a sinus infection can take many forms. Acute sinusitis may cause mild symptoms and go away quickly without antibiotics. These cases are often caused by a viral infection like the common cold and do not require anything more than symptomatic treatment for your comfort.
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Cold And Sinus Infection Symptoms
Because a sinus infection often develops due to a cold, it can be difficult to tell if you have a cold or sinus infection. In general, sinus infections tend to cause more pain, pressure or fullness in the sinuses than a cold does. Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Facial pressure, fullness or pain, especially on one side.
- Pain in your teeth.
- Stuffy or runny nose. Nasal discharge may be white, yellow or green.
- Reduced or loss of ability to smell.
- Ear pressure or fullness.
Symptoms of a cold include:
- Stuffy or runny nose. Nasal discharge may be white, yellow or green.
- Post-nasal drip .
- Watery eyes.
- Mild headache or body aches.
Mucinex Expectorant And Cough Suppressant Tablets
Another top pick for chest congestion medicine comes from the same brand Mucinex. The main difference between Mucinex DM Maximum Strenght 12-Hour Expectorant and Cough Suppressant and the first on the list is that they work differently on chest congestion. This product works to suppress a cough stopping any chest irritation that might be causing you to cough in the first place.
This product effectively loosens mucus with guaifenesin and prevents the coughing reflex with dextromethorphan an ingredient lacking in the first option. Mucinex is particularly ideal for people with chest congestion who experience irritating, persistent, and troubling coughing episodes.
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Effective Medicine For Sinusitis
If you have a sinus infection, it may become inflamed with thicker mucus that clogs your nasal passages. Your sinus will have increased pressure from fluid buildup. This can cause bacteria to become trapped, causing further infection to your lining. This is called sinusitis and can last 3-8 weeks. If you dont find any quality medicine for sinusitis, you can develop a chronic condition that will last longer.
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Natural Treatment For Sinus Infection #1 Probiotics
According to Chinese medicine, sinus infections andseasonal allergies are almost always related to gut and intestinal problems.This makes sense as 80% of your immune system is actually located in yourdigestive system. When you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the stomachand colon, your immune system cannot function properly or fight off any foreigninvaders. The bad bacteria also take over and thrive in unlikely places such asyour nasal passages, causing both acute and chronic sinus infections.
If youhave a sinus infection and/or any of the accompanying health problems we listedearlier, you will very likely have a toxic overload of bad bacteria in yourbody. So to kill off these nasty little creatures you need plenty of goodbacteria . The way it works is the friendly bacteria basically runthe bad guys out of town then take up residence themselves which is a goodthing of course!
In addition to this, certain probiotics produce hydrogen peroxide as a natural by-product. And hydrogen peroxide is a powerful bacterial killer and excellent remedy for sinus infections! .
Best Ways to Get Your Probiotics
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Can/should I Take A Sinus Decongestant For A Sinus Infection
You can take certain decongestants for a sinus infection. Decongestants that contain only pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine are more typically recommended for a sinus infection. Decongestants with additional ingredients like antihistamines may suppress your bodys immune response and interfere with your bodys ability to fight the infection. If you have a severe sinus infection, or if youre on antibiotics, consult with your doctor about the best OTC medication choice for you.
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.
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Fever And Pain Reducers
If you have a fever and/or pain, take two acetaminophen tablets. After four hours, if you still have pain or fever, take two ibuprofen tablets. You can rotate these every four hours.
Valdez said it is very important to be careful when combining all these medicines to make sure you are not doubling up on a single agent. Some of these medications may contain a lower dose of any of the above mentioned agents, so check the labels carefully.
Remember those agents are: acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever/pain, dextromethorphan for cough and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine and guaifenesin for decongestants and expectorants.
Lastly, Valdez said to keep the following in mind:
- If you have a fever, do not go into work or school you should be fever free for 24 hours.
- Rest is the best medicine. Let the virus run its course if your body is run down it will take it longer to fight off the infection.
- To prevent sinus infections, get a flu shot , wash your hands often and cover your cough and sneeze.
Dry Air Drying You Out Just Add Water
Another potential remedy for a stuffy nose is salt water, which eases congestion by moistening and clearing the nasal passages. Dry air can increase mucus production and thicken the mucus so that it accumulates in the sinuses, explains Auth. Other irritants that buildup in nasal passages can also lead to nasal inflammation if they arent flushed out.
The nose loves salt water, says Seidman. A home remedy I tell people about is to mix 1 quart of sterilized water, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon , and then run it up your nose.
Neti pots are nasal rinsing devices that have been around for thousands of years. While theyre generally considered safe, the FDA cautions that they must be used and cleaned properly to avoid the risk of infection. The FDA recommends using purchased distilled or sterile water, boiled and cooled tap water, or water passed through one of its recommended filters in any of these devices to reduce the risk of infection.
Engle says saline nasal sprays are a convenient option to moisten and help drain a stuffy nose because the contents are premixed and sterile, which reduces the potential for infection if used properly. For people squeamish about rinsing out their nose, experts say simply moistening the air around you can help.
A humidifier is a good thing for young children and people who dont want to use drugs, says Engle. Cool mist humidifiers are recommended in childrens bedrooms to reduce the risk of burns from warm mist versions.
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The Right Way To Treat A Sinus Infection
5 min Read Time
Your head is throbbing, especially around your eyes. You cant stop coughing, and for some reason, your breath is terrible. Blowing your nose is a mess.
Bad news: You could have a sinus infection. Most frequently triggered by the common cold, over 30 million American adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.
So, what exactly are sinus infections? How can you tell if you have one? And holy cow how can you feel better as quickly as possible?
Best For Cold Season: Hylands Over The Counter Sinus Cold Medicine
Next on the list, weve got yet another medicine that manages to win our hearts. Its the Hylands Over The Counter Sinus Cold Medicine and its widely considered as one of the most convenient medicine you can buy. The hylands over the counter sinus cold medicine is crafted with natural ingredients and it is perfect for relief of cough symptoms. Its had over 100 years of natural relief. And, it is made with artificial flavors and it is great for cold season.
Lastly, the hylandss over the counter sinus cold medicine has not been reviewed by the food and drug administration.
Almost all buyers agree that the medicine is good for very mild congestion, but that is about it. Also, they say that the medicine has a very pleasant, slightly sweet taste. Also, a few strongly agree that this one is no exception.
Top Customer Quotes:
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Where Are Your Sinusesand What Is Sinus Pressure
When it comes to sinus pressure, it’s essentially swelling in your sinuses in response to three different scenarios: a pressure change between the air inside your sinuses and the air outside your sinuses , when irritants invade your sinuses , or when you have an anatomical issue .
Unfortunately, you can’t cater your sinus pain treatments to what’s causing itbut the good news is that most available remedies can work to reduce inflammation and swelling in your sinuses regardless of what’s causing it. Here’s a guide, according to doctors, on the best ways to treat sinus pain so you can start feeling better ASAP.
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Common Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Antibiotics may be prescribed when symptoms of a sinus infection warrant such treatment. Common antibiotics for sinus infection include:
- Levaquin : Although this drug is often prescribed as a first line of therapy for sinusitis, it has serious side effects and should only be used as a last resort.
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Neilmed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit
For effective removal of accumulated mucus, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit can be an ideal product. This formulation allows users to achieve a deep rinse, cleaning out most of the accumulation to free out the airways. Whats more, the rinse also incorporates safe ingredients, making it a safe solution for users as young as 2 years of age.
The rinse is highly effective, providing relief from congestion for up to 6 hours after use. The only concern that some users have with the product is that it can be a hassle to use, especially when you are out or away from home.
Sinus Infection Medications: Medicines That Help Treat Sinusitis
Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Masters of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
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How Long Will It Take To Feel Better
Sinus infections are usually caused by viruses and typically will get better over five to seven days, Dr. McCormick says. If the symptoms persist for longer or the symptoms get better but quickly return, patients should see a doctor to determine if they need antibiotics or if there is another cause for their symptoms, he adds.
While these medications will help you feel better, they wont necessarily wipe out your symptoms completely. And, because sinus infections are usually caused by a virus, you just kind of have to ride it out. Dr. McCormick also recommends doing saline irrigations with a nasal spray or neti pot to help you feel more comfortable while you wait.
Medications For Sinus Disorders
Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections. Theyâre useful for treating bacterial sinus infections but will not help a cold caused by a virus. Many bacteria that were once treatable by common antibiotics have become resistant, so doctors in the UPMC Sino-Nasal and Allergy Center are careful when prescribing antibiotics for sinus problems. A culture of the bacteria found in the sinuses will provide guidelines to the best sinus antibiotic to use.
While taking an antibiotic, it may help to restore the good bacteria in your system by taking probiotics or acidophilus tablets. You can also eat foods that contain large amounts of benign bacteria, such as yogurt or kefir.
The body releases histamine during an allergy attack. Histamine causes sneezing, itching, and welting. Antihistamines block the histamine receptors that cause allergic reactions.
Newer antihistamines like Zyrtec , Clarinex , Allegra , and Claritin have a very low rate of causing side effects, compared to older antihistamines. They do not cause drowsiness, except for Zyrtec. Zyrtec may impair performance or cause sedation, but much less often than the older antihistamines.
Sudafed is now a behind-the-counter decongestant. Phenylephrine is less effective than pseudoephedrine. All oral decongestants can cause side effects such as urinary retention, insomnia, and jitteriness.
Leukotrienes are potent agents of broncho constriction.
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What Home Remedies Help Soothe Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis Symptoms
Sinus infections caused by viruses can use home treatments such as pain and fever medications , decongestants, and mucolytics. In addition, some health care professionals suggest nasal irrigation or a sinus rinse solution to help relieve symptoms of sinus infections, even chronic sinusitis symptoms. This irrigation is accomplished with a “Neti-Pot” or a sinus rinse kit . The last reference of this article shows a video of a sinus rinse procedure. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning about the use of Neti-Pots. The FDA cautions people not to use untreated tap water for rinsing, as contaminated tap water rinses lead to two deaths.
Bacterial and fungal sinus infections usually require antibiotic or antifungal therapy so home treatments without them are often not successful. However, some authors suggest home treatments may reduce symptoms after medical therapy has begun some healthcare professionals recommend nasal irrigation after sinus surgery.
When Can I Expect To Feel Better
Most people recover from sinusitis caused by colds in about a week, but symptoms can take anywhere from 10 days up to 8 weeks to clear up. If symptoms persist for 3 months or more, it is called chronic sinusitis. This condition is a bit more complex where inflammation of the mucous membranes takes much longer to heal. Read more about chronic sinusitis.
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How Can I Avoid Future Sinus Infections
Once youve had a nasty sinus infection, you wont want to relive the experience. To help prevent them from occurring again, get your annual flu shot and steer clear of people with colds or the flu. Use your humidifier. Live as healthfully as you can get sufficient sleep, reduce stress and eat a wholesome diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and if you do smoke, take steps to quit. Last, but not least, always wash your hands.
Ultimately, sinusitis is a painful and revolting nuisance. But approaching them with these smart strategies could save you a world of hurt.
This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
What To Do For Sinus Pressure And Pain At Home
Here are the top 10 at-hometreatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.
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