Monday, July 15, 2024

Best Way To Treat A Viral Sinus Infection

Treatments For A Sinus Infection

Ask Dr. Mike: What is a sinus infection and how do I treat it?

At-home, natural treatments like nasal irrigation may be the first thing on your mind when you think of treatments for a sinus infection.

However, natural remedies may not cut it at times. If natural treatments for sinus infections dont work, your medical provider might recommend medications like antibiotics or decongestants.


Your doctor might recommend one or a combination of the following medications to help decrease inflammation in the nose and sinuses, reduce pain and improve sinus drainage.

Common medications include:

  • Pain relievers

Home care

Many sinus infection home care remedies are still effective. Some simple suggestions for treating your sinus infection are:

  • A nasal rinse or wash
  • A cold compress on or around your eyes and forehead
  • Steam
  • Using a humidifier at night
  • Drinking plenty of water

Alternative therapies

Some providers may recommend alternative therapies for sinus infections, like nutritional supplements, herbs, or acupuncture. There are risks to any treatment methods, however, and you should always consult with a specialist before beginning any treatment plan for your sinus infections.


In extreme cases, sinus surgery may be necessary to remove whatever is blocking nasal passages. That may be small pieces of bone, swollen or damaged tissue, or nasal polyps.

  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal issues like sensitive stomach, diarrhea, or ulcers. Antibiotics are also common triggers for these issues.

Risks of sinus surgery

Treatment For Sinus Infection

Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.

Viral Vs Bacterial Sinus Infection

Viral Sinus Infection

Aside from causing common cold, viruses can cause inflammation in the sinuses. Symptoms like a runny nose and nasal congestion are some of the hallmarks of viruses which can further lead to inflammation of the sinuses. The discomfort from the illness reaches its peak usually on the fourth or fifth day and slowly begins to recede afterwards. It can take anywhere from a week to ten days for the above mentioned nasal symptoms to go away on their own. Improvement in patients with common cold can be seen after that, yet it might take them more time to return to normal.

Bacterial Sinus Infection

Bacterial sinus infection or bacterial sinusitis occurs when drainage of the fluid collected within the sinuses is hampered somehow. This is often observed in common cold which causes an overload of the fluid in the sinuses. Bacteria tend to thrive in the sinus pockets that are wet, moist and filled with fluid. The bacterial growth usually occurs after 10-day duration of the common cold.

Doctors are not able to differentiate between viral or bacterial sinusitis since the diagnosis for both of them is to check the symptoms like nasal congestion, headache, cough, thick post-nasal or nasal drainage, etc. In some cases, the help of other diagnostic tests like cultures or CT scans is taken to reach a definitive diagnosis.

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What Are The Best Treatments For Bacterial Sinusitis Vs Viral Sinusitis

Viral sinusitis typically does not require antibiotics. In fact, the overuse of antibiotics can end up fostering bacteria that become resistant to these drugs. This is why antibiotics arent usually prescribed right away for sinusitis. Instead, most doctors take a wait and see approach to see if theres evidence that sinusitis is indeed caused by bacteria before prescribing antibiotics.

If your sinusitis is viral, the best treatment is usually plenty of rest and drinking fluids to help thin the mucus. You can also take decongestants to help clear your sinuses, but theyll heal on their own with time as the virus runs its course.

In contrast, bacterial sinusitis can require antibiotics in order to fight off the bacteria that have formed. As with a viral infection, rest and plenty of fluids are also advised. They can help you feel a little better and can thin your mucus so it may drain more easily, but youll need antibiotics in order to fight the bacteria that cause this type of sinus infection. If your bacterial sinusitis doesnt improve after you complete your course of antibiotics, you should be re-examined. You may need a new course of a different antibiotic, along with further examination that may include imaging.

If you feel you have a bacterial or viral sinus infection, it may be best to visit a doctor to be correctly diagnosed so you can receive the most effective treatment.

What Are The Common Medications To Treat Sinus Infection

Sinus Infection Cough Treatment

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.

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What Is Bacterial Sinusitis

Bacterial sinus infections are less common but do occur as a result of a severe sinus infection.

Some common symptoms of bacterial sinusitis include:

  • Cold symptoms that havent improved or have gotten worse over the first ten days
  • Extreme fevers
  • Facial pain or nasal discharge that lasts four or more days

Sinus Infection Treatment At Home

Sinus infections cause facial pain and overall discomfort. Moreover, it can also leave you with your head buried in a pillow for days. No matter if the patient is suffering from sinus for the first time, or treats the sinus infection year after year, below are mentioned best sinus infection treatment options to help you get relief fast, at home.

Irrespective of what causes a sinus infection, one thing is certain- everybody wants a quick relief. Although the fastest option for treating sinusitis is curing the underlying cause, home remedies are surely the quickest way to get relief from symptoms of sinusitis.

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How Sinus Infection Occurs

So now lets know how this sinus infection occurs. As you know the sinus works for the production of mucus inside them so that they can pass the mucus to the nose and the nose become lubricated in a general state but during an infection such as common cold flu or just an allergy, the sinuses the walls of the sinuses get swelled up and the way of sinuses through which it is passing the mucus to the nose get blocked and the mucus which is secreted by the sinuses just collapsed in that small area. So, due to the collection of the mucus in that area, the mucus starts pressuring the walls of our cheeks the walls of our forehead thats why the symptoms such as headache fever, and the blockage or the congested nose occur during a sinus infection.

There are exceptional cases of tumor development in our nose or just the nostril lining that divides the nostrils in two parts will go in aside. These are exceptional cases and also at the time, the viruses and bacteria start to infect the sinuses. The filled up mucus means that the bacteria and viruses start growing in that sinus spaces in which the mucus is already filled up and just they are starting to degrading that mucus thats like a stagnant water situation as i told at the beginning thats when the water body gets stagnant then lots of microorganisms start to develop in it and start to degrading that area so as such occurs with our sinuses.

Sinusitis Or Sinus Infection Treatment At Home

Natural Treatments For Sinus Infection | Best Health Tips | Educational Videos

Sinusitis is also known as sinus infection which we can treat at home as well. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses that can be very painful. It isnt necessarily the result of infection.

Swelling, redness, discomfort, heat, and functional impairment are all symptoms of inflammation. Allergens, bacteria, viruses, fungus, and autoimmune disorders can all cause it. This inflammation produces swelling of the sinus lining, resulting in an obstruction in the aperture, allowing secretions to gather within the Sinusitis. Sinusitis is the condition.

You can definitely recover from the Sinus from the first day or within two to three days. The sinus infection can be completely cured at home.

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Diagnosis Of A Sinus Infection

Only a licensed healthcare professional can diagnose a sinus infection, so make sure you review your symptoms with one. A healthcare professional may diagnose your sinus infection using these methods:

  • Performing a physical exam
  • Running an imaging test like a CT scan or an MRI
  • In severe cases, ordering a rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy, a procedure that involves inserting a flexible instrument up the nostrils to look for blockages

Another part of diagnosing a sinus infection is identifying triggers like allergic rhinitis or frequent stuffy or runny noses related to allergies.

How Can You Tell If You Have An Acute Sinus Infection

Its tempting to label every nasal issue as a sinus infection, but thats not always the case. Common symptoms of acute sinusitis include:

  • Headaches and sometimes, toothaches
  • Fever
  • Halitosis

Many people believe that green snot means you have a bacterial sinus infection, curable only with antibiotics. Not true. Sage-colored mucus is common with viral infections and allergies and can happen when snot sits in your face for a while before being expelled.

Theres usually no need to see an HCP if your symptoms improve after a few days. A trip to your doctor may be necessary if you have a bacterial infection, but it can often be difficult to distinguish between that and a viral infection. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or improve before worsening again, call your HCP.

If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, its a sign to seek medical attention immediately, even if theyve been present for fewer than seven days:

  • Abrupt vision changes
  • Continual high fever

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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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The Second Step To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Is To Drink Warm Fluids That Are High In Protein Sugars Electrolytes Vitamins And Minerals

Top 8 Sinus Infection Natural Remedies

Your body needs proteins to build cellular defenses and sugars to fuel the immune systems that generate white blood cells and antibodies . The electrolytes, vitamins and minerals comprise a number of organic compounds that are needed to sustain hydration in your body as well as to build fatty acids and amino acids which are necessary for the immune system to function.

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How K Health Can Help

Before you get treatment, you first need to know if you have viral or bacterial sinusitis. Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app? Download K to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Identifying Bacterial Sinusitis Vs Viral Sinusitis

A sinus infection is more likely to be caused by bacteria if youve experienced any of the following:

  • Symptoms that last for at least ten days without getting any better
  • Symptoms that are severe, including a high fever
  • Nasal discharge and facial pain that persists for at least three or four consecutive days at the beginning of illness
  • Symptoms that worsen after seeming to improve, or new symptoms that develop, such as a new fever or headache, or an increase in nasal discharge

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Symptoms Of Upper Respiratory Infections In Cats

Runny nose, fatigue, fever, or some swelling may be signs of cat infections. Keep an eye out if your cat is pawing at their face in irritation. If they sneeze or reverse sneeze inhaling nasal discharge into their lungs that can also be a symptom. Note any decrease in appetite as well.

Veterinarians usually require a complete physical examination and a history of behavior changes and appetite before diagnosing infections.

Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose lining. It has many causes, including infections, allergies, or pressure on other areas in the head. Cat rhinitis can also be caused by infections that affect both nasal passages and sinuses, known as dual infection rhinosinusitis .

DIRS occurs when bacteria get into a cats nasal passage through their mouth or nose and then travel down to infect their sinuses. People find it hard to diagnose because pets may show no outward signs but can still spread infections through sneezing or coughing. If your pet develops symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and discharge, treat infections to prevent secondary illness.

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How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed


Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:

  • Redness
  • Discolored nasal discharge
  • Bad Breath

If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.

Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.

Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.

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Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections

No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.

The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection

Ive listed my personal best home remedies for sinus infection, but in the end, its really all about being patient and waiting to see if your sinus infection will go away on its own. The simple truth is, they usually do!

I used to go to my doctor up to seven or eight times a year to get antibiotics for sinus infection. Eventually, a trusted family friend who is also a physician warned me that its very unhealthy to take so many antibiotics, and that I should try to see if my sinus infections would clear up on their own. It was good advice, and I even think that I get fewer sinus infections each year since I stopped taking all of the antibiotics.

Please note that I am not saying you should not go to the doctor. If your sinus infection has been going on for more than a week and you arent seeing any improvement, you should definitely call your doctor. You know your body best. Its especially important to go to the doctor if you have a fever, or if the infection is also in your chest.

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