Signs It May Be A Sinus Infection And Not The Flu/cold
During the winter season, its common to get a case of the cold or flu, but its important to know when its something more serious, like a sinus infection. The sooner you catch your symptoms, the sooner you can take steps to treat it.
Symptoms of the common cold and a sinus infection can be similar at first: sore throat, runny nose, cough. But sinus infections also cause facial pain, as the pressure in the sinuses build up. Most cases of a sinus infection are viral and can be treated with pain control , nasal sprays , and saline sprays, to help with the discomfort.
3 Signs that you might have a sinus infection and may want to make an appointment to see a doctor
If you experience any of these symptoms and your physician diagnoses you with bacterial sinusitis, they may prescribe an antibiotic to help you feel better.
Sinus Pain And Pressure
Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.
The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.
Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.
Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.
Signs Of A Sinus Infection
- ENT Institute
Sinus infections: Theyre painful, annoying, and sometimes debilitating. Powering through work amid an infection is like attempting to stroll through molasses youd just have better luck giving up. The signs of a sinus infection are distinct, setting themselves apart from other nasal and sinus dilemmas.
But occasionally a sinus infection is mistaken for allergies or a viral infection. Without the proper information, its reasonable to assume that a simple sinus inflammation could be confused for a common cold or the more ominous COVID-19.
Having said that though, things like colds and allergies factor into sinus infections. If youve had one, more than likely, youve previously had a virus or an allergic reaction to something. Even after the symptoms of said cold and allergic reaction dissipate, a sinus infection still develops.
Before we start on the signs of a sinus infection, here are two types of sinus infections you should be mindful of. First, acute sinus infections are more common and less debilitating. Second, chronic sinusitis lasts much longer and occurs more frequently. If you experience the latter, its time to visit a specialist, like the ones at the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute.
Anyway, heres why you opened the blog in the first place.
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What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.
The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.
It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.
In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.
In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.
Sinusitis Encourages Other Health Issues
Body aches is one of the most critical sinus complications in which it becomes highly difficult to focus on work or do other daily chores. As per medical texts or records in journals, it is said that patients with sinusitis have been diagnosed with other several health conditions like depression, arthritis, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Many people remain unaware of sinusitis treatments by which one can definitely keep these health problems away from life. Although, it is confirmed that body aches is purely connected to sinus complications. Thus, getting effective treatment from a qualified doctor at its initial stage can help you protecting from such disorder.
Sinus Infection The Flu And The Common Cold: Know The Difference
Sniffles, sneezes and sore throats are all common signs of colds, sinus infections and the flu. These diseases affect millions of Americans each year. In fact:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, Americans have an average of two to three colds a year. Children often have more.
- More than 12,000 people die each year due to complications from the flu.
- More than 29 million Americans have sinus infections or sinus-related problems each year.
Treating these conditions is challenging enough, but because they have so many similar symptoms, how can you tell them apart? Knowing the difference is important because it can determine the best course of treatment and home care strategies.
Weve provided this handy guide to help you. First, we look at the common symptoms of each illness and then examine the distinct differences between them.
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Eye Mucus At Night And After Waking Up
Eye mucus is described as thick, yellow discharge that forms in the corners of the eye. Often settling into a hard crust on the eyelid and lashes, mucus in eye can also be more pus-like, with green, liquid discharge leaking from the eye.
Most commonly, mucus builds overnight while you are sleeping, and it seeps out of your eye throughout the night. In more extreme cases, you might even wake up being unable to open your eyes. If you have an eye infection, such as conjunctivitis, mucus will continue to seep from the eye throughout the day.
How Do You Know If Your Sinus Infection Is Getting Better
Lets say you do have a fever and thick, yellowish mucus. Odds are its a sinus infection. But how do you know whether or not its a bacterial sinus infection?If youre on day 3 or 4 of an infection, it will be difficult to ascertain what kind of infection you have on your own.
However, if youre somewhere between day 7 and day 11, this is what you should be on the lookout for:
- Fever is completely gone or noticeably improving
- Your congestion and discharge is obviously lessening
- You dont feel as fatigued as you did a few days ago
The theme here is obvious improvement. If your situation is improving, then you probably have a viral sinus infection and do not need antibiotics. If your situation is not improving , schedule an appointment with your doctor.
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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.
Lack Of Smell And Taste
Sinus congestion will often impact your sense of smell. Because breathing through your nose becomes difficult, you wont be able to smell like you usually do. Your sense of smell informs your sense of taste, so while you will most likely be able to tell apart major ingredients, like salty instead of sweet, food will probably taste fairly bland for you while your sinuses are infected.
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What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis is inflammation of your nasal or sinus passage. Chronic sinusitis is where you have chronic inflammation of your nasal or sinus passages that lasts for over 12 weeks at a time. If you experience more than four sinusitis episodes within a one-year period, it’s considered recurrent sinusitis.
Often, a bacterial infection causes it. In some cases, fungi and viruses cause it. Individuals with weak immune systems have a higher risk of developing a fungal or bacterial sinus infection. Some individuals who have allergies experience “allergic fungal sinus infections.”
Your sinuses are cavities filled with air. They’re located:
Behind your eyebrows and forehead
Within your cheeks’ bony structure
Behind your nose directly in front of your brain
On both sides of the bridge of your nose
A sinus cavity infection close to your brain could become life-threatening if you don’t have it treated. It could spread to your brain, in rare cases.
You normally have a thin layer of mucus that lines your sinuses and traps germs, dust and other particles in the air. Your sinuses have tiny hair-like projections that sweep the mucus towards openings leading to the back of your throat. It slides down to your stomach from there. This is a continuous process which is a normal body function.
Some individuals experience bodily defects contributing to sinus infection. Common defects include:
Bony partition deformity between your two nasal passages
Narrowing of your sinus openings
Can A Sinus Infection Cause Body Aches Nerve Pain And Fatigue
Can a sinus infection cause systemic body aches, nerve pain and general fatigue? If so, are there any specific tests that can be done to absolutely confirm that you have a sinus infection? Finally what can I do to treat a sinus infection naturally?
A sinus infection can cause body aches and general . Though nerve pain is not usual and may only occur, if the infection is severe. Pressure pain on face and headache can be associated. Following tests can confirm the sinus infection
1) A coronal CT of the sinuses and/or fiberoptic nasal endoscopy is diagnostic for it.
2) Some physician may recommend nasal smear also to differential the allergy and infection.
The aim of treatment is
a) relieve the obstruction,
b) treatment of the infection,
c) thinning the mucus, and
d) opening the sinus.
Following is the usual treatment protocol of sinus infection
1) Nasal steroid decrease inflammation and open up the obstruction.
2) Oral decongestants such as are often helpful.
3) Topical decongestant for a short duration.
6) Eucalyptus oil may help
7) Nasal saline irrigation
8) Vitamin C
9) Antibiotics only if nasal culture is positive and there are signs in CT scan.
For treating it naturally steam inhalation, nasal saline water irrigation , Vitamin C, Eucalyptus oil inhalation can be done. Following can increase the body immunity so help in overcoming the sinus infection
1) Omega 3 Fish oil capsule and flaxseed oil capsule.
2) Ginkgo Biloba
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When To See A Doctor For Sinus Infection
According to the , you should see a doctor if you have a sinus infection with:
- changes in vision or difficulty with eye movement
- severe symptoms, such as an intense headache or facial pain
- worsening symptoms after you initially felt better
- symptoms that last longer than 10 days and havent improved
- fever that lasts longer than 3 to 4 days
Additionally, you should see a medical professional if youve had several sinus infections in the past year.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Sinusitis is a common disease that is best managed by an interprofessional team that includes nurses and pharmacists. The key to treatment is to reduce the triggers. Patients should be urged to quit smoking. In addition, empirical use of antibiotics should be avoided. The outcomes depend on the cause but irrespective of treatment, recurrences are common and lead to a poor quality of life.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
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What Is A Secondary Sinus Infection Or Bacterial Sinus Infection
Viral sinusitis lasts 7 to 10 days.
But if the sinuses remain blocked, a secondary sinus infection could develop.
Rather than being caused by a virus, this secondary sinus infection arises due to bacteria that normally live in the respiratory tract.
The common bacteria found in people with bacterial sinusitis are:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae, the bacteria behind pneumococcal disease
- Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium that causes various invasive diseases, including pneumonia, meningitis, and cellulitis
- Moraxella catarrhalis, a leading cause of otitis media in children
- Staphylococcus aureus, which is the bacteria behind âstaphâ skin infections
Prevotella,Porphyromonas, Fusobacterium, and Peptostreptococcus are the genera that include the most common types of bacteria present in people with chronic sinus infections, or those that last 12 weeks or more.
How Does Loss Of Smell Associated With A Sinus Infection Differ From That Of Covid
It is possible to lose your sense of taste or smell with a sinus infection or with COVID-19, says Dr. Glatter. With COVID-19, losing your sense of taste or sense of smell often occurs without experiencing any nasal congestion.
However, newer variants, such as Omicron, typically present with sore throat, hoarseness, congestion, aches, runny nose, fatigue, and possibly a dry cough. Loss of taste and smell was more typical with Delta and the original wild strain of SARS-CoV-2, says Dr. Glatter.
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