Sinus Infection Treatment Options
Mild sinus infections can be managed at home using over-the-counter decongestants, sinus rinses, and rest. If the symptoms dont go away after about a week or 10 days, then its time to schedule an appointment with a doctor.
These are some of the treatments used by ENTs for sinus infections:
- Medications: First, the doctor will identify the type of sinus infection, then prescribe an appropriate medication. Common medications include antibiotics, antifungal medications, nasal corticosteroids, or NSAIDs.
- Surgery: If minimally-invasive treatments arent effective in clearing up the infection, then surgery might be recommended. For example, the doctor might use balloon sinuplasty or functional endoscopic sinus surgeryl to open up the sinus passages.
- Underlying Causes: Why are you experiencing frequent sinus infections? A skilled ENT can help with preventive treatments to minimize the risk of recurring infections in the future.
Our team of ear, nose, and throat specialists dedicates the time and attention needed to support your unique health concerns. By designing a custom treatment plan, we help each patient find relief from mild and severe medical concerns.
How Long Should It Take For A Bad Sinus Infection To Go Away
Before we delve into what to do when your sinusitis wont go away, lets figure out whether you have a sinus infection in the first place. The symptoms shared between the common cold, chronic sinusitis, and chronic allergies, are similar making it rather difficult to deduce which culprit is causing your sinus issues.
One major differentiator, however, is time. A cold should go away within a week. If your cold lasts longer than 7-10 days, its likely that your cold has either turned into a bacterial sinus infection, or you actually had a sinus infection from the very beginning. Whatever the case, if your symptoms persist for more than a week, its best to see a doctor.
Once your doctor determines treatment, your sinus infection symptoms should begin to subside within a few days.
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Bacterial Vs Viral Sinusitis
Sinusitis is also classified by whether its viral or bacterial.
A viral sinus infection is much more common than a bacterial one. With viral sinusitis, a virus infects the lining of your facial and nasal cavities. It is typically caused by a viral upper respiratory infection.
A bacterial sinus infection is caused by bacteria infecting the lining of your facial and nasal cavities. It is usually caused by a virus first, with the bacterial infection coming later. This often starts in the nasal cavity before spreading to the sinuses.
Did You Know?
Bacterial sinusitis is much less common than viral sinusitis0.5-2.0% of cases are bacterial and they usually occur as a complication of viral sinusitis.
Do You Need An Antibiotic Or Are There Other Ways To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
Story by: Rebecca Hall on May 13, 2019
Sinus symptoms can be easy to recognize when youre used to experiencing them around the same time every year. In most places, thats cold and flu season, which occurs in late fall and into winter. But here in Kentucky? Due to high pollen counts, we can be susceptible to sinus infections all year.
The trademark symptom of sinus infections is pressure under and between your eyes and just over your eyebrows. Theres nothing like that tight squeezing feeling in your head! The dreaded sinus pressure may be accompanied by a headache, nasal mucus , cough, sore throat, congestion or other symptoms.
Sinus symptoms are not much fun. So how do you know whether an at-home treatment will do the trick, whether you need to be examined by a health care provider, or if you need an antibiotic for your sinus infection? Heres what you need to know about what to do and where to go for sinus infection treatment.
Warning Signs Of A Sinus Infection Becoming Serious
Sinus infections, or sinusitis, are an inflammatory condition that causes a lot of irritating pain in the sinus area. It can be either a viral or bacterial infection. Many people who have experienced a sinus infection described it as an uncomfortable, annoying feeling within their nasal passages. While most sinus infections can go away on their own, there are some cases of them becoming serious. Here are some warning signs that you must take note of.
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Do Sinus Infections Go Away On Their Own
Whether a sinus infection can go away by itself depends on why it happened in the first place.
A sinus infection caused by bacteria may not necessarily disappear on its own. Sometimes, a doctor may prescribe you antibiotics, which you would take for around two weeks. After you start taking the medication, your symptoms will likely go away.
If the sinus infection is due to a fungus, you may be prescribed an antifungal medicine or fungicide.
Remember, however, that the most common form of sinusitis is viral. In this case, though, you will likely not need any treatment as the infection will resolve on its own within about two weeks. You can help the process along by:
- Using a saline spray to rinse your nasal passages. This allows the mucus to thin out and acts as a decongestant, letting you breathe easier.
- Using a nasal decongestant. For particularly bad cases where your sinus infection interferes with your daily routine, you can temporarily use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant, although not as frequently as a saline rinse.
- Staying hydrated. Drinking more water can lessen the viscosity of mucus, making it thinner and easier to drain out of your nasal passages.
- Getting enough rest. The tiredness that comes with a sinus infection is your body trying to fight it. Allow your body to get the rest that it needs to recover.
Complications And Emergency Symptoms
If an outer ear infection goes untreated and doesnt heal on its own, it can result in several complications.
Abscesses can develop around the affected area within the ear. These may heal on their own, or your doctor may need to drain them.
Long-term outer ear infections can cause narrowing of the ear canal. Narrowing can affect the hearing and, in extreme cases, cause deafness. It needs to be treated with antibiotics.
Ruptured or perforated eardrums can also be a complication of outer ear infections caused by items inserted into the ear. This can be extremely painful. Symptoms include temporary hearing loss, ringing or buzzing in the ears, discharge, and bleeding from the ear.
In rare cases, necrotizing otitis externa occurs. This is an extremely serious complication where the infection spreads to the cartilage and bone that surrounds your ear canal.
Adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk. Untreated, it can be fatal. This is considered a medical emergency, with symptoms including:
- severe ear pain and headaches, especially at night
- ongoing ear discharge
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Will My Sinusitis Clear Up Without Treatment
Sinusitis is the term for swelling of the sinuses, and it is usually caused by an infection. However, with varying degrees of severity and different causes, sinus infections are not all the same. The types of sinus infection are as follows.
- Viral Viral infections are the most common cause of sinusitis they usually ease up after about a week without the need for treatment.
- Bacterial Bacterial infections are often more persistent, potentially lasting three months. Commonly, medication is required for a persistent bacterial infection.
- Allergic Allergies lead to inflammation and a buildup of mucus, resulting in an infection. Without treating the allergy, you may suffer from recurring sinusitis.
- Fungal Fungal sinusitis is more rare, but often requires treatment with medication
Shifting From Acute To Chronic
The old school of thought was if left untreated, a sinus infection could become a chronic issue. We dont think that way as much, Sindwani explains. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.
Experts now believe that chronic sinusitis has underlying issues like an immune problem or allergies.
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S On How To Flush Your Dogs Sinuses
Step 1: Gently take your dogs muzzle and tilt their head back.
Step 2: Drip the saline into your dogs nostrils. Never forcibly squirt the solution up their nose.
Step 3: Allow your dog to swallow, demonstrating that the saline ran into the correct location.
Step 4: After a few swallows, switch to the other nostril.
Step 5: Reward your pooch for a job well done!
Need a visual aid? Check out this video that shows how to flush your dogs sinuses at home.
What Are The Different Types Of Sinuses Near The Nose And Eyes
The paranasal sinuses are located in your head near your nose and eyes. They are named after the bones that provide their structure.
- The ethmoidal sinuses are located between your eyes.
- The maxillary sinuses are located below your eyes.
- The sphenoidal sinuses are located behind your eyes.
- The frontal sinuses are located above your eyes.
The biggest sinus cavity is the maxillary cavity, and it is one of the cavities that most often becomes infected.
There are different types of sinusitis:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: This term refers to a sudden onset of cold symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and facial pain that does not go away after 10 days, or symptoms that seem to improve but then return and are worse than the initial symptoms . It responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.
- Chronic sinusitis: This term refers to a condition defined by nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and decreased sense of smell for at least 12 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms last four to twelve weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms come back four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.
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Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
Whats The Best Way To Get Sinus Pressure Relief
Over-the-counter options include nasal decongestants and nasal steroid sprays. Some people try saline spray and nasal irrigation to find relief. Others stick with over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain and fever symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids, applying warm compresses to the sinus area, light facial massage and vaporizer use can also keep congestion moving on the way out.
This is a very complex problem and depending on the severity and the level of inflammation there are a host of diagnostic exams and tests to be performed before a true diagnosis can be made so that a treatment plan can be formulated, Winarsky says.
As such, there is no silver bullet or one pill to take that can alleviate all the symptoms.
While a sinus infection can go away on its own, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctorespecially if you seem to be getting a lot of sinus infections. Also, nasal discharge, fever, congestion or pain that lasts more than 10 days warrants a trip to see your physician.
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Ear Infection Symptoms Treatment
Middle ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that may cause earache, temporary hearing loss, and fluid discharge. A middle ear infection that does not clear up on its own may require treatment with antibiotics.
Middle ear infections occur mainly in early childhood, although older children and adults also get these kinds of infection. The incidence of acute ear infection in New Zealand children was recently estimated at 27%. A complication associated with middle ear infections is the retention of fluid, causing glue ear. Children should always be taken to a doctor if they have earache.
Take Probiotics And Vitamin C Supplements
Probiotics and vitamin C may help flush bacteria from the urinary tract to clear away UTIs. Probiotics contain healthy live bacteria that can destroy bad bacteria, while vitamin C can strengthen your immune system to fight disease and infection. Ask your doctor for recommendations on the best probiotics and vitamin C supplements you can take to make your UTI go away on its own.
Keep in mind that while youre trying to clear a UTI on your own, you may still experience symptoms. Symptoms of a UTI include:
- A strong urge to urinate
- A persistent need to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Pink, red, or dark urine
- Urine with a strong odor
- Passing small amounts of urine
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What Are Risk Factors For Acute Sinusitis
Some people are more likely than others to get acute sinusitis. These include:
- People who have allergies.
- People who have structural problems with their noses or polyps, which are growths that can hang inside noses or sinus cavities.
- People who spend a great deal of time in places where infections happen, like preschools or day cares.
Chronic Sinusitis: More Than A Stuffy Nose
Topics in this Post
The uncomfortable, plugged feeling of a stuffy nose is common with colds and allergies. For most people, this type of nasal congestion is just an annoyance and inconvenience. It decreases their sense of smell, changes the way that foods taste and causes facial pain, and it can be accompanied by a running or dripping nose. However, it improves after the cold or allergies are gone.
Some people’s stuffy noses don’t resolve after other symptoms are gone. This long-lasting stuffy nose is called chronic rhinosinusitis. This happens when your sinuses are swollen and inflamed for three months or longer, despite treatment.
Here are some answers to common questions about sinusitis:
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis occurs when the hollow spaces inside your nose and head your sinuses are swollen and inflamed. Typically, sinuses have a thin lining that produces small amounts of mucus. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. In sinusitis, the lining gets inflamed and makes more mucus. The swelling of the lining also interferes with the way mucus normally drains, making your nose stuffy. Sinusitis can be brought on by an infection growths in the sinuses, such as nasal polyps or swelling of the lining of your sinuses due to conditions such as allergies.
Common signs and symptoms of sinusitis include:
Other less common symptoms can include:
- Cough or frequent throat clearing
- Voice hoarseness
What is chronic sinusitis?
What does sinus surgery involve?
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Antibiotic Treatment For Bacterial Sinusitis
Antibiotic treatment is usually only needed if the infection does not improve within 7-10 days, the person has another medical condition which may affect recovery, or if:
- Severe pain is present
- Swelling at the front of the head, cheeks or around the eyes occurs
- Nasal discharge contains blood
- High fever is present
These are indications that the bacterial infection is severe. Antibiotic treatment is usually prescribed for about 10 days, but shorter courses may be as effective, depending on the bacteria involved. The choice of which antibiotic to use will be based on which bacteria the treating physician thinks are likely to be involved in the infection.
Can You Take Sinus Decongestants If You Have High Blood Pressure
Phenylephrine is not considered to be safe if you have high blood pressure. Sinus decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine may actually raise your blood pressure and counteract the blood pressure medication that youre on. If you have high blood pressure, you should speak with your doctor about which decongestant they recommend for you.
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Symptoms Of Bacterial Sinus Infection
As per the guidelines, a sinus infection is more likely to be bacterial than viral if any of the following conditions are present.
- No clinical improvement occurs in the symptoms even after the passage of at least 10 days.
- The severity of the symptoms is quite high, including facial pain, nasal discharge and a fever in excess of 102°F which remains for at least 4 days on the trot at the start of the illness.
- Worsening of the symptoms is characterized by the development of a new headache or fever or increase in the amount of nasal discharge, usually after a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that has remained for 6 days and had seemed to improve initially.
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