Initial Stages Of A Sinus Infection
In most situations, a sinus infection is a secondary infection that occurs after another illness or health concern. For example, you might have a head cold that develops into a sinus infection because of the congestion. Or, chronic allergies can cause conditions that result in sinus infections.
When a sinus infection occurs, it means that there is swelling, inflammation, and infection in the sinus areas. Typically, sinuses are open cavities filled with air. When drainage is blocked, then an infection can occur.
In the earliest stages of a sinus infection, youll likely feel discomfort and pressure in the sinus areas. Its common to have congestion, which could lead to a blocked sinus making it hard to breathe through one side of your nose.
As the symptoms progress, the pain intensifies. An untreated sinus infection can disrupt every area of your life, making it hard to get through the day because of the pressure and pain.
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.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
Read Also: How To Take A Zpack For Sinus Infection
When Should You Talk To An Ent About A Sinus Infection
You should schedule a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat doctor if you are experiencing these sinus infection symptoms:
- An infection that lasts longer than 10 days
- Chronic, recurring sinus infections
- Sinus pain and pressure that is disrupting your daily activities
- At-home remedies dont work to relieve your symptoms
- Increase in pain
Family doctors or primary care physicians can help with basic sinus infection treatment by prescribing antibiotics and prescription-strength decongestants. But recurring sinus infections or chronic issues should be addressed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist also known as an otolaryngologist. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might need a referral from your primary care physician before visiting an ENT.
Identifying And Treating Ear Infections In Children
Your child has a bothersome cold for a week. Their nasal discharge turns a little green and their cough starts to keep you all up at night. Then one night they are up every hour extremely fussy with a fever. You take them to the doctor the next morning, almost certain they have another ear infection.Ear infections in children are one of the most worrisome illnesses for both parents and children to go through, especially if they are frequent. They also are the most common reason for antibiotic prescriptions. Heres a guide to help you understand why ear infections occur, how to best treat them, and most importantly, how you can prevent them from happening too often.
Youre more likely to develop tooth infections if you:
- Smoke: Smokers are about twice as likely to get tooth infections as nonsmokers.
- Have dry mouth: Bacteria thrive in a mouth with a low amount of saliva.
- Have poor dental hygiene: Regularly brushing, flossing and getting dental cleanings reduces bacteria.
- Have a weakened immune system: Diseases or medications can lower your immune response, making it harder to fight off germs.
You May Like: Advil Cold And Sinus Alternatives
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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.
You May Like: Can Sinus Cause Gum Pain
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
What Happens If You Let A Sinus Infection Go Untreated
A sinus infection might start with annoying, inconvenient symptoms: congestion, discomfort, and sinus pressure. But dont assume these symptoms will go away on their own.
If left untreated, sinus infections can result in ongoing pain and discomfort that lasts for months. Sometimes, an untreated sinus infection can lead to serious complications that could have been prevented with early interventions.
The key to avoiding severe complications from an untreated sinus infection is to talk to an ENT as soon as possible. When you can see that the symptoms are lingering, then it might be time to book an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Don’t Miss: What Can A Pregnant Woman Take For Sinus Cold
Can A Sinus Infection Last For Months
Sinusitis wont go away at the drop of a hat. It tends to linger and, if left untreated, it can last for months. Again, its best to take a trip to your doctors office if your symptoms last longer than one week.
Note that there is a chance that long-term sinus issues may be caused by allergens. If this is the case, then your sinus symptoms will likely last until you can escape the allergen or have the allergies treated.
Dont Miss: Yeast Infection After Bv Treatment
According To Uptodate Over 98 Percent Of Rhinosinusitis Is Viral:
The most common cause of acute sinusitis is a viral infection associated with the common cold Bacterial sinusitis occurs much less commonly, in only 0.5 to 2 percent of cases, usually as a complication of viral sinusitis.
Because antibiotics are effective only against bacterial, and not viral, infections, most people with acute sinusitis do not need antibiotics and would be putting themselves at risk for medication side effects and for developing antibiotic resistance by taking them for nonbacterial sinusitis .
If a sinus infection lasts more than 7 to 10 days and is accompanied by fever, it may be bacterial. But, even if you have a bacterial infection, what if you dont want to take antibiotics?
Maybe youre concerned taking antibiotics will destroy your bodys good bacteria. Or youve read the recent study about antibiotics make viral infections potentially lethal?
Recommended Reading: Sinus Pain All The Time
Will A Tooth Infection Go Away On Its Own
A tooth infection will not go away on its own. Your toothache may stop if an infection causes the pulp inside your tooth to die. The pain stops because the nerve isnt functioning anymore, so you may not be able to feel it. However, the bacteria will continue to spread and destroy surrounding tissue. If you have tooth infection symptoms, see your dentist even if you no longer have pain.
Recommended Reading: Infection In Mouth From Tooth
What Is A Fungus
A fungus is a microscopic organism that can be found in a diverse range of habitats, including soil, air, water, on the skin, as well as in the foods that you eat. Common fungi include mushrooms, yeasts, mildews, and molds.
Fungi can grow in a wide range of temperatures , but they grow best between 77 and 86 degrees, in conditions that are warm and damp.
At temperatures below 41 degrees, fungi do not grow well as their metabolic activity slows. They also do not grow well above 114 degrees due to high metabolic activity that can stress the fungi, making them die. For these reasons, fungal growth is prevalent in the summer and decreases in the winter.
Also Check: How To Get Relief From Sinus Infection
How To Tell If These Remedies Are Not Working
You will know if these remedies are effective because you will begin to feel better and your sinuses will be less congested.
However, unlike with antibiotics where symptoms start to diminish quickly, natural remedies typically take longer to work. So you should continue to do these remedies regularly for at least a week or two before determining if they are working.
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.
Also Check: Can Sinus Allergies Cause Migraines
Closing A Sinus Perforation
After sinus perforation and bone grafting heal, you can receive dental implants
How is a sinus perforation closed? Although your doctor might have a specific technique, the procedure includes steps like these.
- Place collagen plugs or another resorbable membrane in the tooth socket
- Gently place bone graft around the sides
- Secure the bone graft and protect the site with another collagen plug or resorbable membrane
- Stitch the membrane over the graft to keep it in place
After closing the perforation, a specialist will prescribe antibiotics, and based on the severity of your infection, tell you how long to take them. Youll have follow-up appointments to ensure the area heals well.
Tell your ENT doctor about your plans for dental implants to replace your two missing teeth. The doctor and your implant dentist can discuss the optimal time for implant placement. Both the perforation and bone graft must heal before you receive dental implants. Otherwise, the implant and your jawbone wont fuse, and the implants will fail. Be patient.
I have horrible anxiety at dental offices. I have never been as comfortable as I am at Dr. Brookshers office. Everyone is really nice, accommodating, and understanding!
Dr. Brooksher is humble, kind, funny, and easy to get along with. His staff is friendly, too! I have the utmost respect for his work. I’ve never been this comfortable going to the dentist.
Patricia Madison Anthony
Ready To See A Doctor About Your Sinus Infection
Being aware of complications associated with a sinus infection, symptoms of chronic sinusitis, and identifying the type of infection you have are vital to knowing the serious signs of a sinus infection. If you’ve been experiencing an infection that will not let up, please contact one of our ENT Doctors by phone or via their website to make an appointment.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Sinus Pressure
How To Treat Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
While sinus infections caused by viruses, allergies, or other non-bacterial factors may not require antibiotics, they still cause the same symptoms which make you feel sick.
Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Nasal congestion
- Pain or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, or forehead
- Thick nasal or post-nasal drainage
Taking steps to alleviate your sinusitis symptoms is often the best treatment to lessen your discomfort.
Sinus infection treatment options include:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Rest, especially the first few days, to help your body fight the infection
- Moisturize the air with a cool-mist vaporizer
- Elevate your head while sleeping to decrease post-nasal drip
- Take warm showers or baths, as steam can soothe your sore throat and loosen mucus
- Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat
- Use saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation kit to alleviate congestion
- Use over-the-counter treatments, such as nasal drops and sprays or pseudoephedrine pills, as your doctor recommends them
What Not to Do for a Sinus Infection
You should always follow your doctors instructions when you are diagnosed with a sinus infection.
- Ask for antibiotics if your doctor feels they are unnecessary
- Take antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else
- Skip doses of your antibiotics or stop taking your antibiotics early when your doctor prescribes them
- Save antibiotics for the next time you get sick
What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
Don’t Miss: Can I Take Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
Know The Limits Of Natural Sinus Pain Relief
You should not try to self-treat your sinus pain if you have symptoms such as as yellow or green mucus discharge persistent fever or stiff neck pain for more than 24 hours confusion, weakness, numbness, or tingling and persistent nausea or vomiting. These symptoms could be a sign of a significant infection in your sinuses that might need antibiotics. Using natural sinus pain relief is fine if you have mild chronic pain or a headache related to a common cold or an allergy, but if you have severe pain that is not responding to these techniques, you need to see your doctor, advises Das.
How To Treat Sinus Infections With Surgery
When other treatment methods fail, the final resort for sinusitis is surgery. In many cases, the goal is to fix defects in the sinuses. Reasons to undergo surgical treatment for sinusitis include:
- Narrowing of the sinuses caused by other reasons
- Presence of nasal polyps growths that block the sinuses and increase the risk of infection
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Small sinus drainage openings from birth
Recommended Reading: Medicine For Sore Throat And Sinus Pressure
When Should You See A Doctor For Sinusitis
After two days of taking care of your symptoms at home, you should start seeing some improvement. If you dont feel like things are getting better, its time to see your primary care doctor, use an online clinic or head into urgent care. You should see someone sooner if:
- Youre experiencing severe pain in the upper part of your face or your teeth
- You have facial pain from the bridge of your nose to your lower eyelid
- Over-the-counter medicines arent providing relief for your headaches
- You have a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Your normally clear, thin mucus is starting to turn thick and yellow or green
Taking care of sinus infections early can help keep them from turning into chronic infections, which take longer to treat.
If you thought you were in the clear after an illness but are still experiencing symptoms, you should make an appointment especially if youve had cold symptoms for more than 10 days or mild face pain for more than a month.