Monday, May 20, 2024

Can A Sinus Infection Turn Into An Ear Infection

Can A Sinus Infection Cause Fever

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

Having a fever is not an extremely common symptom of chronic or acute sinusitis, but will sometimes occur. You may also be experiencing a common cold, which has similar symptoms and is often associated with a fever. In very rare circumstances, it could be a sign of something more serious, such as a brain infection or a bone infection, particularly for young males with frontal sinusitis. Bone infections may also be fungal, which is determined via a bone biopsy.

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When Antibiotics Are In Order

The main reason to prescribe antibiotics is for patient comfort, Dr. Sindwani says. The medical field used to be more convinced than it is today than untreated sinusitis would inevitably become a chronic issue, he says.

We dont think that way as much, he says. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.

Some people think thats two separate things, with chronic sinusitis more likely due to underlying issues like allergies or immune problems.

What Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Sinus Infections And Sinusitis

Sinus infection is most often diagnosed based on the history and examination of a doctor. Because plain X-ray studies of the sinuses may be misleading and procedures such as CT and MRI scans, which are much more sensitive in their ability to diagnose a sinus infection, are so expensive and not available in most doctors offices, most sinus infections are initially diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination. These physical findings may include:

  • redness and swelling of the nasal passages,
  • purulent drainage from the nasal passages ,
  • tenderness to percussion over the cheeks or forehead region of the sinuses, and
  • swelling about the eyes and cheeks.

Occasionally, nasal secretions are examined for secreted cells that may help differentiate between infectious and allergic sinusitis. Infectious sinusitis may show specialized cells of infection while allergic sinusitis may show specialized white blood cells of allergy . Physicians prescribe antibiotics if the bacterial infection is suspected. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections many physicians then treat the symptoms.

In addition, both rigid and flexible endoscopy has been used to obtain diagnostic material from sinuses. These procedures are usually done by an otolaryngologist under topical and local anesthesia. Occasionally, there may be a need to sedate the patient. Some investigators suggest that endoscopy specimens are comparable to those obtained by needle puncture.

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Treatments For Sinus Infections Other Than Antibiotics

#1: Saline Nasal Wash

Saline nasal wash can be a great way to thin out the mucous in the sinuses enough to clear out the blockage. I recommend starting this early on in the course of the illness to prevent the infection from worsening.

You can even make this at home using 2 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I would add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to prevent burning that can occur with use. There are also plenty of over the counter saline nasal sprays that you can purchase. You can use this 4-6 times per day.

#2: Vaporizer

Vaporizers are great because they can also thin out the mucous and make you feel a lot better. An easy home remedy, steam is probably the best way to use this treatment. Beware if you are an asthmatic as the steam could cause worsening of the asthma symptoms.

#3: Steroid Nasal Spray

Steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase have been my go to remedy recently and the great news is that they are now over the counter. The general recommendation is to use 1-2 sprays per nostril daily.

But I have found great relief using 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily. At these higher doses it is important to remember that you should use this short term, no more than 5-7 days.

These medications can significantly reduce inflammation allowing the congestion blockage to clear and significantly alleviate symptoms.

#4: Decongestants
#5: Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.

Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip

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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.

This is called postnasal drip, and it may cause you to cough at night when youre lying down to sleep, and in the morning after getting up. It may also cause your voice to sound hoarse.

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When Should I Call The Doctor About A Cold Or Sinus Infection

Most colds go away without medical treatment. If you have pain around your face or eyes, along with thick yellow or green nasal discharge for more than a week, check with your doctor. Also call them if you have fever or symptoms that are severe or don’t get better with over-the-counter treatments.

How Is A Sinus Infection Diagnosed And Treated

Your doctor will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. You might get a CT scan of your sinuses.

Your doctor may prescribe medication. They may recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days. , antihistamines, and other drugs help lessen the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.

Steam and hot showers can help you loosen mucus. Your doctor may also suggest nasal saline to wash mucus from your nose.

In rare cases, when a sinus infection doesn’t go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.

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Is There Any Way I Can Prevent Future Ear Infections From Occurring

Prevention is the best medicine, and there are ways of avoiding future infections. One of the easiest and most effective ways is by breastfeeding your child. Breastfeeding has powerful antibodies that help fight infection-causing bacteria. The longer you breastfeed, the less likely your child is to develop ear infections. If you are unable to breastfeed or if you feed your child breastmilk from a bottle, place your child in an upright position during feeding times. This prevents milk from backing up into the Eustachian tube, causing irritation and infection.

If your child is no longer consuming formula or breastmilk but is suffering with frequent ear infections, your doctor may suggest medical prevention methods. For example, your child may begin a course of antibiotics at the first sign of a cold or continuously throughout cold season. Your childs doctor may also refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for ear tubes. These tubes are surgically placed inside the ear to aid in fluid drainage. Ear tubes dont necessarily prevent all ear infections, but they do reduce their severity and duration.

Clogged Ear: The Sinus

Managing and Treating Sinus Infections | Mohamad Chaaban, MD

A sinus infection primarily affects your nose, but symptoms can extend to the ears as well. The sinus-ear connection stems from the fact that your sinuses and ears are connected therefore, clogged and congested sinuses also affect the ears.

There are many ways you can help improve your sinus infection and obtain relief in your ears. Below are some tips that can help decongest your sinuses.

  • Use a nasal saline or apply a warm moist washcloth to your nose to add moisture. Humidifiers are also useful to help add moisture to the air and not dry out your nose.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve ear pain.
  • Over-the-counter decongestants can help clear out sinus cavities.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures hot or cold weather can worsen sinuses.
  • Keep your head up putting it down applies added pressure.

Sinus-related ear problems can also lead to dizziness. If you experience dizziness due to sinuses, you may want to avoid fast movements as it can increase dizziness. Its also important to drink plenty of water to thin mucus and avoid caffeine, salt, alcohol and tobacco, which alter blood flow and can worsen dizziness.

Related: Sinusitis Vertigo and Dizziness, A Complication of Sinus Infection

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How Serious Can A Sinus Infection Get

More than 30 million Americans experience a sinus infection each year. They can come and go quickly or linger for months at a time. While most infections are no cause for alarm, sinus infections can become serious if not treated properly. Understanding the signs and symptoms can ensure you seek treatment when needed.

What Are The Types Of Middle

Infections can affect the middle ear in several ways. They are:

  • Acute otitis media. This middle-ear infection occurs suddenly. It causes swelling and redness. Fluid and mucus become trapped inside the ear. You can have a fever and ear pain.

  • Otitis media with effusion. Fluid and mucus build up in the middle ear after the infection goes away. You may feel like your middle ear is full. This can continue for months and may affect your hearing.

  • Chronic otitis media with effusion. Fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time. Or it builds up again and again, even though there is no infection. This type of middle-ear infection may be hard to treat. It may also affect your hearing.

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What Can Parents Do About Middle Ear Infections

Children who have an acute middle ear infection usually have an earache and a fever. They sleep badly, are restless and cry a lot. What are the treatment options and when is it important to seek medical advice?

Middle ear infections usually clear up after a few days. Complications are very rare. The earache often already goes away again after one day. Until that happens, medication to relieve pain and reduce fever, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen , can be used to relieve the symptoms. A lot of care and attention is also helpful, and some children feel that certain home remedies have a soothing effect too.

Antibiotics often do not work and can have side effects. So theres usually a good reason to wait two or three days at first, to see whether a middle ear infection clears up on its own. If the symptoms dont get better, the child can still take then. Antibiotics also help in children who are leaking pus from their ear, and in children who are under two years old and have an infection in both ears.

If a child is unwell, it can be important to seek medical advice early on. The doctor can tell whether its a middle ear infection and how severe it is. You can then discuss the most appropriate treatment approach together. If the symptoms dont get better despite treatment, or if the child has problems such as hearing loss, its advisable to see the doctor again.

Sinus Infection And The Eustachian Tube

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When an upper respiratory infection is present, such as a sinus infection, parts of the nasal cavity become infected. The inflammation causes swelling and blockages in the eustachian tubes and other drainage passageways of the sinuses. As the trapped fluid begins to accumulate, the pressure starts to build on the tubes causing a lot of discomforts. If not appropriately treated, the buildup could lead to sinusitis or otitis media.

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Home Remedies For Clogged Ears Due To Sinus Infections

Here are some additional home remedies that can help alleviate ear problems associated with sinus infections and even wax build-up.

  • Yawning helps redistribute the fluid in your ear.
  • Take a hot, steamy shower.
  • Make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water and pour it into the ear.
  • Chew gum as it can help move wax out of the ear.
  • Combine rubbing alcohol and vinegar and use the mixture as ear drops.
  • Pinch your nose and blow to pop your ears.
  • Drop warm olive oil into your ear once again this breaks up wax.
  • Combine rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar as ear drops to help treat infection.
  • Apply warm compresses to the ears.
  • Gargle with warm water and salt.

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Lingering Sinus Infection Or Chronic Runny Nose

A lingering sinus infection is different from a chronic runny nose. Chronic runny nose typically comes from allergies or other irritants in the air. However, this can turn into an infection over time.

When the sinuses become infected, the allergies, irritants, or viral cold have caused swelling in the nose thats blocked the drainage pathways. Consequently, fluid and mucous accumulate in the sinuses, where it has become infected with bacteria.

If youve been sick more than 10 days and begin to experience other symptoms like facial pressure, headache, and fever, youre dealing with more than a chronic runny nose.

Is Your Sinus Infection Bacterial Or Viral

Why Do Humans Get So Many Sinus Infections?

Contrary to what people may think, all sinus infections are not the same, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A sinus infection can be due to a bacterial infection or a viral infection.

A doctor can take a nasal swab culture and send it to the lab for testing it to see if a sinus infection is viral or bacterial. This is usually unnecessary unless a sinus infection lasts longer than 10 days. Viral sinus infections typically clear up within that time frame.

Sinusitis that lasts longer than 10 days may a sign of a bacterial infection, which would necessitate a trip to the doctor. If the doctor determines that the sinusitis is in fact due to a bacterial infection, then antibiotics may be in order.

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How Is Meningitis Treated

Most cases of viral meningitis end within 7 to 10 days. Some people might need to be treated in the hospital, although kids usually can recover at home if theyre not too ill. Treatment to ease symptoms includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medicine.

If bacterial meningitis is diagnosed or even suspected doctors will start intravenous antibiotics as soon as possible. Fluids may be given to replace those lost to fever, sweating, vomiting, and poor appetite.

Ear And Sinus Infections

Its the middle of the night, and your child has awakened you crying. Nothing youve tried is consoling her, and you notice she is pulling at her ears. Could she be suffering from an ear infection? Most ear infections are caused by a bacterial accumulation in the middle ear. These infections cause fluid to build up behind the ear drum. The result is painful inflammation and swelling that can trap fluid in the inner ear. Most earaches resolve on their own or with prescription medication. However, some ear infections occur chronically and require additional medical intervention.

Ear infections are highly common among children and adults. In fact, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that 75 percent of all children experience at least one ear infection by their third birthdays. The condition, also known as otitis media, can be painful for children and worrisome for parents. It causes millions of doctors visits every year not to mention countless prescriptions for antibiotics.

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Viral Vs Bacterial Meningitis: Which Is Worse

Between viral and bacterial meningitis, viral tends to be less severe and is rarely life-threatening. But both types are still serious and require medical attention, says Dr. Esper.

With viral meningitis, show up to the hospital, or the emergency department, or to their primary care doctors because the body says to you, This is not your normal flu. This is something thats bad. Its in your head and you usually go seek care, says Dr. Esper

Like the name implies, viral meningitis is caused by a virus. According to the Meningitis Research Foundation, the viruses typically responsible for most cases of viral meningitis are enteroviruses , herpes simplex , and varicella zoster .

Antiviral medications can be used to treat specific kinds of viral meningitis. But for the most part, like other viruses, the treatment for viral meningitis largely involves addressing any symptoms or discomfort caused by the illness and time to recover from it.

Most people recover from viral meningitis with no long-term issues , according to the Meningitis Research Foundation. Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, leaves around 20% of survivors with permanent disabilities, such as deafness or loss of a limb, according to the CDC. And around 10% of cases are deadly, per the Cleveland Clinic, hence why bacterial meningitis is considered worse than viral meningitis.

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