Are There Any Complications From Chronic Sinusitis
Living with untreated chronic sinusitis can be unpleasant with the persistent symptoms but serious complications are uncommon. A sinus infection may spread to nearby areas, such as around an eye, into adjoining bones, into the blood, or into the brain. Children are more prone than adults are to complications. Swelling or redness of an eyelid or cheek in a child with sinusitis should be reported to a doctor urgently.
What Are The Different Types Of Sinus Infections
Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, and theyll usually go away on their own. In fact, if the infection doesnt clear up after a week to 10 days, it can be an indication that its caused by bacteria. It may have started as a bacterial infection, or a viral infection may develop into a bacterial infection after your sinuses become filled with fluid and bacteria then forms.
If you have sinus infections that seem to clear up only to shortly return, you probably have a bacterial infection. Thick, dark, or greenish-yellow nasal discharge is another indication, but your doctor can perform tests to verify the type of infection if needed.
Sinus infections can also be classified as acute or chronic. Acute infections usually start suddenly with symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain and can last up to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis occurs when your infection persists for at least 12 weeks despite attempts to treat it.
In the short term, a sinus infection can cause a long list of symptoms, including the following:
Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
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Why Is My Snot White
White snot can be a sign that you are at the start of a cold or an infection. It typically comes with feelings of congestion, stuffiness, or inflammation. You get the white or cloudy sinus infection mucus color when the swollen tissues in your nose slow the flow of your snot. This pulls the water content out of your mucus and causes your snot to become more concentrated.
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Will A Sinus Infection Go Away Untreated
The human body is an amazing collection of complex systems that work together to keep you healthy. The sinus cavities may not get a lot of attention, but they play a critical role in some of the most important bodily functions. They help you communicate through speech or song, they regulate air temperature and humidity to assist in breathing, they also produce and drain mucus to fight infection. The sinuses work together with other systems in the ear, nose, and throat to keep your body at peak performance.
When these systems are working properly, they are able to effectively prevent and fight against bacteria, fungus, and viral infections. Because of these self-healing properties, the body is able to clear up most sinus infections on its own. Researchers estimate that more than 75% of sinus infections will improve or clear on their own within 7 â 10 days. However, for those sinus infections that are frequent or lasting, the long-term health implications are serious. Major health complications are not common, but could include abscesses or brain infections.
Even if you avoid these rare complications, standard symptoms can have devastating consequences for your quality of life. Headaches, facial pain, congestion, fatigue, sleep loss, drainage, and bad breath may seem Ã¢normalÃ¢ to someone suffering from a sinus infection, but they can cause havoc in areas such as:
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Sinus Infections: Your Top 5 Questions Answered
Cold and flu season isnt quite over yet. If you have congestion that includes sinus pressure, you may have a coldor it could be a sinus infection. How can you be sure that its one or the other, and when is it time to make an appointment with your doctor?
Holistic And Natural Approach To Preventing Sinus Infections
Natural remedies can help to safely reduce your dogs symptoms ofsinusitis, cut recovery time and also strengthen the immune system toprevent recurring infection without side-effects.
Supplements to look for include:
- Nat. Mur : reduces sneezing, runny nose, hayfever andother conditions linked to inflamed and watery mucus membranes.
- Pulsatilla : used to help with yellow/green dischargeand coughing or sneezing that is worse at night,
- Kali. bich : for excess mucus and congestion.
- Glycyrrhiza glabra : is a anti-inflammatory,anti-viral and anti-allergenic herb. It reduces inflammation bystimulating the anti-inflammatory hormone, cortisol.
- Thymus vulgaris : Thyme has oils with antisepticqualities that help treat infections in the sinus and respiratorysystem. Thyme also helps to relieve chronic coughing, muscle spasms andheadaches.
A good source to for a sinus herbal supplement is Sinu-Rite which is a proven herbal dog sinus condition solution.
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Sinus Infections Most Clear Up Without Antibiotics
ROCHESTER, Minn. Sinus congestion and the common cold go hand in hand. Usually, congestion goes away within a week or so as the body fights off the illness. But sinus congestion and a feeling of sickness can linger and worsen, which may indicate a bacterial infection.
The October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers sinus problems, including symptoms of a bacterial infection and when antibiotic treatment may help clear out the stuffiness.
Sinus inflammation often begins with a cold, caused by a virus. When the sinuses become irritated and inflamed, sinus tissues swell. Expansion of these tissues can close off the ostia, the small openings that allow mucus to drain out of the sinus cavities. That blockage creates a feeling of stuffiness. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and typically arent recommended within the first week of developing a cold.
The stagnant, moist environment of a blocked sinus cavity gives bacteria a place to grow and thrive. If bacterial infection develops, antibiotics may have a role in treatment. Its tricky to determine whether sinusitis is caused by a virus or bacteria. The symptoms congestion, facial pain, drainage of mucus, cough, headache and feeling unwell can occur with both types of infections.
The likelihood of bacterial infection increases when:
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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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Canine Sinus Infection Diagnosis
Symptoms of a canine sinus infection could be a simple cold, so youmight want to wait a day or two to see if they clear up on their ownbefore seeing your vet. If the symptoms persist, however, you willneed to take your dog to the doctor. Take your dog to the vet rightaway ifhe has a nosebleed, as this can be a sign of serious problems. If yousee book streaked discharge, the problem may be due to a tumor, dentalabscess or fungal infection.
Your vet will do a complete exam, paying careful attention to yourpets nose and eyes and to his breathing. Your vet may do x-rays tolook at your dogs sinus cavities or take a culture of the discharge. Amedical device called an endoscope allows the veterinarian to get adirect look at the nasal cavity.
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What Can Happen If A Bacterial Infection Is Left Untreated
An untreated bacterial infection can also put you at risk for developing a life-threatening condition called sepsis. Sepsis occurs when an infection causes an extreme reaction in your body. The bacteria most likely to cause sepsis include Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and some types of Streptococcus.
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Treatment With Dr Mandel
When you arrive at South Florida Sinus And Allergy Center, your treatment will start with a series of on-site diagnostic tests, administered by Dr. Mandel or one of his expert providers. You may be asked questions about your medical history with sinus-related issues and what treatment methods you have tried. To get a clear picture of exactly whats causing your infection, depending upon your symptoms, you will receive a nasal endoscopy, an ultra-low-dose CT scan of your sinuses, along with another possible diagnostic testing your provider deems necessary to best diagnose your underlying issue.
Once the cause has been identified and other treatments fail, the appropriate minimally invasive procedure can be scheduled. Our procedures are highly effective and are performed under IV sedation in the comfort of our own office, as opposed to a hospital. Our patients are able to return to their homes shortly after their procedure, and most report being able to resume their daily routines within 24 hours.
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 improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- 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
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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.
How Is Acute Sinusitis Treated
Acute sinusitis is typically a short-term condition that is not too severe. For many people, little or no treatment is needed. Most people get better on their own after seven to 10 days.
Antibiotics are only helpful for bacterial infections. Most sinusitis is due to viruses or other causes that are not cured by antibiotics.
Other treatment options include ways to manage your symptoms. You can:
- Try nasal sprays and decongestants. You should not use over-the-counter medicated nose sprays longer than three days unless your healthcare provider says you should.
- Get extra rest and drink extra fluids.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you have significant pain.
- Irrigate your nasal passages with saline solution. Since this is just salt and sterile water applied to the nose for cleaning, you can continue longer than five days.
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But Is It Still A Cold Flu Allergies Or Even Covid
Sinus infections do share symptoms with colds, the flu and COVID-19. The key thing to remember about sinusitis is that it usually doesnt happen without something taking place first. A sinus infection is caused by inflammation that plugs up your sinuses and causes a backup of fluid the kind of situation that can only really happen as the result of a cold, allergies or other similar condition.
So, if you do find yourself having symptoms of sinusitis but havent been sick with anything else recently, its worth it to see if youre tracking with other signs of a cold or the flu. You should also take a quick inventory to see if you have any early symptoms of COVID-19. If so, get tested and get treatment as soon as possible. With early detection, you can get the medications necessary to have the best chances of getting better faster.
If youve been sneezing with a stuffy or runny nose along with irritated, watery eyes and itchy ears all without a fever you might be dealing with seasonal allergies. If that sounds more like what you have, especially if theyre symptoms that only happen during certain times of the year, check in with your primary care doctor. They can help confirm if youre dealing with allergies, prescribe medications and connect you with an allergist.
What Treatments Are Available For A Sinus Infection
In mild cases, the best ways to treat a sinus infection are with rest, hydration and anti-inflammatories. Decongestant nasal sprays are also helpful for clearing a blocked nose and improving breathing. If your sinus infection does not improve after about a week, an ENT or allergy doctor may prescribe antihistamines or other medication.
When a sinus infection is caused by allergies, the problems may occur on a seasonal or recurring basis. To address these persistent problems, your allergist will diagnose the allergic triggers and treat them directly. Common treatments include avoidance of the allergen, medication and allergy shots. With better control of your allergies, the chances of experiencing a sinus infection are dramatically reduced.
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Is It A Sinus Infection A Cold Or Allergies
Your nose is stuffed and your head is pounding. Heres how to tell if a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection is to blame.
A stuffy nose and headache are common symptoms of many illnesses. So how can you tell whether the culprit is a sinus infection, a common cold, or allergies when the symptoms of these three conditions are so similar?
It can sometimes be difficult even for doctors to differentiate, says Alan B. Goldsobel, MD, an allergist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California and an adjunct associate professor at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. But there are some key differences that can give you some clues. Get to know more about the symptoms of these three conditions to help you pinpoint the cause of your sinus congestion:
A Sinus Infection
- What it feels like: You can expect a stuffy nose, but also some runny, discolored mucus, Goldsobel explains. You may also experience a sore throat, cough, sneezing, headache, or fatigue. Another sign is a rising temperature: Colds often trigger a fever, he says, but sometimes those fevers are so mild that people think they have allergies instead.
- What triggers it: A virus.
- How long it lasts: People usually fend off the cold virus within seven to 10 days, Baroody says. But if your symptoms have lingered past that window of time, you might have sinusitis. If you suspect you have a sinus infection, you should talk to your doctor.
An Allergic Reaction
Things Which May Worsen A Sinus Infection
Lets take a look at what you can remove or eliminate from your diet and environment to both encourage healing and discourage chronic sinusitis or recurrent infections in the future.
Monitoring your symptoms is key to making sure you see treatment when and if it is needed. If you think you may have a sinus infection, consult your doctor or visit an urgent care center.
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Reduced Or Complete Loss Of The Sense Of Smell
Untreated sinus infection can diminish or completely deprive you of your sense of smell . This can be due to inflammation and blockage of your nasal passages, or damage to the olfactory nerve.
Though the loss of smell from a sinus infection is often transient, it can be permanent in severe cases, wreaking havoc on the quality of your life and overall wellbeing.
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.
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