Can You Recognize A Sinusitis Infection
You may have sinusitis without knowing it.
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Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses, the air-filled spaces or cavities on the face near the nose. These spaces are connected to the inside passages of the nose.
Sinusitis is a very common complaint, affecting one out of every seven adults in the United States. It is often as common as a cold in some people. Weather patterns may have a role in the prevalence of sinusitis because it tends to occur in early fall and spring. Sinusitis is more common in adults than in children, whose sinuses are not yet fully developed.
The inside of the sinuses is normally sterile, having no bacteria or viruses. The sinuses have several important functions that most of us overlook. The spaces in sinuses lighten our otherwise bony face, help resonate our speech, serve as a sort of crumple zone to protect vital structures in case of injury, and humidify and heat the air we breathe.
The sinuses are lined with cells that continually produce mucus to moisturize and lubricate the cavity to avoid friction when you move your face or swallow.
Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become inflamed due to bacteria or viruses. The presence of bacteria or viruses triggers inflammation and infection. If this happens, the lining of the sinuses become swollen, causing very uncomfortable symptoms.
How Severe Are The Symptoms
Most sinus infections go away on their own without severe symptoms or complications. If a sinus infection is caused by bacteria, you may need antibiotics.
Many cases of COVID-19 may be mild or moderate. The World Health Organization estimates that
Heres what to do next whether you think that you have a sinus infection or COVID-19.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
Conditions causing your chronic infections may include:
Should I See A Doctor When Sinus Drainage Causes A Cough
Sinus drainage accompanied by coughing is very irritating, but it may go away on its own. If it does not, if it stays around for weeks, this may be a sign of a persistent condition that needs medical attention.
Also, if you bring up phlegm, if you cant sleep because of the symptoms, or its affecting your studies or job, its a good idea to see a doctor. If you bring up blood, let a doctor know right away. The doctor will be able to figure out the precise cause of your post-nasal drip and UACS, and to recommend an effective treatment.
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Remedies And Treatments For Chest Congestion
The common cold and chest congestion are the result of a virus. The only cure for this kind of virus involves resting and waiting for the virus to clear. Antibiotics are only helpful in treating diseases like pneumonia and whooping cough. However, some home remedies and treatments can soothe your aching chest and relieve your symptoms.
Doctors suggest these home remedies for chest congestion:
- Drink plenty of clear fluids to keep your body hydrated and thin the mucus inside your throat and lungs.
- Place a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the room to soothe any lung irritation.
- Sleep with your head propped up on several pillows to make breathing easier and prevent mucus from accumulating in your chest overnight.
- Take a hot shower and breathe in the steam to ease congestion.
- Try an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease body aches and reduce fever.
- Use saline drops or nasal spray to alleviate congestion.
- Use lozenges to keep your throat moist.
- Use bronchodilators, which relax the muscles in your lungs and widen your bronchi to make breathing easier. Bronchodilators are often used to treat long-term conditions where your airways become inflamed and narrow, such as asthma.
Symptoms usually start to go away within seven days to two weeks if you donât have an underlying condition like chronic pulmonary disease. Medicines like may also loosen mucus and ease other symptoms.
Can I Get A Sinus Infection From My Dog
As many people are exposed to sinus infection-causing allergens as they are to cat dander, dog dander is likely to affect less people.DRESSED IN SOLESIGHT IN HERBAL HERBAL, A CARDEL YEAR, as a reaction to cats, dog dander contains an allergen that is carried by the mouth or its presence can cause an asthma attack.
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When Its Time To See A Doctor
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience sinus infection symptoms of fever, facial pain, congestion, or nasal discharge that last longer than ten days or that keep coming back.
Dethlefs says you should see a medical provider, If nasal drainage changes from clear to thick and yellow. If fever spikes and persists more than 24-48 hours or symptoms arent adequately treated with OTC therapies.
Fever represents a rare symptom of a sinus infection, indicating you have another illness or underlying condition. Your doctor can perform an evaluation and the necessary testing to identify and treat the root cause of your symptoms.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Sinus Infection Cold Or Nasal Allergy
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold, allergies, and a sinus infection. The common cold typically builds, peaks, and slowly disappears. It lasts a few days to a week. A cold can transform into a sinus infection. Nasal allergy is inflammation of the nose due to irritating particles . Symptoms of a nasal allergy can include sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, congestion, runny nose, and post nasal drip . Sinusitis and allergy symptoms can happen at the same time as a common cold.
If you are fighting off a cold and develop symptoms of a sinus infection or nasal allergy, see your healthcare provider. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and medical history.
How Do You Treat Pneumonia
The only way to tell the difference between pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses is by getting a chest X-ray, which will show whether fluid and inflammation are present in the lungs, explains Dr. Dass. While the presence of fluid around the lungsin addition to the above symptomslikely indicates pneumonia, the fluid can also be a potential sign of heart or liver complications, kidney disease, or it could possibly be a side effect of certain cancers, according to Yale Medicine. âIf you pneumonia, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to make the diagnosis and start treatment early,â says Dr. Dass.
Both Dr. Dass and Dr. Patel note that treatment depends on the cause and severity of pneumonia. Some people begin to feel better with 10-14 days of antibiotics, while others may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous antibiotics and fluid replacement, explains Dr. Dass. Thatâs why getting to your doctor early is critical: âMost of the time, if caught early, it will mean less downtime, fewer complications, and a better prognosis,â explains Dr. Patel.
Killer Sinus Infection How To Tell If Yours Is Viral Or Bacterial
You know the symptoms: nasal congestion, facial pressure, pain, fever, too much mucus. Ugh. Its probably another sinus infection.
But is your infection caused by a virus or bacteria and does it really matter?
It does matter. Doctors treat viral and bacterial sinus infections differently. Here is what you need to know about both kinds of infection and how to treat them.
Viral or bacterial?
Most sinus infections are viral, and most are caused by the virus that causes the common cold. How can you tell, based on symptoms, whether your infection is viral or bacterial?
Normally, you cant.
Symptoms like bad breath, yellow or green mucus, fever and headache are not reliable signs of a bacterial infection. They can be present with viral infections, too. Even your doctor cant tell if your infection is viral or bacterial based solely on symptoms or an exam.
Instead, your doctor looks at symptom duration to determine the source of your infection. A viral sinus infection will usually start to improve after five to seven days. A bacterial sinus infection will often persist for seven to 10 days or longer, and may actually worsen after seven days.
4 steps you can take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive care:
Use saline spray two to three times per day in each nostril.
Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.
Get plenty of rest.
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About Author: Lisa Coon
Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.
Medications For A Sinus Infection
Sometimes, your sinus infection wont go away without care from your primary care doctor or otolaryngologists . Most bacterial sinus infections can be cured with the help of antibiotic medicines a type of medicine that kills bacteria. Antibiotics will help you feel better after a couple days, but its important to finish the entire amount that your doctor prescribed.
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Sinus Infection Treatment In Will County And Dupage County Illinois
If youre experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, the experts at Oak Brook Allergists can help you find relief especially if you have chronic sinusitis. Our allergy and immunology physicians and specially-trained assistants work together to provide you with the relief you need.
Make an appointment today by calling 574-0460, or you may request an appointment online.
Are Sinus Infections Contagious Through Kissing
I wouldnt recommend kissing someone when you have a sinus infection. The actual sinus infection is not contagious but the underlying cause may be contagious, Dr. Varghese explains.
You can easily transfer the virus, bacteria, or fungi that caused your sinusitis to another person when you come into such close contact with them. Although that person may not develop a sinus infection, they can certainly become ill.
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Types Of Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can appear in four different ways. Each way is based on the timeframe of the infection and how persistent it is. The four types of sinus infection are:
- Acute sinusitis comes on suddenly and lasts less than four weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis comes on like acute sinusitis but resolves within 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis happens when your symptoms persist longer than 12 weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis is when you have four or more acute sinus infections lasting seven days each, in a one-year span.
If your sinus infection lasts for long periods of time without any relief, even with the use of over-the-counter medicine, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
How Is A Sinus Infection Diagnosed And Treated
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 doesnt go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.
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How Do Doctors Treat Sinus Infections
One the diagnosis is made, the typical treatment for sinus infection is antibiotics to clear up the bacteria causing the sinus infection. Although, the overuse of antibiotics is a cause for concern, so many doctors will prescribe these medications if your symptoms extend beyond seven to 10 days.
Your doctor may also prescribe a topical nasal corticosteroid to reverse the swelling in the sinuses. Finally, over-the-counter medications to help you cope with the daily symptoms of a sinus infection while the medications begin to do their work.
Some of the typical over-the-counter symptom relievers include:
- Antihistamines can block the inflammation that swells your sinus passages
- Nasal decongestant sprays can be used on a limited basis
- Nasal saline washes can clear out heavy mucus
- Topical nasal corticosteroids
Sinus infections can last for several weeks, or if they are chronic, for even longer. If youre feeling ill, its a good idea to reach out to your doctor for treatment. Your clinical team can diagnose, and treat your illness to make you more comfortable and help you heal.Oviedo Medical Research specializes in Phase II through IV clinical trials designed to yield the medications and vaccines that doctors depend on. If youre interested in joining us for a clinical trial, contact us.
Get Your Antibiotics Fast
No one likes being sick, and having a sinus infection can be very uncomfortable. Getting antibiotics as fast as possible is crucial to healing, and is made possible with PlushCare. Our online doctors can diagnose your sinus infection, write a prescription, and send it to your local pharmacy in 15 minutes. PlushCare can help you effectively, quickly, and easily treat your sinus infection.
Will I Need To Make Lifestyle Changes To Deal With Sinus Infections
If you have indoor allergies it is recommended that you avoid triggersanimal dander and dust mites, for exampleas well as take medications. Smoking is never recommended, but if you do smoke, strongly consider a program to help you quit. Smoke can also trigger allergies and prevent removal of mucous by the nose. No special diet is required, but drinking extra fluids helps to thin nasal secretions.
Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
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