Can Sinusitis Cause Death
Chronic sinusitis can spread to the eyes, blood, and brain, and, in rare circumstances, cause death. For that reason, its important to take instances of sinusitis that wont go away very seriously. If you have a persistent sinus infection, make sure you follow your doctors instructions regarding your antibiotics and of course, get plenty of rest.
Sinus Infection Home Remedies
The doctor may want you to try home remedies if the infection canât be cured with antibiotics. There are many products out there that claim to cure sinus infections naturally but they arent typically backed up by any science. Instead, you may want to try a few tried and true methods listed in our other blog post.
How Can You Keep From Spreading A Sinus Infection
Try incorporating these common sense practices to keep from spreading your sinus infection.
- Wash your hands! This seems basic, but it always bears repeating. Handwashing really is the best way to prevent the spread of germs! Be sure to wash with soap and water before handling food, after using the restroom, and especially after blowing your nose or touching your face.
- Cover your cough! Feeling a tickle in your throat? Turn away from those around you and cough into the crook of your elbow. This prevents germs from getting all over your hands while still stopping droplets from spreading.
- Stay home when possible. Even though it takes pretty close contact to spread a sinus infection, staying home and getting rest can help you get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
- Get better faster. Try using home remedies like over-the-counter medications or a neti pot to help speed up your recovery. In fact, one study in children showed that nasal irrigation was almost as helpful as antibiotics in clearing up sinus infections!
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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.
The Link Between Sinus Infections And Bronchitis
Reviewed by Theresa H. Care Delivery Manager & Family Nurse Practitioner
When a cold strikes, it can make you feel miserable. Whats more, a stuffed up head and nose can quickly progress leading to other uncomfortable symptoms including facial pain, sinus pressure, post-nasal drip and chest congestion. In fact its not uncommon for a cold to develop into a sinus infection or bronchitis.
But what exactly is a sinus infection? Are sinus infections and bronchitis linked? Why are some people more prone to developing sinus and bronchial infections? And, most importantly, if you have a sinus infection or bronchitis, what can you do to feel better?
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:
- facial pain
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.
When To Seek Medical Treatment For Sinusitis And Bronchitis
When it comes to getting over a sinus infection or bronchitis, patience and time are usually the best remedies. Because most infections are viral, prescription antibiotics arent always an effective treatment option and taking them can be dangerous and lead to problems related to antibiotic resistance. In most cases, infections related to sinusitis and bronchitis will resolve on their own.
Within a week of getting sick, symptoms related to sinusitis or bronchitis should start to improve. If you dont start feeling better or feel worse, its a good idea to reach out to a medical provider who can provide guidance about managing symptoms and also about your treatment options.
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How To Tell If You Have An Actual Sinus Infection
Even though we often say we have a sinus infection even if its just inflammation or an allergic response, there are symptoms of an actual infection that may be treatable with antibiotics. Nasal congestion and pain under the eyes or around the temples are, of course, main symptoms, but others include the loss of the sense of smell, green nasal discharge, mucus dripping down your throat, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and even bad breath.
Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up without intervention, but if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, have your symptoms for 10 or more days, notice that your symptoms are getting worse and are not improved by OTC medications, or you have multiple infections in a years time, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Sinusitis Wont Go Away Consider Balloon Sinuplasty
Whether this is your first bout with sinusitis that wont go away or you experience sinus infections on a regular basis, you should know that getting rid of sinusitis is well within reach.
At Sinus Solutions of South Florida, Dr. Napoleon G. Bequer has provided hundreds of patients with relief from chronic sinusitis using the balloon sinuplasty procedure. So if you have sinusitis that wont go away, contact us online, call us at 561-790-7744, or take our sinus quiz today to see if youre a viable candidate for balloon sinuplasty.
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Dos: What To Do When You Have A Sinus Infection
When you have sinusitis there are specific things you can do to reduce inflammation and pain, and to recover faster. Our doctors at Detroit Sinus Center recommend the following:
- Stay hydrated: be proactive about drinking fluids. Your body needs to be fully hydrated in order to recover from a sinus infection. Also, drinking hot liquids like tea or soup can help break down the stuffiness and mucus in your nasal cavities.
- Use a humidifier: the cool mist of a humidifier can help you feel less stuffy and release some of the built up mucus and pressure. Make sure you always use clean water and you routinely clean your humidifier to avoid further infection.
- Use a warm compress: applying a warm compress like a washcloth to your face and allowing it to sit for 10-15 minutes can also help break up the mucus and alleviate the pressure when you have a sinus infection.
- Sleep: make sure you are getting plenty of sleep when you are fighting sinusitis. Your body needs to be well rested in order to fight the infection and recover properly.
- Rinse your sinuses: using a neti pot or nasal spray can help clean out your nasal cavities and alleviate the pressure build up. Remember to always use distilled, sterile, or boiled water to cleanse your sinuses.
- Over The counter drugs: if you have mild pain or pressure, over the counter drugs can help with this. We recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
When Should You See A Doctor About Your Sinus Infection
Most sinus infections stay viral and resolve on their own. But if home remedies arent helping, if your drainage turns yellow or green, or if your sinus infection sticks around for more than a week or 10 days, it might be time to give your ENT doctor a call.
Still have more questions about whether your sinus infection is contagious? Not sure if youre dealing with a viral or bacterial infection? Contact ENT Associates of Lubbock today, and we can help you figure out your next steps!
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How Are Sinus Infections Treated
Many sinus infections caused by a virus will resolve on their own without any treatment with antibiotics, Melinda said. This is important because if you dont need antibiotics, its better not to take them as they can cause side effects and long-term resistance. An infection caused by bacteria, however, will likely require antibiotics.
Sometimes your health care provider may ask you to take over-the-counter medications to help your symptoms and monitor your condition further.
Examples of over-the-counter medication include:
- Saline nasal spray
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief
- A warm compress on your nose and forehead to relieve sinus pressure
Viral Sinus Infections: Contagious
Acute sinusitis caused by a virus or viral infection is often considered contagious. Interestingly, however, the sinusitis itself isnt whats causing you to be contagious. The culprit is, in fact, a virus, such as the one that causes the common cold. These viruses, such as rhinoviruses, influenza A, and influenza B, cause your body to respond with acute sinusitis, a symptom of a larger problem.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis caused by a viral sinus infection often last a week to ten days. During this time, its possible for the virus to spread from one person to another. The most common type of transmission occurs via hand-to-hand contact. Simple precautions such as hand washing can easily prevent the virus and acute sinusitis from spreading.
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First What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, a.k.a. sinusitis, happens when fluid builds up in your sinuses, the air-filled pockets in your face, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . That allows germs to grow. Viruses cause most sinus infections, but bacteria can cause some sinus infections, the CDC says.
There are several things that can raise your risk of getting a sinus infection, but the CDC specifically lists these:
- A previous cold
- Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
- Structural problems within the sinuses, like growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses
- A weak immune system or taking drugs that weaken the immune system
Chronic Sinus Infection Treatment
Chronic sinus infections typically have a more mysterious cause than acute infections people with chronic sinus infections often require life-long treatment to keep symptoms at bay.
In addition to the options above, treatment for chronic sinus infections may include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and changing home or work conditions to reduce exposure to environmental toxins and allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, or cockroaches
- Oral steroids
- Leukotriene modifiers, which reduce inflammation through a different mechanism than steroids
- Surgery to reopen sinuses affected by issues like nasal polyps and deviated septum
Recent research suggests other treatment options may also exist for chronic sinus infections, including:
- Nasal probiotics of the beneficial bacteria lactobacilli
- The drug dupilumab, derived from a human antibody, which the Food and Drug Administration approved to treat chronic sinus infections with nasal polyps in 2019
- A regime combining oral and intranasal corticosteroid irrigations
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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
So What’s The Difference Between Covid
It can be tough, says Eric H. Holbrook, M.D., director of rhinology at Mass Eye and Ear. Because there are shared symptoms for sinus infections and COVID-19 infections, diagnosing one from the other can be difficult for both the patient and physician, he says. The most prominent symptoms of a sinus infection also includes nasal obstruction or congestion, nasal drainage, and diminished sense of smell.
One thing that might be helpful, though, is to gauge your pain. A sinus infection often gives you a lot of pain thats up in your cheeks and into your forehead, says William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Its usually above the neck. But, in some cases, Dr. Holbrook says, drainage from the nose down the back of the throat can cause a cough in some patients.
Basically, its better to be safe than sorry. New onset of these symptoms should be suspicious for COVID-19, and patients should isolate themselves until they contact their primary care for additional instructions, Dr. Holbrook says. Dr. Schaffner stresses that you should call your doctors officedont go to the waiting room. If you have COVID-19, you can infect others, he points out.
But, Dr. DallaPiazza says, “given the overlap in symptoms, the only way to determine the cause with confidence is to perform testing for COVID-19 as well as other viruses.”
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.
Have You Lost Your Sense Of Taste
Today, if youve lost your sense of taste, its likely that your first thought is that you might have COVID-19. While COVID-19 certainly can cause a loss of taste and smell, a sinus infection could also be the culprit. The quickest way to tell the difference and make sure youre not spreading the coronavirus to those around you is to get tested.
If a cold or allergy has caused a nasal blockage and loss of taste, then reducing inflammation is key in the fight against a sinus infection. If youve tried all the home remedies and youre still not finding relief, its time to get help.
Our team will work with you to find a treatment plan thats right for your circumstances. Dont let a sinus infection keep you from enjoying your favorite foods. Give ENT Associates of Lubbock a call today.
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Inhale Menthol And Camphor
Another inhaled odor that can help open up sinus passages is menthol, which is an ingredient in popular ointments that are used specifically to treat a stuffy nose. These ointments also contain eucalyptus oil and camphor, which combine with menthol to create a powerful scent that immediately relieves sinus pressure. This ointment can be rubbed on your chest and under your nose to deliver its soothing benefits. Unlike eucalyptus oil, this ointment should not be placed in the mouth.
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections
Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext rel=nofollow> 5)
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Fall Allergies And Sinusitis
Autumn has arrived, and you canât stop sneezing and sniffling. You may be suffering from allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
Autumn has arrived, and you donât feel so good. You canât stop sneezing and sniffling. The return of cool weather leaves you feeling not invigorated but miserable.
Like all allergies, hay fever stems from a glitch in the immune system. Instead of attacking harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, it tries to neutralize âinvadersâ that ordinarily are quite harmless in this case weed pollen grains that fill the air from August through October .
In someone with hay fever, inhaling these tiny particles triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions, resulting in the release of histamine, a protein that causes the all-too-familiar symptoms. In addition to sneezing, congestion, and fatigue, histamine can cause coughing post-nasal drip itchy eyes, nose, and throat dark circles under the eyes and asthma attacks.
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