Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
How Do You Know If Your Sinus Infection Is Getting Better
Lets say you do have a fever and thick, yellowish mucus. Odds are its a sinus infection. But how do you know whether or not its a bacterial sinus infection?If youre on day 3 or 4 of an infection, it will be difficult to ascertain what kind of infection you have on your own.
However, if youre somewhere between day 7 and day 11, this is what you should be on the lookout for:
- Fever is completely gone or noticeably improving
- Your congestion and discharge is obviously lessening
- You dont feel as fatigued as you did a few days ago
The theme here is obvious improvement. If your situation is improving, then you probably have a viral sinus infection and do not need antibiotics. If your situation is not improving , schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Best Ways To Treat A Sinus Infection
If you think you may have a sinus infection, see your doctor right away because you most likely need antibiotics, and the sooner you start, the sooner youll feel better.
Sinus irrigation is also recommended for sinus infections as well for colds. It can help ease your symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to start working. Steroids, decongestants and over-the-counter mucus thinners can also ease your discomfort.
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When Do Symptoms First Appear
The symptoms of a sinus infection often come on suddenly. COVID-19 symptoms can develop more gradually 2 to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
Viruses that cause a cold or flu tend to circulate in the fall and winter months. COVID-19 can occur any time of the year. While a sinus infection could develop following COVID-19, this hasnt yet been reported by research.
A sinus infection can also occur after exposure to allergens or irritants, such as pollen, pet dander, and cigarette smoke. If you have allergies or were recently around an irritant, you may be at risk for a sinus infection.
Sinus Infections Vs Covid
Sinusitis and COVID-19 share some symptoms. Those with an advanced case of a sinus infection can lose their sense of smell and taste, which is also a commonly reported symptom of COVID-19.
Dont fret. Sinus infections and COVID-19 are easy to tell apart. A sinus infection can be distinguished from COVID-19 by sinus pressure, which is typically absent with COVID-19. Furthermore, COVID-19 patients usually experience shortness of breath and fatigue, which is not associated with sinus infections.
Shortness of breath is a symptom of COVID because of the way the virus affects your lungs. Some sinusitis sufferers will find it difficult to breathe through their nose, and this may make you think that youve contracted COVID. However, if you can breathe through your mouth without issue, you most likely dont have COVID.
The difficulty breathing associated with sinus infection comes from nasal congestion due to dried mucus, or sinus inflammation caused by the infection. If you find it difficult to breathe, but all of the pressure is in your face instead of your lungs, youre experiencing normal sinus infection symptoms.
A sore throat caused by sinusitis stems from a post-nasal drip or the occurrence of mucus liquifying and dripping down the back of the throat. Over time this mucus intrusion will cause you to develop a sore throat.
Comparison of Symptoms Between COVID-19 and Sinusitis
|Sinus Infection Symptoms|
|Difficulty breathing through the nose|
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Can A Sinus Infection Cause A Fever
Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Masters of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
Fever often accompanies sinus infections. Having a fever combined with pressure in the face is a sure sign of a sinus infection.
Everyone has experienced a sinus infection, and everyone despises them. Sinusitis is one of the most common and bothersome illnesses on the planet.
Sinus infection is a major health problem. It afflicts 31 million people in the United States. Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on over-the-counter medications to treat it, according to The American College of Asthma & Immunology.
Contracting a sinus infection is pesky but usually not a big deal. However, in some cases, a simple sinus infection can become very severe and even develop life-threatening effects. A sinus infection can also mimic the symptoms of a more serious illness, such as COVID-19.
Discharge From The Nose Or In The Throat
The most noticeable symptom of a sinus infection is the presence of discharge from the nose. This sign is similar to what you would experience with a regular cold or seasonal flu. The mucus from your sinuses may also drip down the back of your throat .
The color of the discharge may help you identify whether youre experiencing a common cold or a sinus infection. The former will often cause nasal mucus that is watery and clear or cloudy. The latter often comes with mucus that has a green or yellow tint. The discoloration is not a product of the bacteria itself. Instead, it is a result of your immune system fighting the infection by increasing white blood cells.
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Exercises Using Body Weight
Body weight exercises can be done anywhere. The only equipment required is YOU!
Each of these exercises has hidden components within that will help you not only feel better, but move better as well. They engage your core, which is your buttocks all of the way up to your shoulders, not just that six-pack.
Specifically, with chair dips, tighten your buttocks to feel a full-body burn.
For calf raises, tighten your buttocks for engagement of your core. When you come back down, go slow to improve your mobility for stair climbing. Dont forget, when you squat, dont let your knees drift out past your toes.
For the palm press, youre not only strengthening your chest, but youre also stretching your carpal tunnel.
A More In Depth Explanation Of Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.
With acute sinusitis, it might be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face might feel swollen, and you might have throbbing facial pain or a headache.
Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a week to 10 days.
In most cases, home remedies are all that’s needed to treat acute sinusitis. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis.
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When Is Surgery Necessary For Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Some people continue to have chronic sinusitis despite therapy with antibiotics and drugs for symptom relief. Those that have a CT scan indicative of a sinus infection, and any complications of sinusitis may benefit from sinus surgery.
- Usually, surgery for sinus infections is performed endoscopically using a fiberoptic nasopharyngoscope.
- The goal is to remove obstructive mucosal tissue, open the sinus-nasal passageway, and allow the sinuses to drain.
- During the surgery, nasal polyps can be removed, and a crooked nasal septum can be straightened, leading to improved breathing.
- Long-term nasal steroids and periodic antibiotics still may be necessary.
If you continue to have sinus infections, your doctor will order tests or procedures to find out why. A culture can be taken at the office or during the endoscopic surgery, which may reveal anaerobes, a type of bacteria. Treatment for this type of bacterial or fungal sinus infection are treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
How Long Do Symptoms Last
Typically, a sinus infection clears up within 2 to 3 weeks. COVID-19 lasts for about a week or two depending on its severity and your overall health.
A 2020 study surveyed 270 outpatients with COVID-19. Among them, 175 people reported returning to their usual level of health about 7 days after a positive COVID-19 test.
Some symptoms like cough and loss of smell or taste may linger temporarily after COVID-19. Some people may experience long-haul COVID-19, a group of symptoms that persist in the weeks and months following an infection.
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What Is Considered A Real Fever
Your normal body temperature sits somewhere in the 97 to 99 range. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, you have a low-grade fever. A temperature higher than 103 is considered high and requires immediate medical attention.
With acute sinusitis, youll typically only see a low-grade fever. Fevers are not commonly a symptom of chronic sinusitis.
To treat a low-grade fever, you can try:
- Over the counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Taking a warm bath
- Use cold compresses
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.
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Pain And Pressure Around Face
Many people think that our sinuses are located just in the nose. The truth is that these sacs cover much more space around our nasal area from the lower forehead down to the front of the cheekbones.
Due to the fact that they cover a great part of the face, you might feel discomfort all over this location. As mucus builds up in the nasal passages, it might press on your nerves. As an outcome, you might feel inflammation, pressure, or heaviness in your face. Bending over usually makes the pressure increase. Sometimes, this pressure or pain can even interfere with sleep.
Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.
I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.
When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.
#2: Mucous Color
I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.
Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.
So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.
#3: Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.
However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
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When To See The Doctor For Sinus Infection
Symptoms that last more than 10 days without improvement and are worsening after you started to improve is cause for concern. If you have symptoms like severe headache or facial pain and a fever that lasts longer than three to four days, you should seek immediate medical care. Your doctor will be able to help diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and will provide an active plan of treatment.
While sinus infections are common, they can also be life-threatening. If a sinus infection becomes severe and goes untreated, it can spread to the brain.
How Do You Treat A Sinus Infection
When it comes to colds and regular, short-term, one-off sinus infections, you should be okay with over-the-counter medication coupled with plenty of rest and relaxation. As we mentioned earlier, however, if you have a bacterial sinus infection, you may need antibiotics.
Its important to remember that untreated sinus infections can cause more issues later down the line. These issues can negatively impact your sense of smell, eyesight, and even your brain. In other words, if your sinus infection does last more than 7-10 days, dont hesitate to visit your doctor. Its worth it in the long run.
However, one-time sinus infections vs. frequent, unrelenting sinus infections are what differentiates acute and chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis can last a few months and become a recurring theme in your life. If this is the case, you could end up requiring professional treatment such as balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that takes less than 20 minutes. During this procedure, a tiny, endoscopic is inflated within your nasal passage. This process opens up your passages and allows for better drainage and long-lasting relief from sinusitis complications.
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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.
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.
Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.
Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
The primary symptoms of an ear infection include acute ear pain and hearing loss. You will have the sensation that your hearing is muffled and you may experience referred pain to your throat or fluid in the middle ear.
When youre experiencing an ear infection, you may not necessarily see a change in color in or outside your ears.
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Exercises Using Resistance Bands
Resistance bands can improve overall strength and assist in building muscle in all areas.
The bands, as well as bodyweight exercises, can help you build muscle mass, depending on the amount of resistance used.
You want to make sure your bands are grounded and be aware that bands can break.
And you want to be sure your body mechanics are on point, specifically with the triceps push back.
Make sure you bend your knees and keep your back straight as not to create any pain while doing this in a different area.
Bands can offer variable resistance training for all!