Irrigate Your Sinuses To Help Ease Symptoms And Prevent Sinus Infections
Nasal irrigation is basically a method of using a saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucus residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash, nasal douche, or lavage. Some people refer to it by one of the popular devices used to get the water in, a neti pot.
A small number of studies has found irrigation can improve symptoms, including one review published in September 2016 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Experts caution that it is important to use distilled or sterile water to avoid the rare possibility of introducing a parasite into your sinus passageways.
When Should I Ask My Doctor About A Sinus Infection
As with any other medical condition, it is imperative that you see a doctor if certain worrisome symptoms begin to appear. This is especially true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the first hint of sinus pain may not be a reason to head to the doctor, if you have been exposed to others who have tested positive or may be infected with the coronavirus, you should get tested if you begin feeling poorly. Similarly, a bit of nasal decongestion may not be cause for concern, but if you begin experiencing severe shortness of breath, get medical help immediately.
One of the reasons many people do not seek medical attention when they should is uncertainty about when they can get an appointment with their healthcare provider. At TrustCare, our many walk-in clinics are open every day of the week to make sure you can get the care you need without the hassle of making an appointment. If you are experiencing symptoms that seem like more than a bit of nasal congestion, visit one of our TrustCare locations today.
In the United States, sinusitis is the fifth most common medical diagnosis for which antibiotics are prescribed these days. The management of acute and chronic sinusitis is also costing this country over $11 billion every year. That doesnt even include the economic impact of lost work time due to illness.
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is a common problem that causes your sinuses to swell up. The sinuses become inflamed and cause symptoms that can be similar to the common cold. In fact, many people can contract a sinus infection after having a cold or the flu.
Around 31 million Americans are affected by sinusitis, spending more than $1 billion each year on medications to treat it. However, there are several home remedies for sinus infections that you can try that are cheap and effective.
Sinus infections are usually caused by a bacterial infection, but they can also be caused by viruses or fungi. These infections can either be acute or chronic. Acute infections usually go away in two or three weeks, but chronic sinusitis can last for up to 12 weeks or longer.
Your sinus cavities have a layer of mucus that helps to trap substances like dust and germs. When the lining becomes inflamed from a viral infection, like sinusitis or a cold, it swells. This swelling forces mucus to get stuck in the sinuses, which prevents normal drainage. When this happens, bacteria and fungi can start to grow in the blocked-up fluid, causing a sinus infection.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Pain, pressure, and tenderness around the eyes, forehead, and cheeks
There are several home remedies and treatments that you can try for sinus infections.
There are also some over-the-counter medications that you can try to help relieve your symptoms.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
When you notice the first signs of facial pressure and sinus pain, youre probably desperate for a way to stop the infection before it is debilitating. Instead of burying your head under a pillow and waiting for it to clear up, its important that you are proactive with your treatment plan. Even a small sinus infection can develop severe symptoms when left untreated.
Whether its your first sinus infection or you have chronic sinusitis, its essential to know your treatment options. Clearing up the infection should be a high priority so you can avoid potential complications of untreated infections.
Two Types Of Sinus Infections
Lets differentiate between acute and chronic sinus infections. Acute sinus infections can last up to 4 weeks. If you are experiencing sinus infection symptoms for longer than 2 weeks, it doesnt mean you have a bad case of sinusitis this is normal. If you experience symptoms for longer than 4 weeks, this can be considered subacute anything that lasts longer than 12 weeks is considered chronic.
Now, lets differentiate between bacteria and viruses. Either of the two can infect the body, and each warrants a different course of treatment. Bacterial infections require antibiotics, while viral infections do not they resolve themselves. All you can do in the latter case is to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and take decongestants. The majority of cases are viral, in which case your doctor cant prescribe you with anything other than decongestants.
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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 aren’t 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. It’s 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:
How To Cure A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
You know the misery of a sinus infection pressure building up behind your eyes, stuffy nose, that horrible post nasal drip. Not to mention the achy, sick-all-over feeling that just refuses to go away. Before you drive to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for antibiotics, learn how to cure a sinus infection the natural way.
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
Allergic inflammation caused by the common cold or allergies can cause blockages in the nasal passages. The nasal lining thickens, obstructing the process that naturally removes toxins and bacteria from the nose. The result? A painful, irritating sinus infection.
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #1 Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is a very powerful natural antiviral. Its very strong so its important to only use a few drops at a time. You can pick up a small bottle of oregano oil at most health food stores or online. Place a couple of drops into a 4 ounce glass of water and, using a straw, drink it down. The straw will keep your lips from burning.
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #2 Astragalus
Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to strengthen the immune system and protect the body against the effects of physical and emotional stress. It also contains antioxidants, which protect the body from damaging free radicals.
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #3 Goldenseal
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #4 Neti Pot
Other Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection without Antibiotics
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- If I have a sore throat and a fever, should I go to the doctor?
- How long will it be before my test results come back?
- What kind of antibiotic should I take?
- What should I do to make my child more comfortable while he/she has strep throat?
- My child seems to get strep throat a lot. Could this be a problem with his/her tonsils?
- Should I stay away from my family members while I have strep throat?
What Is Bacterial Sinusitis
Bacterial sinusitis is a bacterial infection of the paranasal sinuses, the hollow spaces in the bones of the face around the nose. Sinusitis is a very common problem, affecting approximately one in every eight American adults annually. Almost 30 million people seek medical help for sinusitis in the USA every year.
Bacterial sinusitis involves inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the sinuses, and is caused by a bacterial infection. There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses which are located below, above, between and behind the eye sockets the maxillary sinuses, frontal sinuses, ethmoid sinuses and sphenoidal sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are the largest of these, and are most often affected by sinusitis. However, sinusitis can affect any or all of the paranasal sinuses. Because sinusitis often occurs along with rhinitis, inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose, it is sometimes known as rhinosinusitis.
Bacterial sinusitis often follows a viral infection, such as a or the . Viral infections can cause the mucosal lining of the sinuses to swell. In healthy sinuses, mucus drains into the nasal cavity via small holes, known as ostia. Swelling of the mucus membranes in the nose or sinus cavities can block these holes, preventing mucus from draining out of the sinuses. Bacteria colonize the undrained mucus, which can lead to bacterial sinusitis.
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Treating Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
There are also complications that can develop with dependency on these drugs. The more antibiotics are used the less effective they can become, with possible side effects like dizziness, stomach problems and rashes.
Instead of turning to antibiotics, Alan Conway, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare in Tomah, suggests some alternative methods of treatment. Dr. Conway says, First of all, you should give yourself enough rest. Your body needs the time to fight the infection with full force, especially in the first few days when symptoms are the most severe.
Dr. Conway also says. Watch out for over-the-counter products that contain oxymetazoline. These products may relieve symptoms for a few days, but they can cause congestion if used longer than three days. Instead, use generic pseudoephedrine pills if you are stuffed up for more than three days.
Sinus infections can turn into a bacterial infection, due to the prolonged blockage in the sinus cavity. It is not easy to determine whether the infection is viral or bacterial, considering that the symptoms are the same for both. Even if the infection becomes bacterial, 70% of the time the infection will go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
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When To See A Doctor
Remember, acute sinusitis can last for several weeks. Give your body a chance to fight it off, using self-care techniques and getting plenty of rest.
If your symptoms start to improveeven if it seems to take a whilethen let it be. Be patient. Your body is slowly, but surely, doing what it needs to do to fight the infection.
However, if your sinusitis symptoms get worse despite proper self-care if theyre accompanied by high fever, a lot of facial swelling, and green or foul-smelling nasal discharge and if these progressively worsening symptoms persist for longer than 10 days, its time to see your doctor.
In these cases, an antibiotic may be warranted because the infection has gotten out of control.
On a final note, be sure to take probiotic supplements while on antibiotics. While important and often lifesaving, antibiotics have a downsidethey also kill beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic.
Probiotics help ensure you continue to have friendly bugs in your system. Take your probiotics several hours apart from your antibiotics, as the antibiotics could negate their effects.Take good care.
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Medical Treatment Of Sinus Infections
In almost every case where a sinus infection becomes something more or is deemed a chronic condition, antibiotics are employed as the primary treatment. Most medical professionals will tell you that antibiotics should only be used when the symptoms of a cold or a sinus infection become too great for the body to handlethis is common in young children and elderly adultsor when the infection lasts for more than 14 days. There can be a number of causes for a chronic sinus infection or an infection of the lungs and airways, which is why a physician should be consulted if you dont think your body is handling the sinus infection properly.
If you are experiencing more sinus infections than normal, schedule a checkup with your physician or ask to be referred to an ENT specialist. When all else fails, the professionals probably wont.
Schedule An Exam With A Local Ent
Are you tired of chronic, recurring sinus infections? Then its time to talk to a specialist about your treatment options. Our team provides the individualized care that you deserve, including one-on-one treatment with an ENT. We get to the root of the problem with an accurate diagnosis, then custom-design a treatment plan based on the unique needs of each patient.
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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.
Will My Sinus Infection Clear Up On Its Own
The first few weeks of the common cold arent fun, but the acute sinusitis that can pop up afterwards doesnt help either. Sinus congestion and the common cold, unfortunately, go hand in hand. Acute sinusitis frequently is caused by the common cold, but also can be caused by allergies and bacterial and fungal infections.
Sinus infections are caused when the cavities around your nasal passages become inflamed and swollen, which eventually interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. This tends to get annoying, because it makes breathing through the nose difficult. It also affects the area around your eyes and face, and can cause a throbbing headache.
When a sinus infection hits, its always worse than what you remembered from the last time you had one. This may give you the idea that you need antibiotics, but most clear up without them. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and arent recommended within the first week of developing a cold. About 70 percent of sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
Consider these other forms of treatments instead of antibiotics:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirins, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve temporary pain.
- Saline nasal spray. This is used to spray into your nose several times a day to rinse your nasal passages. They can help to prevent and treat inflammation.
Antibiotics only will be needed if the infection is severe, recurrent or persistent.
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Can A Sinus Infection Last 6 Months
Sinusitis symptoms that last for more than 12 weeks could be chronic sinusitis. In addition to frequent head colds, your risk for chronic sinusitis also goes up if you have allergies. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by an allergy, virus, fungus, or bacteria and can go on for months or even years, says Dr. Flores.
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What Are The Six Types Of Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on its duration and the type of inflammation . The term rhinosinusitis is used to imply that both the nose and sinuses are involved and is becoming the preferred term over sinusitis.
- Acute sinus infection usually lasts less than 3-5 days.
- Subacute sinus infection lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinus infection is greater than three months. Chronic sinusitis may be further sub-classified into chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps, or allergic fungal sinusitis.
- Recurrent sinusitis has several sinusitis attacks every year.
There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.
- Infected sinusitis usually is caused by an uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of a sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
- Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general timeline for acute, subacute, and chronic as infectious sinusitis.
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What Are Complications Of A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for a sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency .
In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye . Rarely, these infections may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems, diabetes, and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.