What Is A Serious Sinus Infection Like
When sinus infections occur, theyre usually classified as either acute or subacute infections, meaning they go away in one to four weeks and are relatively minor.
The problem is chronic sinus infections, which often wont go away without intervention. If your sinus infection is persisting for longer than a month, and the symptoms are only getting worse, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. At that point, the infection is most likely bacterial, and your body will need the help of antibiotics to purge it.
Its very important to consult a healthcare professional before considering antibiotics, not only because youll require a prescription from a licensed doctor but because taking antibiotics more often than needed isnt good for your natural bacteria levels.
Key Points To Remember
- Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. Most people who get sinusitis have a cold first. Sinusitis usually goes away on its own.
- Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t help. Over-the-counter medicines and home treatment can help you feel better.
- Antibiotics do work if sinusitis is caused by bacteria. But you may not need to take them. Most people get better even if they don’t take antibiotics.
- Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it. This is called antibiotic resistance.
- Antibiotics have side effects. The most common ones include upset stomach, diarrhea, and belly pain. Antibiotics can also lead to vaginal yeast infections.
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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How Is Sinusitis Treated
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your sinusitis. Most of the time, treatment includes medicines and taking care of yourself at home. Medicines that are used most often include:
- , such as Sudafed, that are taken as pills or liquids. These can reduce swelling and improve sinus drainage.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine, such acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
- Antibiotics, which kill bacteria. Antibiotics will only work if your sinusitis is caused by bacteria. Most of the time, sinusitis is caused by a virus.
Sinusitis : Antimicrobial Prescribing
People presenting with symptoms for around 10 days or less
1.1.1 Do not offer an antibiotic prescription.
1.1.2 Give advice about:
the usual course of acute sinusitis
an antibiotic not being needed
managing symptoms, including fever, with self-care
seeking medical help if symptoms worsen rapidly or significantly, do not improve after 3 weeks, or they become systemically very unwell.
1.1.3 Reassess if symptoms worsen rapidly or significantly, taking account of:
alternative diagnoses such as a dental infection
any symptoms or signs suggesting a more serious illness or condition.
For a short explanation of why the committee made these recommendations, see the evidence and committee discussion on no antibiotic.
Full details of the evidence and committee discussion are in the evidence review.
People presenting with symptoms for around 10 days or more with no improvement
1.1.4 Consider prescribing a high-dose nasal corticosteroid for 14 days for adults and children aged 12 years and over, being aware that nasal corticosteroids:
may improve symptoms but are not likely to affect how long they last
could cause systemic effects, particularly in people already taking another corticosteroid
may be difficult for people to use correctly.High-dose nasal corticosteroids used in the studies were mometasone 200 micrograms twice a day and fluticasone 110 micrograms twice a day. This is an off-label use of nasal corticosteroids See NICEs information on prescribing medicines.
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Price Of Amoxicillin For Sinus
The average price of Amoxicillin for Sinus 500 mg Tablet is around Rs. 67.87 in the Indian market.
|Average price of Amoxicillin 500 mg strip of 10 tablets||Rs. 67.87|
The medicine is available in a lot of forms-
- Powder for oral suspension
You should take amoxicillin exactly as prescribed by the doctor. You should also follow all the directions given on the label word-to-word and read the instruction sheet thoroughly.
One should take the medicine at the same hour of the day daily. If you are taking oral suspension, then shake the bottle before use. You can mix it with water, milk, baby formula, fruit juice or ginger ale.
In case you are taking tablets, do not crush, chew, or break the tablet before gulping it. Lastly, do not change the dose or schedule without consulting the doctor first.
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.
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Is Your Sinus Infection Caused By A Virus Or Bacteria
Physicians may not know if sinusitis is bacterial or viral, because the diagnosis is typically done by observing symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
- Thick nasal or post-nasal drainage
Sometimes other tests such as computed tomography scan or cultures are used to help make the diagnosis.
Despite the recommendations that antibiotic use be judicious, they are still overused for sinusitis, according to many physicians who specialize in treating sinus problems.
Some physicians say they give patients with sinusitis a prescription for antibiotics, and recommend they wait three to five days before filling it, and only fill it if symptoms are not better by then. A can be used to help relieve your symptoms and promote drainage.
The longer symptoms last, the more likely a sinus problem is to be a bacterial infection, some experts say.
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When Do We Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but your doctor can decide if you need an antibiotic. You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:
Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics arent needed, they wont help you, and their side effects could still cause harm. Side effects can range from minor issues, like a rash, to very serious health problems, such as antibiotic-resistant infections and C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death.
Sinusitis In The Real World
How effective are antibiotics for patients diagnosed not by sinus x-rays or CTs, but by signs and symptomsas we typically do in daily practice?
A meta-analysis3 of 13 randomized controlled trials found that sinusitis improved without antibiotics, but it included trials in which patients were recruited based on results of imaging studies and cultures, which are not normally used in primary care clinical practice. That study compared antibiotic treatment to placebo for acute uncomplicated sinusitis 35% of placebo-treated patients were clinically cured by 7 to 12 days and 73% were improved after 7 days. Antibiotic therapy increased cure rates by 15% and improvement rates by 14%, yielding a number needed to treat of 7 to achieve 1 additional positive outcome at 7 days.
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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?
What Is Sinus Infection
Medically known as rhinosinusitis, Sinus infection or Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. It occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often persists even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria, or rarely fungus, may cause a sinus infection.
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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 Infection Treatment In Children
Sinus infections affect children similarly.
If your child has a sinus infection, the aforementioned home remedies may help, but make sure to follow your pediatricians recommendations to treat your childs illness.
Note that various over-the-counter medications may not be suitable for your child:
- Babies 6 months old or younger should only receive acetaminophen for pain relief
- Children older than 6 months can receive acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Children should never receive aspirin and teenagers recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not take aspirin because of the risk of a rare and severe illness called Reyeâs syndrome
Children younger than 4 years should not receive cough or cold products unless directed by a pediatrician .
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Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.
The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.
There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.
Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus infection.
Other Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
There are a few other reasons you might be prescribed antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection. Strep throat, medically known as streptococcal pharyngitis, is a sore throat caused by infection by streptococcal bacteria. It is usually treated with penicillin.
Swelling of the epiglottis, the flap of tissue covering the windpipe, is potentially life-threatening, particularly in children ages 2 to 5 years. Called epiglottitis, this condition can impact breathing and is often caused by infection with the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type b and should be treated with antibiotics, including a cephalosporin.
If the cold leads to an ear infection, antibiotics may help resolve it if pain relievers and decongestants dont do the trick. Antibiotic use guidelines for children with ear infections differ based on their age and symptoms.
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Do I Need Antibiotics
Antibiotics are seldom needed to treat sinusitis because sinusitis is mostly caused by viruses . Antibiotics only work against bacteria but not viruses. Using antibiotics when they are not needed can lead to antibiotic resistance. This is when overuse of antibiotics encourages the growth of bacteria that cant be controlled easily with drugs. That makes you more at risk of antibiotic-resistant infections in the future and makes antibiotics less effective for everyone.
- Antibiotics are considered when symptoms last longer than 10 days, start to improve but then worsen again, or are very severe such as a fever over 39°C, extreme pain and tenderness over your sinuses, or signs of a skin infection, such as a hot, red rash that spreads quickly.
- If you are given antibiotics, finish the full course.
- Read more about antibiotics for sinusitis Choosing Wisely, NZ
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.
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Whats The Best Way To Get Sinus Pressure Relief
Over-the-counter options include nasal decongestants and nasal steroid sprays. Some people try saline spray and nasal irrigation to find relief. Others stick with over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain and fever symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids, applying warm compresses to the sinus area, light facial massage and vaporizer use can also keep congestion moving on the way out.
This is a very complex problem and depending on the severity and the level of inflammation there are a host of diagnostic exams and tests to be performed before a true diagnosis can be made so that a treatment plan can be formulated, Winarsky says.
As such, there is no silver bullet or one pill to take that can alleviate all the symptoms.
While a sinus infection can go away on its own, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctorespecially if you seem to be getting a lot of sinus infections. Also, nasal discharge, fever, congestion or pain that lasts more than 10 days warrants a trip to see your physician.
Using The Right Water During Saline Rinses
When using saline nasal rinses, tap water should always be boiled and then allowed to cool to ensure cleanliness distilled water or premixed solutions could also be used instead of regular tap water.
Other home remedies for sinus infections include:
- Drinking fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen and thin mucus. Avoid beverages that are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate the body, which could thicken mucus.
- Breathing steam: Warm water is best . You can breathe in steam from either a bowl or shower.
- Humidifying the air: Use a cool air vaporizer or humidifier,particularly at night while sleeping.
- Avoiding environmental substances: Avoid tobacco smoke and chlorinated water that can dry up the mucus membranes and exacerbate symptoms.
- Implementing treatment measures: At the first sign of infection, use antihistamines and employ regular nasal rinses.
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