Signs Of A Sinus Infection Getting Better
When youre suffering from a sinus infection, the pain, pressure, and nasal congestion can make the days feel long. Fortunately, for most patients, infections clear up in a week or so.
You may use some over-the-counter remedies to help relieve symptoms, such as saline spray, a neti pot, nasal steroid spray, or decongestant medication, but some good signs your sinus infection is getting better include:
- Increased energy
- No more facial pain or pressure
Remember rest and hydration are always key to kicking a sinus infection. But despite these improvements, you may still experience a lingering cough.
Nasal Discharge: Cause Treatments And Prevention
What is nasal discharge?
Mucus isnt just a slimy material in your nose it actually has a useful purpose. It traps bacteria, other germs, and debris, and prevents them from entering your lungs.
In some cases, such as when you have a cold or allergies, mucus may flow out of your nose or down your throat. When mucus comes out of your nose, its called nasal discharge. It can also be called post-nasal drip or rhinorrhea.
Although its annoying, nasal discharge is common and usually goes away on its own. But in some cases, its a sign of an underlying health problem that might require medical attention.
There are many potential causes of nasal discharge. Some of the most common include infections and allergies.
Can You Have Allergies And A Sinus Infection At The Same Time
Its possible to have allergies but not a sinus infection, and its also possible to develop sinus infections without having allergies. However, if you have nasal allergies, youre more likely to develop a sinus infection. Getting your allergies under control can help reduce your risk of recurrent sinus infections.
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Is There A Right Way To Blow Your Nose
If you have a stuffy nose, trying to force yourself to blow your nose could make it worse. The best thing to do is to blow one side of your nose at a time gently into a tissue. You might want to first use some type of nasal rinse to loosen any material in your nose before blowing. Make sure you dispose of the tissue and then clean your hands with soap and water or an antimicrobial sanitizer.
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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Postnasal Drip: What You Need To Know
Most of the time, you dont notice mucus production in the nose and sinuses because it drips into the back of the mouth, where it mixes with saliva and then moves down the back of the throat. This function is known as postnasal drip. You are swallowing this mucus throughout the day without a conscious thought about what is happening.
This process becomes more noticeable when the mucus production is increased. For example, a bacterial or viral infection can cause a runny nose and sinus congestion. As a result, the mucous might start to bother you because of the amount and thickness of it. Common symptoms can occur, including coughing, a sore throat, or frequently clearing the throat.
Postnasal drip is caused by a variety of health conditions that trigger increased mucus production:
- Environmental irritants
Another reason that you might notice postnasal drip is because the mucus isnt being cleared away properly. Your body might be producing the right amount of mucus, but then it builds up because of a blockage or other health concern that is interfering with the normal function.
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Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Some sinus infection and COVID-19 symptoms may overlap. Both illnesses can cause a fever, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue or a sore throat. Symptoms unique to COVID-19 include body aches, nausea, shortness of breath and vomiting. Learn the difference between the cold, flu and COVID-19 based on your symptoms.
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What Treatment Options Are Available For A Cough Caused By Sinus Drainage
The treatment your doctor gives you will depend on what causes the post-nasal drip, and can include different medical advice as well as various solutions:1,4
- antibiotics, if the cause is a bacterial infection.
- antihistamines, decongestants and other medicines, where appropriate.
- avoiding the source of any allergies that may be causing post-nasal drip.
- elevating the head during sleep and changing eating habits, if you have GERD.
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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Home Remedies For Sinus Infection Treatment
Chop up a few garlic cloves and drop them into boiling water. Inhale the steam from this garlic water repeat a few times daily for a few minutes each. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent, the pungent smell of which will help open up your congested nose, and kill the bacteria in your nasal cavity. You can also eat two or three crushed garlic cloves daily.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
This common kitchen ingredient has several beneficial properties it also helps in making easy home remedies for sinus pressure. Make a mixture of hot water, honey, lemon juice and water, and add two or three tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar to it. You can also mix apple cider vinegar to tea and drink the liquid three times a day. It will help flush out mucus from your sinus cavities. If you feel you are coming down with a flu or cold, you can immediately consume apple cider vinegar to avoid sinus infection.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Take boiled water and add a pinch of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt to it. Or, mix a teaspoon of sea salt and half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in boiled water. Use either of these liquids as solutions for nasal irrigation. Use a bulb syringe and use it once a day it keeps the nasal cavity moist and clears out mucus.
4. Cayenne Pepper
6. Boost Your Immune System
7. Make a Super Smoothie
8. Oregano Oil
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 Vs Cold: How To Tell The Difference
June 14, 2021 Written by: Michael Menachof Categories: Sinus
Dr. Menachof, MD, has specialized in conditions around the head, throat, ear, nose, neck and face for over 20 years, and was the first to bring sublingual allergy drops to Colorado in 2005. He has been recognized as a Fellow by multiple academies, named one of Americas Top Facial Plastic Surgeons continually since 2003 and is featured in multiple national publications.
When youre feeling sick, it can be tough to tell whether you are struggling with a sinus infection or simply have the common cold. The symptoms of these conditions can be very similar, but there are important differences between the two and they must be treated differently in order for you to find relief.
Hallmark Symptoms Of Covid
COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving virus. As of the writing of this blog, omicron is the dominant variant, but we have also seen others like Delta, and each has its own predominant symptoms. Symptoms often include dry cough, chills, fever, body aches, muscle pain, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, and loss of smell and taste.
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Birth Of A Sinus Infection
Most people dont give much thought to their sinuses. Yet these little air-filled facial chambers have an important job to do. When you breathe through your nose, your sinuses go to work filtering pollutants, allergens and other irritants. If your sinus cavities are swollen and inflamed due to a cold, mucus can become trapped and create a breeding ground for infection.
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What You Should Do
Dr. Sedaghat recommends that you treat colds symptomatically. “I tell my patients do whatever makes them feel better. Pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help. Home remedies that can improve nasal symptoms include saltwater rinses for the nose,” Dr. Sedaghat suggests. He also points out that maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your energy levels up.
Sinus infections are treated the same way as a cold. If bacteria cause the infection, antibiotics are an option. But many bacterial sinus infections get better on their own.
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How The Sinuses Play A Role In Postnasal Drip
The sinuses are air-filled cavities within the head, with four pairs that have right and left sides. If the sinuses are infected or inflamed, it can cause various symptoms, one of which is an increase in mucus production. When this occurs, you will notice more postnasal drip as explained above.
One common problem that occurs with chronic sinus infections is that the nonstop postnasal drainage results in a chronic cough. As the thickened mucus drains down the back of the throat, it causes a tickle to be felt, triggering a coughing reaction.
You can clear your throat and blow your nose, but the irritated sinuses will continue producing more mucus causing the throat tickle to never go away. The more you cough or clear your throat, the further irritated the voice box becomes, a vicious cycle.
Pay attention to how your upper respiratory system responds when you lay down to sleep at night. For example, when the sinus drainage causes a lot of postnasal drip, then it may cause you to cough at night. When you get up in the morning, your voice might sound hoarse and the coughing symptoms increase as the body is working to clear the mucus.
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.
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Signs Of A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is something you want to deal with right away to prevent it from escalating. However, its not easy to discern between the different symptoms and what they mean. After all, an infection manifests itself in a similar way to the flu or a cold, so you cant always act decisively.
With that in mind, here are some signs you have a sinus infection and should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.
Can A Sinus Infection Make You Cough
Can a sinus infection make you cough? Yes a sinus infection can definitely lead to coughing. This particular situation has everything to do with excess mucus and how your sinuses attempt to drain that mucus.
When youre dealing with cold symptoms, youre suffering from allergies, or you have a sinus infection, your body is likely to create more mucus than normal, which can end up draining into the throat. While this sounds rather disgusting, mucus in the throat is pretty common, and it can happen whether youre sick or not.
However, when this drainage happens persistently for an extended period of time, you can find yourself with a nagging cough. A cough from a sinus infection isnt necessarily cause for alarm, and it doesnt mean you automatically need to book an appointment with your doctor.
Lets break down coughing during a sinus infection and what a doctor might recommend as treatment.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection Vs A Cold
While the symptoms may be similarrunny nose, headache, fatiguethere are some differences between the two conditions that can help you determine which one you have.
The main difference between the symptoms of a cold and sinus infection is how long they linger. Dr. Bhattacharyya says cold sufferers typically have a runny nose for two to three days, followed by a stuffy nose for two to three days. After that, most people begin to feel better. The CDC notes that the following symptoms are common with colds:
- Mucus dripping down your throat
Alternately, sinus infections usually last a bit longer than a common cold, and may hang around for seven days or more. A fever may also signal a bacterial infection. As Lord can attest, sinus infections are sometimes accompanied by a low-grade fever, while colds typically are not. Other viruses do cause fevers, however. Heres what the CDC says about the other symptoms of sinus infections:
Another potentially helpful sign is the color of your nasal discharge. Unlike colds, which generally produce clear mucus, bacterial infections can produce greenish or yellow mucus. However, viruses sometimes produce colorful discharge as well, so this isnt considered a fail-safe test.
How To Treat A Cold
If you are dealing with a cold, there are plenty of home remedies that can help bring temporary relief to your symptoms. These include: 9
- Increasing fluid intake: staying hydrated can help soften, thin, and loosen secretions such as mucus and phlegm
- Humidified air: replenish moisture in the air to keep your sinuses from drying out and to enhance drainage of congested upper airways
- Honey: a good anti-inflammatory agent that can help soothe dry and irritated throat caused by the common cold
- Vitamin C: used as a dietary supplement to strengthen your bodys natural defense and immune system to aid recovery
Additionally, you can always look to supplement home remedies with over-the-counter medication. If you suffer from sinus pain, nasal congestion, headaches, or fever, you can trust BENYLIN® Cold & Sinus DAY/NIGHT Tablets for fast and effective relief. You can also look to BENYLIN® Extra Strength Mucus & Phlegm if you suffer from sore throat, body aches, chest congestion, and mucus and phlegm. These medications come in portable and convenient tablets, making it easy to grab, go, and use whenever you need it.
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How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
You can effectively treat sinus infections at home with over-the-counter medicines or one or more home remedies.
Dethlefs recommends, Drink plenty of water, use Vicks vapor rub on chest and bottoms of feet, rest and sleep and humidifier. One thing I like to do when my family is sick is boil water on the stove and melt Vicks vapor rub in it. Then pour solution in ice cube trays and freeze. Add 1-2 ice cubs to bottom of shower.
OTC medicines that may improve symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Nasal decongestant sprays help reduce swelling in the nasal passages to promote drainage flow from the sinuses. This sinus infection treatment should only be used for three to four days to reduce the risk of rebound congestion.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays help reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages without causing rebound congestion.
- Antihistamines remain particularly helpful for those whose nasal passages become inflamed and swollen due to seasonal allergies.
- Nasal saline washes and rinses help clear mucus from the nasal passages to promote easier breathing.
Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if OTC medicines fail to relieve your symptoms within seven to 10 days. Antibiotics are usually only prescribed as a last-resort treatment for sinus infections due to the risk of overuse, which may lead to other difficult-to-treat infections.
Home remedies for sinus infection include:
When To Suspect A Sinus Infection
How do you know if you have a sinus infection? The best way, of course, is to see a doctor. Because there are a wide variety of sinus infection symptoms and they may mimic the signs of other respiratory illness or seasonal allergies, the best way to be certain is to pay a visit to your doctor. However, first put on your detective hat and check for the following common signs. If you have a cold, you can also have an accompanying sinus infection, but they both should clear within a week.
Here are the most common complaints:
- Dull Pain: It can radiate from one or both sides of your nose, extend to the middle of your head between your eyes, or appear as dagger-like flashes along your upper jaw and teeth. You may only feel a kind of generalized pressure in your face and head, and it may feel worse when lying down, or when you first get up in the morning.
- Congestion: Swollen nasal passages make it difficult to breathe, and if the inflammation is combined with any kind of discharge, a sinus infection causes a lot of discomfort.
- Nasal Discharge: There are only two ways to eliminate nasal discharge: by blowing your nose, or by allowing it to drain down the throat. Either can be problematic. If the mucous is thick, cloudy, or tends toward green or yellow, you most likely have a sinus infection. It’s time to call your doctor.
- Hoarseness: Postnasal drip causes irritation and, if allowed to continue, it usually gets worse.
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