You Have Frequent Colds That Can Cause Bacterial Growth
If you spend most of the cold season blowing your nose, you might be one of the many people who get frequent sinus infections from the common cold.
Celebrity plastic surgeon and ear, nose, and throat specialist, Dr. Andrew Ordon told INSIDER that most acute cases of sinus infections are caused by bacterial growth that occurs due to a common cold, which causes sinus inflammation that can block nasal passages.
What Causes Chronic Sinusitis
Sinus infections can be caused by a virus, a fungal infection, or bacteria. It can even happen simply during allergy season if your nose gets clogged up. That makes a sinus infection difficult to treat via medication because antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, though sometimes youll be given a steroid to help manage symptoms and swelling.
That leaves your immune system to do the heavy lifting. Most of the time, thats no problem. But when sinus infections are presented with favorable conditions, symptoms can linger.
In most cases, sinus infections thrive when theres an excess of fluid buildup in your sinuses. Some of the reasons why sinus infections might keep popping up include:
Nasal Polyps: These growths in your nasal passageway are usually non-hazardous. However, nasal polyps can block drainage out of your sinuses. That means fluid is more likely to build up and could result in repeated sinus infections.
In-home heating: Sinus infections are more common in winter. In part, thats because your in-home heating system tends to dry out your air. That dryness can diminish the mucus membranes that usually act as the first line of defense against infection.
Deviated nasal septum: If your nasal septum is deviated, you may experience difficulty properly draining your sinuses. This traps fluid in the sinuses and can cause chronic, prolonged, or more severe sinus infections.
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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Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
When Do I See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection Cough
If your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 days or if youre experiencing a really bad post nasal drip , then it might be time to see a doctor. Likewise, if your sinus infection cough lasts longer than 2 to 3 weeks, it also might be time to see a doctor.
At this point, your doctor might recommend antibiotics. However, if you have chronic sinus infections on a regular basis, you might need to consider a more permanent solution. One such treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 25 minutes to complete. It is a safe and effective procedure that requires no cutting or removal of bone or tissue.
During this particular procedure, a balloon is inserted into your nasal cavity and then inflated. This process is designed to expand your sinuses and restore proper drainage for an extended period of time. Upon completion, patients report experiencing long-lasting relief from sinus infections and sinus-related issues .
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Treating A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are different from colds because they are caused by bacteria growing in blocked sinuses. Because of this, they may improve with antibiotics. Depending on your situation, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, or other drugs that can help relieve your pain and lessen the swelling in your sinuses.
If you feel you may have a sinus infection that is worsening, visit your urgent care clinic or primary care physician as soon as possible. You could receive treatment to help you recover faster.
Bacterial Sinus Infections: When To Suspect
- Yellow or green nasal discharge is seen with both viral and bacterial sinus infections. Suspect a bacterial infection if the discharge becomes thick . But, it also needs one or more of these symptoms:
- Sinus Pain, not just normal sinus congestion. Pain occurs mainly behind the cheekbone or eye or
- Swelling or redness of the skin over any sinus or
- Fever lasts more than 3 days or
- Fever returns after it’s been gone for over 24 hours or
- Nasal discharge and post-nasal drip lasts over 14 days without improvement
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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.
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.
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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.
When To See A Doctor About A Sinus Infection
On the other hand, a secondary acute bacterial infection may develop, so its advised that you see a doctor if your symptoms last more than 10 days or if your symptoms initially improve but then worsen again within the first 7 days.
See a doctor immediately if you experience:
- A persistent fever higher than 102 degrees F
- Changes in vision, including double vision
- Symptoms that are not relieved with over-the-counter medicines
- Multiple infections within the past year
- Sudden, severe pain in the face or head
- Swelling or redness around the eyes
- Stiff neck
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Suffering From Chronic Sinus Infections Give Kaplan A Call
If this isnt your first time wondering whether or not a sinus infection can make you cough, it may be time to explore your treatment options. Whether you have recurring sinus infections or a chronic post nasal drip, we can help.
Dr. Michael Kaplan of Kaplan Sinus Relief has over two decades of experience helping Houstons with sinus-related issues, including sinus issues that affect the respiratory system, snoring, and sleep apnea. We offer a variety of safe and effective sinus treatment options and are considered leaders in balloon sinuplasty.
If youd like to learn more about these treatment options or simply find relief from a chronic sinus infection, give us a call or contact us online.
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Why Do We Sneeze A Sinus Infection Is More Than Just Clearing Out Dust From The Nose
Cats do it. Dogs do it. Humans do it, too, often two times in a row.
Naturally, were talking about sneezing. So, why exactly do we sneeze?
You probably believe that we sneeze so that our noses can get rid of irritants. While this is true, it is only part of a much more complicated story as Michael Aranda explains in the video. But first, you need to know the nose.
Our nostrils and accompanying nasal passages are separated by a wall called the septum. Behind the nose is a space called the nasal cavity, which connects to the back of our throats, and this is surrounded by sinuses, a system of air-filled pockets. The sinuses are lined with a thin layer of tissue that makes mucus, generally known as snot. Mucus prevents germs, dirt, and pollen from getting into our lungs. On the surface of the cells of the mucous membrane are microscopic hairs called cilia, which move all together like waves to clear mucus from the sinuses. All of these parts are necessary to filter the air we breathe into our lungs.
However, as Aranda explains, a University of Pennsylvania study investigated sneezing and discovered the nose is very much like a temperamental computer, requiring a reboot from time to time. Watch his SciShow Quick Questions video here.
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Sinus Infection Versus Cold: How To Tell The Difference
When it comes to the battle between a sinus infection vs. cold, knowing which one you have is tricky. Dr. Woodard suggests that you consider these questions to tell the difference between the two:
Other symptoms of a sinus infection may include loss of smell and taste, cough, congestion, fever, headache, fatigue or aches in your upper jaw and teeth.
What Is A Sinus Infection And How Is It Different Than A Cold
Each year, about 31 million people experience sinus infectionsalso called sinusitiswhich are usually caused by germs growing in the sinuses, the hollow cavities found behind the nose, eyes, brows, and cheekbones.
Most often, viruses cause sinus infections, but bacterial infections can cause sinusitis too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Typically, a bacterial or viral infection causes mucous membranes in the sinuses to swell and block the tiny openings into the sinuses, which interferes with their ability to drain. The trapped mucus allows bacteria to breed, causing pain and pressure in the head and face.
While colds, which are also caused by viruses, can lead to a sinus infection, a cold is not due to a buildup of germs in the sinus cavities. It’s also important to note that while antibiotics can be helpful for those with sinus infections, they are useless when it comes to fighting cold viruses.
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How To Prevent A Sinus Infection
Prevention is really the key, she said. Staying healthy by drinking plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, decreasing stress and washing your hands are all good preventive steps.
Make sure you get recommended vaccines such as the flu vaccine. Also, dont smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. And avoid close contract with others who have colds or other upper respiratory infections, Melinda said.
What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.
The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as from pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.
It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.
In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.
In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.
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Sinus Pain And Pressure
Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.
The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.
Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.
Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.
How Is Each Condition Diagnosed
A common cold can usually be diagnosed with a standard physical examination and a review of symptoms. Your doctor may perform a rhinoscopy if they suspect a sinus infection.
During a rhinoscopy, your doctor will insert an endoscope gently into your nose and sinus cavity so they can look at the lining of your sinuses. An endoscope is a thin tube that has a light at one end and either has a camera or an eyepiece to look through.
If your doctor thinks an allergy is causing your sinus inflammation, they may recommend an allergy skin test to help identify the allergen causing your symptoms.
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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.
How Do You Clear Mucus From A Dog
Honey can be a great home remedy for kennel cough as it can help soothe your dogs throat and minimize coughing. You can give your dog one-half tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of honey mixed with a little warm water in a bowl. This can be offered up to three times a day depending on how often your dog is coughing.
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How Many Times Is It Normal To Sneeze In A Row
Most people sneeze once or twice, although there are those triple-sneezers among us. Yet, there are some people who routinely sneeze in a series of four or more times, which is even more rare. No matter how many times you sneeze in a row, there are many good reasons for quickly trying to cover your nose and mouth.