When To See A Doctor
You should make an appointment to see your doctor if your symptoms last longer than five to seven days, persist despite trying the home remedies outlined above, include high fever or severe facial pain, or keep returning. You should also call a doctor or go to an emergency room immediately if you experience the following:
- Confusion: This could be a sign of a serious condition
- Swelling around the eyes or vision abnormalities: This could indicate that your sinusitis is spreading to the eyes
Antibiotic Treatment For Bacterial Sinusitis
Antibiotic treatment is usually only needed if the infection does not improve within 7-10 days, the person has another medical condition which may affect recovery, or if:
- Severe pain is present
- Swelling at the front of the head, cheeks or around the eyes occurs
- Nasal discharge contains blood
- High fever is present
These are indications that the bacterial infection is severe. Antibiotic treatment is usually prescribed for about 10 days, but shorter courses may be as effective, depending on the bacteria involved. The choice of which antibiotic to use will be based on which bacteria the treating physician thinks are likely to be involved in the infection.
Types Of Sinus Infections
During your visit with an ENT, its crucial to identify the potential causes of your sinus infections. Identifying the root of your health concerns helps the doctor design an optimal treatment plan to alleviate your pain.
Its common for sinus infections to be caused by a viral infection, which means that you can use at-home care for a few days. The symptoms will usually clear up in a week to 10 days, with over-the-counter remedies to help you stay comfortable.
Blocked, congested sinuses can also be the perfect breeding ground for the growth of bacteria. For example, there are times when it starts as a viral infection, then develops into a bacterial sinus infection.
Another potential cause of sinus discomfort is a fungal infection. Treatment for this type of condition may require different kinds of medication or surgery to clear up the infection.
Keep in mind that certain health conditions might contribute to the risk of sinus infections but dont cause the infections directly:
These health issues result in sinus blockages, which creates the conditions for an infection to form.
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Treatment And Medication Options For Sinus Infection
Up to 70 percent of people with acute sinusitis recover without prescribed medications, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology .
Treatment for acute sinus infections focus on relieving symptoms, such as by:
- Drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of rest
- Flushing out the sinuses with a saline nasal wash like a Neti Pot or a saline nasal spray
- Inhaling steam several times a day
- Using a humidifier
- Resting a warmed, moist washcloth or a warm compress over your nose and cheeks
Rare Cases Can Turn Serious
Antibiotics also can help ward off rare but potentially dangerous complications that arise when a sinus infection spreads to the eyes or brain, Dr. Sindwani says.
Complications around the eyes are the more common of the two. These complications can cause redness, swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, and even lead to blindness in a severe form known as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Serious cases are immediately treated with IV antibiotics. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for a CT scan to see if fluid needs to be drained, Dr. Sindwani says.
Also in rare cases, sinus infections in the rear center of ones head can spread into the brain. This can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis or brain abscess, Dr. Sindwani says.
Before antibiotics, people would die from sinusitis, he says. But he emphasizes that such complications are unlikely. In most cases, the bacterial infection goes away, especially if you dont have underlying medical problems.
Its important to monitor your symptoms if you suspect a sinus infection. If the condition lingers or worsens, call your doctor.
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Nasal Endoscopy And Ct Scan
In certain circumstances, the doctor may recommend an endoscopy to further examine you. The doctor will numb you with lidocaine and administer a spray that will thin the lining of the nose to increase space for the small endoscope. The small endoscope is inserted into the nasal opening, and the doctor will check for swelling, redness, drainage, polyps, and other causes of your discomfort.
The doctor may also collect a culture to be tested in a laboratory. If the doctor requires more information, a CT scan may be requested to further address the sinusitis.
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:
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Chat With A Doctor And Get Sinusitis Treatment For Just $23
However, the two vary considerably in their durations. If you have a viral sinus infection, youll typically start to feel better in 5-7 days. Symptoms unique to bacterial sinusitis include:
- Your condition gets much worse after you seem to be improving
- You have a high fever of 100° F or higher
- Symptoms lasting longer than 7-10 days
How Are Bacterial And Viral Sinusitis Diagnosed
Although most cases are viral, its important to appropriately identify whether your sinus infection is viral or bacterial. Differentiating between the two often comes down to the duration and severity of their symptoms. When meeting with a patient who has sinusitis, I first ask about their health history, as well as what their symptoms are and how long theyve had them. More tests arent usually needed, though if a patient has had several bouts of acute sinusitis the following tests might be used:
- CT scan: A CT scan can show more information regarding your sinuses and nasal cavity.
- Nasal endoscopy: A nasal endoscopy is a procedure where a doctor places a thin tube with a camera into the nasal cavity and sinuses. It can show whether a blockage is responsible for the symptoms, such as a tumor or polyp. A culture can show which type of bacteria is causing the infection, and the best antibiotic to treat it.
The Infectious Disease Society of Americas clinical practice guidelines state that a sinus infection is likely bacterial in nature if the following are present:
Did You Know?
Distinguishing an upper respiratory infection from viral sinusitis is challenging. 20-40% of children diagnosed with viral sinusitis most likely just have a URI, according to this study.
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Sinus Infections: Your Top 5 Questions Answered
Cold and flu season isnt quite over yet. If you have congestion that includes sinus pressure, you may have a coldor it could be a sinus infection. How can you be sure that its one or the other, and when is it time to make an appointment with your doctor?
Eric L. Winarsky, M.D., an otolaryngologist and surgeon with Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group, helps answer the 5 most Googled questions about nasal inflammation and sinus infections.
Can Sinus Infection Make You Dizzy
When you have a sinus problem, it is possible that the pressure in your ear can become too great and cause dizziness.The symptoms of this condition vary from person to person but one thing they all share? A sense of imbalance due both efforts needed by their brains inner ears as well as those felt while standing still or walking around without any physical activity!
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What Is Sinus Infection Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Lying behind your eyebrows, behind your cheekbones, and between your eyes are your sinuses air-filled cavities lined with a mucous membrane that filters and humidifies the air you inhale.
This membrane produces and circulates mucus into your sinus and nasal passages to help remove dust, particles, and microbes from the air that you breathe. Tiny hair-like cells called cilia sweep the mucus to the openings that lead to the back of your throat, allowing it to slide down into your stomach.
A sinus infection occurs when the sinuses become inflamed and swell up because of a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. The infection can be acute or chronic .
Can A Sinus Infection Go Away On Its Own Ct Sinus Center
Sometimes getting someone to go to the doctor when they arent feeling well is a challenge. A common excuse is that the patient feels that whatever it is will get better on its own. Sometimes this is true, sometimes its not. In this blog, we are going to talk about whether or not a sinus infection can go away on its own.
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Personalized Care For Sinus Infections
Whether you are experiencing an acute sinus infection or you have chronic sinusitis, Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is here to help. Our patients receive customized care and our undivided attention, ensuring a quality treatment plan to help find relief.
For more information about ENT services for families in the Collin County or Dallas area, call Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat. Well schedule a consultation for you to visit a doctor at a nearby office in Frisco or Plano, TX. We have an online appointment form you can use or call to schedule a visit: 596-4005.
S On How To Flush Your Dogs Sinuses
Step 1: Gently take your dogs muzzle and tilt their head back.
Step 2: Drip the saline into your dogs nostrils. Never forcibly squirt the solution up their nose.
Step 3: Allow your dog to swallow, demonstrating that the saline ran into the correct location.
Step 4: After a few swallows, switch to the other nostril.
Step 5: Reward your pooch for a job well done!
Need a visual aid? Check out this video that shows how to flush your dogs sinuses at home.
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Bacterial Vs Viral Sinusitis
Sinusitis is also classified by whether its viral or bacterial.
A viral sinus infection is much more common than a bacterial one. With viral sinusitis, a virus infects the lining of your facial and nasal cavities. It is typically caused by a viral upper respiratory infection.
A bacterial sinus infection is caused by bacteria infecting the lining of your facial and nasal cavities. It is usually caused by a virus first, with the bacterial infection coming later. This often starts in the nasal cavity before spreading to the sinuses.
Did You Know?
Bacterial sinusitis is much less common than viral sinusitis0.5-2.0% of cases are bacterial and they usually occur as a complication of viral sinusitis.
Do Sinus Infections Go Away On Their Own
Whether a sinus infection can go away by itself depends on why it happened in the first place.
A sinus infection caused by bacteria may not necessarily disappear on its own. Sometimes, a doctor may prescribe you antibiotics, which you would take for around two weeks. After you start taking the medication, your symptoms will likely go away.
If the sinus infection is due to a fungus, you may be prescribed an antifungal medicine or fungicide.
Remember, however, that the most common form of sinusitis is viral. In this case, though, you will likely not need any treatment as the infection will resolve on its own within about two weeks. You can help the process along by:
- Using a saline spray to rinse your nasal passages. This allows the mucus to thin out and acts as a decongestant, letting you breathe easier.
- Using a nasal decongestant. For particularly bad cases where your sinus infection interferes with your daily routine, you can temporarily use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant, although not as frequently as a saline rinse.
- Staying hydrated. Drinking more water can lessen the viscosity of mucus, making it thinner and easier to drain out of your nasal passages.
- Getting enough rest. The tiredness that comes with a sinus infection is your body trying to fight it. Allow your body to get the rest that it needs to recover.
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Essential Oils For Sinus Infection
There are many essential oils that have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, including:
- Eucalyptus oil
- Thyme oil
- Rosemary oil
Combining a few drops from different oils may be the best route to obtain maximum benefit from their different properties. Components of eucalyptus oil help to clear the air as well as break up mucus, while oregano oil is a potent antibacterial and antifungal oil. Eucalyptus is commonly found in cough drops and other medicines, but using it as an essential oil will yield a pure and more concentrated dose. There are a few ways to reap the benefits of these oils when you have a sinus infection.
- Steaming add a few drops to a pot of boiled water and hold your face over the steam.
- Sinus irrigation add a few drops to your neti pot solution for sinus irrigation.
- Homemade vapor rub or massage oil combining a few drops of essential oil with a base oil such as coconut oil or olive oil will yield a mixture that you can massage onto your throat to soothe and break up congestion.
- Oral consumption put one drop of food grade essential oil on the roof of your mouth. Careful not to consume much more than this, as essential oils are highly concentrated.
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.
When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue.
Can Sinuses Make You Dizzy
The inner ear is a really delicate and strategic location for all of your nervous system. When you have an issue with pressure in this area, it can lead to feelings of dizziness or even nausea! A buildup from sinus problems could make someone experience these symptoms as well so if theres something wrong going on at home position-wise then get medical assistance ASAP because time isnt always our friend when dealing directly into issues concerning the head/neck area.
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