What Are Complications Of 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.
Anatomy Of The Paranasal Sinuses
The paranasal sinuses comprise four pairs of sinuses that surround the nose and drain into the nasal cavity by way of narrow channels called ostia . Mucus leaving the frontal and maxillary sinuses drains through the ethmoid sinuses , so a backup in the ethmoids is likely to clog the other two types of sinuses. The sphenoid sinuses are located deep in the skull, behind the eyes. Sinusitis develops when one or more sinuses become blocked.
There are millions of bacteria in our noses, and most of the time, they’re harmless. Even when a few creep into the sinuses, they don’t cause trouble, as long as they keep draining into the nose along with mucus. But if sinus drainage is blocked, glands in the sinuses continue to produce mucus, and the resulting pool of backed-up mucus provides what Dr. Metson calls “the perfect culture medium.” The bacteria grow out of control, causing infection, and the immune system kicks off an inflammatory response. The result: swelling, which causes and facial pain mucus buildup, which produces congestion and an influx of white blood cells to fight the bacteria, which thickens the mucus and may tint it yellow or green. Other symptoms include loss of smell or taste, cough, bad breath, fever, toothache, and fullness in the ears.
Sinus Infection And Disorder Surgical Treatments
Coblation of the inferior turbinates
Coblation is an in-office procedure that reduces the size of the turbinate the structures that swell up from either side of the nose that can block the airway and impair breathing.
Numbing the nose takes about 15 minutes, and the procedure itself takes 10 minutes. After coblation, you will need to wait for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that no bleeding occurs. Most people return to work or routine activities right away.
Endoscopic sinus surgery
An outpatient sinus operation, endoscopic sinus surgery corrects structural defects of the nose and sinuses. Your surgeon in the UPMC Sino-Nasal and Allergy Center uses an endoscope, a slender device with a video camera attached, to guide the surgical tools during the sinus operation.
ESS can relieve chronic sinusitis Isinus infection) if sinus remedies have been unsuccessful.
Doctors can also remove nasal polyps in the office using ESS. After applying an anesthetic to the nasal membranes, your doctor will remove the polyps with a microdebrider, a hollow rotating suction that cuts and removes the tissue. Most people can return to normal activities right away. Other outpatient ESS procedures require a longer recovery time.
Rhinoplasty changes the outward structure of the nose.
Some people need this operation to allow the inside of the nose to work properly. For example, a person with a badly fractured nose may need rhinoplasty to unblock the airway.
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Can I Prevent Sinusitis
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
- Donât smoke, and avoid other people’s smoke.
- Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season, and try not to touch your face.
- Stay away from things you know youâre allergic to. Talk to your doctor to see if you need prescription medicines, allergy shots, or other forms of immunotherapy.
If your sinus problems keep coming back, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery to clean and drain the sinuses.
Youre Not Staying Hydrated
Drinking more water with a sinus infection may sound counterintuitive, but its essential to stay hydrated while you have a sinus infection. Your body uses water to make mucus, so when you have a sinus infection, your body needs more liquids to stay hydrated. Keeping your body hydrated during a sinus infection also makes your mucus thinner, therefore easier to get rid of it so you can breathe a bit easier.
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Which One Works Best
Many studies have shown that steroid nasal sprays are very effective at combating allergy symptoms in the nose. For example, in one study, researchers compared fluticasone and triamcinolone nasal sprays by asking 233 patients to fill out questionnaires over 21 days of treatment. The results of the study showed that both steroids were equally effective. It also showed that both medications were safe and didnt cause serious side effects. Another study from 2019 that also compared fluticasone and triamcinolone showed similar results.
Lets not forget about Afrin. Afrin is an older drug thats proven to work, but as we mentioned, you dont use it in the same way as Flonase or Nasacort. Afrin is for temporary symptom relief. It works in minutes but only lasts 12 hours. Flonase and Nasacort are for prevention. They take about 2 to 4 weeks to reach their full effect.
Essential Oils For Sinus Congestion And Pressure
That which we call a “stuffy nose” is really just an inflammation in the sinus cavity or mucus membrane which causes a partial or total blockage in the passageways that carry air to the nose. More often than not, that stuffy feeling quickly turns to heavy congestion and pressure between the eyes and in the forehead, and sometimes even in the mouth and jaw, or behind the ears and running down the neck.
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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.
Best Essential Oils For Sinus Congestion And Diy Recipes For Relief
Sinus pain. Sinus pressure. Chronic sinusitis. For some of us, those words inevitably conjure up images of repetitive sneezing, red and puffy eyes, drippy noses, boxes of tissues, and hankies jammed into our pockets.
Many of us know the woes of living with sinus pressure and what it feels like to suffer through bouts of congestion, noses dripping like faucets and, even worse, extreme pressure, headaches, and infection. Sometimes it feels like a vice is gripping your head and is squeezing more and more tightly until you almost can’t take the pain anymore.
Sometimes pressure builds and builds until it leaves you feeling dizzy and, at times, nauseous. Maybe it feels like you might be coming down with a cold or flu. No matter the symptoms, most of the time it just feels terrible.
When left unattended, continual sinus pain, congestion, and pressure can lead to an acute form of sinusitis, otherwise known as a sinus infection. When this occurs, all of the pain and pressure that is normally felt with regular symptoms of sinus issues are augmented and feel a thousand times worse. Many people report extreme facial tenderness, headaches, pressure in the ears, nose, and teeth, and nasal congestion.
Primary care providers most often prescribe a round of antibiotics to help the body fight off the infection or the virus. After all, when discomfort strikes, it is only natural to want relief as quickly and easily as possible.
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If Any Of Your Patients Are Suffering From Chronic Sinusitis And Have Been Through Multiple Courses Of Antibiotics Then You Know The Ills Of The Antibiotic Approach
The use of antibiotics can leave a patient with intestinal problems and often yeast infections.
If successful, antibiotics might resolve a sinus infection for six months or so. But the next time the sinusitis comes back, a different antibiotic will need to be used, and the side effects will likely return.
Why does this cycle occur? Why cant you win the war if youre winning the battles? Because the antibiotic approach often does more harm than good. It replaces microorganisms in the sinuses with new strains that are more difficult to eradicate with antibiotics, leaving a more formidable foe after each round.1
Even worse, antibiotics wont kill fungal infections, which are left to multiply. Furthermore, antibiotics are taken systemically, which means they course throughout the entire body even when they are only needed in the sinuses. This distorts the microbial flora in the body and can lead to other infections.
What approach, then, should a sinus sufferer take?
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Herbicide droplets crystallize when they dry and dont penetrate the leaf surface. Translocation of herbicide occurs during photosynthesis, which occurs during the day. However, night spraying can allow better initial penetration so that weed kill is more effective when photosynthesis begins the following day.
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What About Cayenne Pepper
If you’ve ever eaten spicy food, you know that it can sometimes make your nose run. That’s likely the reason some people believe eating or even snorting cayenne pepper can help with a sinus infection.
Similarly, others focus on capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers that makes them spicy, believing that a capsaicin nasal spray may clear out congestion.
However, there’s no peer-reviewed research to prove that either cayenne or capsaicin are an effective remedy for sinus infections. And while these foods are generally safe, they could have side effects if you take too much. Eating too much cayenne, for example, can irritate your mouth and stomach, and in very large doses it could lead to vomiting or diarrhea.
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In This Article
If you’re constantly plagued with a stuffy nose that just won’t quit, you might actually be dealing with a sinus infection.
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This kind of infection occurs when fluid builds up in the air-filled sinuses and nasal cavities, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When that happens, germs can grow and flourish.
Because most sinus infections are caused by viruses, according to the CDC, many don’t need to be treated with antibiotics .
Instead, you may want to talk to your doctor about ways to naturally ease your symptoms. Here are the best home remedies to get rid of a sinus infection.
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How Do Flonase Nasacort And Afrin Work
Flonase and Nasacort are glucocorticoids that reduce allergy symptoms like:
Itchy and runny nose
Its worth noting that Flonase is FDA-approved to help with watery and itchy eyes, while Nasacort is not.
Steroid nasal sprays are especially effective because they block allergic responses from six different types of cells in your nasal area. Allergy pills like or , on the other hand, only block allergic responses in one type of cell. Steroids can be used long-term to prevent allergy symptoms.
Afrin is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal area and helps fluid drain from your nasal passages to improve breathing. Unlike Flonase and Nasacort, Afrin is for temporary relief of symptoms. It can start to work in 15 minutes or less, but its not for long-term use because of potential side effects. More on this below.
Causes & Risk Factors
Any health situation that blocks off the vital drainage channels of your sinuses can cause a sinus infection including:
- Respiratory infections like the common cold
- Hay fever or exposure to allergens such as cigarette smoke, dry air and pollutants
- Obstructions in the nasal or sinus cavities including nasal polyps, deviated septum, or nasal bone spur
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Changes in air pressure
- Infections resulting from dental problems
- Physical injury to the sinuses
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi
The five most common bacteria that can cause sinus infections are: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Risk factors for sinus infections include:
- Having asthma
- Being in the hospital, especially if the reason you are in the hospital is related to a head injury or you needed a tube inserted into your nose
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Ocean Saline Nasal Spray
When it comes to simplicity and safety, Ocean Saline Nasal Spray is a hard one to beat. This product incorporates very few components and uses salt as its major active ingredient. It draws out the mucus and dislodges accumulated phlegm to clear out the airways.
Ocean Saline Nasal Spray is highly effective, giving instant relief for both adults and children who use the solution. The only issue some users have with the product is that relief duration may vary, especially depending on the extent of congestion.
How To Use A Saline Rinse:
Using a saline rinse is relatively easy. An appropriate rinse is comprised of 1/2 teaspoon sea salt mixed into 1 cup of warm water. After the salt has dissolved in the water, it can be poured into a nasal spray bottle or neti pot. To complete the rinse, lean over the sink and insert the nozzle into the nose, squeezing to allow the mixture to enter the nose. Allow the rinse to travel through the nasal passages and exit the throat. Complete the rinse as often as needed, but wait at least 30 minutes between each rinse.
How To Take Decongestants
Always follow the dosage instructions on the label or from your healthcare provider.
You can use most decongestants three to four times a day. Extended-release versions are used once or twice a day.
Nasal sprays work faster than oral decongestants. But don’t use them for longer than recommended. They can irritate your nasal passages and make congestion worse.
Some products contain a decongestant and a painkiller. Check the label before taking these with any additional drugs. That’ll keep you from doubling up on medications.
Your healthcare provider and pharmacist can tell you which drugs can be safely combined.
What Are The Different Product Options
For some people, the hardest part about choosing an OTC nasal spray comes from the fact that each brand has so many different product options. Heres a rundown of Flonase, Nasacort, and Afrin nasal spray products.
Flonase and Nasacort products come in adult and childrens versions, but if you read the labels, youll see that their ingredients and age limits are the same. They differ in the fact that the versions for children have 60 sprays per bottle, while the adult versions are also available in bottles that contain more sprays. Be sure to talk to a pediatrician before giving any of these medications to a child.
Childrens Flonase Allergy Relief
Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief
Childrens Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief
Flonase and Childrens Flonase are for people ages 4 and up.
Flonase Sensimist and Childrens Flonase Sensimist are for people ages 2 and up.
Flonase Sensimist is a newer product line that was made to produce a gentle mist with no scent or alcohol, and doesnt cause post nasal drip. It took away some of the major things people didnt like about the original Flonase. Unlike Flonase, which has fluticasone propionate, Flonase Sensimist has fluticasone furoate, a different variation of fluticasone.
Generic and fluticasone furoate nasal sprays are also available.
Childrens Nasacort Allergy 24HR
Nasacort and Childrens Nasacort are for people ages 2 and up.
nasal spray is also available as a generic.
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What Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
Sinus infection is most often diagnosed based on the history and examination of a doctor. Because plain X-ray studies of the sinuses may be misleading and procedures such as CT and MRI scans, which are much more sensitive in their ability to diagnose a sinus infection, are so expensive and not available in most doctors’ offices, most sinus infections are initially diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination. These physical findings may include:
- redness and swelling of the nasal passages,
- purulent drainage from the nasal passages ,
- tenderness to percussion over the cheeks or forehead region of the sinuses, and
- swelling about the eyes and cheeks.
Occasionally, nasal secretions are examined for secreted cells that may help differentiate between infectious and allergic sinusitis. Infectious sinusitis may show specialized cells of infection while allergic sinusitis may show specialized white blood cells of allergy . Physicians prescribe antibiotics if the bacterial infection is suspected. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections many physicians then treat the symptoms.
In addition, both rigid and flexible endoscopy has been used to obtain diagnostic material from sinuses. These procedures are usually done by an otolaryngologist under topical and local anesthesia. Occasionally, there may be a need to sedate the patient. Some investigators suggest that endoscopy specimens are comparable to those obtained by needle puncture.