How Do You Treat Chronic Sinusitis
Whether it is seasonal allergies that return every year like clockwork, or naturally small nasal passages that do not drain readily, some people find that chronic sinusitis is a part of life. In these cases, proactive treatment with decongestants and antihistamines can help to stave off the sinus congestion that can give rise to an infection.
Changes to your home environment such as eliminating dust and mold where possible and using a humidifier can all help provide relief as well. Many people who have recurring or chronic sinusitis also make use of steam therapy or neti pots to keep their sinus passages hydrated when symptoms begin. In extreme cases, having a doctor who knows your symptoms and knows when to give prescription medications may be necessary.
When Should I Ask My Doctor About A Sinus Infection
As with any other medical condition, it is imperative that you see a doctor if certain worrisome symptoms begin to appear. This is especially true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the first hint of sinus pain may not be a reason to head to the doctor, if you have been exposed to others who have tested positive or may be infected with the coronavirus, you should get tested if you begin feeling poorly. Similarly, a bit of nasal decongestion may not be cause for concern, but if you begin experiencing severe shortness of breath, get medical help immediately.
One of the reasons many people do not seek medical attention when they should is uncertainty about when they can get an appointment with their healthcare provider. At TrustCare, our many walk-in clinics are open every day of the week to make sure you can get the care you need without the hassle of making an appointment. If you are experiencing symptoms that seem like more than a bit of nasal congestion, visit one of our TrustCare locations today.
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.
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Other Considerations For Beating A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics:
Humming seems to help.
Grapefruit seed extract is a powerful anti-fungal that cleared up a breast infection for me when nothing else worked. Its also shown promise as an anti-viral. It tastes awful. I recommend using it in homemade cleaning products, and you can try drinking a few drops in water or freshly made juice two or three times a day at the first sign of a cold or flu. GSE may help you beat your sinus infection without antibiotics.
Sip on soup: Old-fashioned chicken soup, like your grandma used to make, is full of health-giving nutrients, deeply comforting, and tremendously healing. Load the soup with fresh organic garlic, onions, carrots, and greens , free-range chicken, and fresh spices . Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sip steaming hot throughout the day or as your body desires. You can also buy pre-made bone broth, which naturally minded doctors often recommend.
Invest In A Humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which may help reduce inflammation and open up your nasal passages. For a humidifier to be the most effective, Abi Hachem says it should be placed as close as possible to you in the same room so it can deliver the humidity into your nasal cavity.
It’s also important to keep your humidifier clean to prevent bacteria and fungi from building up in the tank and being released into the air, potentially causing lung problems. To clean your humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The EPA recommends that you empty the tank and dry all surfaces of the humidifier every day.
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How I Healed My Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Lying in bed with a sinus infection is painful, but with the right treatment it can be over soon. You may think that antibiotics are the only way to cure sinus infections, but at Express ER in San Antonio we know that there is more than one way to heal the body. Overuse of antibiotics is causing bacteria to become resistant to these medicines, making them ineffective.
Sinus Infections are rarely ever due to true bacterial infections, but you can make sure by making a trip to a local emergency room in NE San Antonio. The correct term for common sinus infections would be acute rhinosinusitis, or acute inflammation of sinuses and the nose. The cause of this inflammation varies, from the common cold to allergies and irritation of the sinus.
When Antibiotics Are Appropriate Treatment
In addition, antibiotics can be given to those whose symptoms have gotten worse or those who show no improvement after seven days.
If antibiotics are given, a 10- to 14-day course is recommended, according to the practice guidelines. Amoxicillin or amoxicillin clavulanate are typically the first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin.
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How Do You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Naturally
For those who want to limit their intake of all medications, including over-the-counter drugs, there are several natural home remedies that can provide relief from sinus pressure.
Many home remedies for sinus infections rely on hydration of the nasal passages. This can take the form of anything from holding a warm compress to your face, keeping your head over a bowl of hot water to breath in the steam, or even taking a hot shower. Increasing the amount of moisture in the nasal cavities can help flush irritants out of your nose, which will reduce your inflammation.
One of the most popular ways to treat a sinus infection at home is with the use of a neti pot. This treatment involves nasal irrigation where the sinuses are flushed with saline solution or distilled water either by pouring water from a neti pot or injecting it carefully into the sinuses with a bulb or syringe.
Just because nasal irrigation with a neti pot or small syringe is natural does not mean it is universally safe. It is vital that you use distilled water, as further infection can result from untreated tap water being placed in the sinus cavities. The infections caused by improper use of a neti pot have resulted in death, and for this reason some medical professionals are hesitant to recommend this treatment.
What Is A Sinus Infection
The sinuses, or sinus cavities, are hollow spaces that air flows through within the bones surrounding the nose. A sinus infection or sinusitis occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed. Normally, your sinuses are filled with air. When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.
How long do sinus infections last? Well, that depends on what type of sinus infection you have. Acute sinusitis can last over two weeks even with appropriate treatment. If your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 to 14 days, then youre more likely to have bacterial sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis lasts much longer at least 12 weeks! Chronic sinusitis with polyps is an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts 12 weeks or longer and is associated with having nasal polyps. Other forms of chronic sinusitis are associated with allergies or a deviated septum and also last 12 weeks or longer.
How can you tell what type of sinus infection you have? Your doctor wont be able to tell you if your sinus infection is bacterial or viral based on symptoms or an exam alone. The best way to tell the root of a sinus infection is symptom duration. If its a viral sinus infection, it should start to improve after five to seven days. On the other hand, a bacterial infection often lasts seven to 10 days or even longer and the infection can get worse after seven days.
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When To See A Doctor
Remember, acute sinusitis can last for several weeks. Give your body a chance to fight it off, using self-care techniques and getting plenty of rest.
If your symptoms start to improveeven if it seems to take a whilethen let it be. Be patient. Your body is slowly, but surely, doing what it needs to do to fight the infection.
However, if your sinusitis symptoms get worse despite proper self-care if theyre accompanied by high fever, a lot of facial swelling, and green or foul-smelling nasal discharge and if these progressively worsening symptoms persist for longer than 10 days, its time to see your doctor.
In these cases, an antibiotic may be warranted because the infection has gotten out of control.
On a final note, be sure to take probiotic supplements while on antibiotics. While important and often lifesaving, antibiotics have a downsidethey also kill beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic.
Probiotics help ensure you continue to have friendly bugs in your system. Take your probiotics several hours apart from your antibiotics, as the antibiotics could negate their effects.Take good care.
Inhale Diffused Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has a strong odor that often helps patients find instant relief from sinusitis. Research has found that cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, helps people recover from sinus infections more quickly than those who dont use eucalyptus oil. You can inhale eucalyptus oil through a diffuser, or rub some on your temples and chest to open your breathing passages. You can even use food-grade eucalyptus oil and place a drop on the roof of your mouth.
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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
Which Types Of Doctors Treat Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
- Many sinus infections can be treated by your primary care physician or an Internal Medicine doctor.
- However, it is not unusual to consult an ENT specialist,
- Infectious disease specialist,
- Allergist or Immunologist.
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What If You Want To Treat The Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Ive been extraordinarily lucky.
I havent personally been plagued with sinus infections. But my husband James, and my co-author Dr. Paul Thomas, and lots of people I know frequently get them.
I asked these good folks for recommendations for the best ways to treat sinus infection without antibiotics.
Lets talk about those treatment options for sinus infections without antibiotics. Then, lets talk about how to drill down to the root causes of sinus infections. After we figure that out, those sinus infections can stop ruining your life.
Here we go.
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Cant use a neti-pot or have a child that hasnt been able to master the use of this type of apparatus? Then, I would suggest a nasal saline spray from the drug store and use that instead. My sons use one with great results when they are congested.
Heres how the simple protocol works. You will be delighted how easy and effective this sinus infection remedy is. It may very well save you a trip to the doctor and a prescription for antibiotics.
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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.
Why Are Antibiotics Important
Antibiotics are one of the most common classifications of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Since their introduction to the world of medicine, they have helped treat countless people, especially those with infectious diseases.
Antibiotics are very crucial during surgeries and are used to prevent patients from getting any infections from the cut. Without antibiotics, there is a higher chance of blood poisoning and the more complicated surgeries would not be possible to perform.
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Can I Treat Chronic Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
Regardless of the type of sinusitis you have, there are a number of treatments that can help. The key to finding relief is to figure out whats really causing the underlying problem thats causing your sinusitis.
Your doctor may recommend any of the following treatments to help relieve your symptoms:
- Saline nasal irrigation: This treatment involves spraying or pouring a saline solution into one nostril. The solution washes out mucus as it moves from one nostril to the other.
- Nasal corticosteroids: These sprays help reduce the swelling and mucus associated with chronic sinusitis. They can also be used to help prevent nasal polyps from growing back after theyve been surgically removed.
- Oral or injected corticosteroids: Similar to nasal corticosteroids, these are used to relieve inflammation, especially if you also have nasal polyps.
- These medications are available as over-the-counter and prescription medications in various forms. They help lessen the leaking of fluid into your nasal tissues and help your nasal passages feel more open.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve facial pain.
Antibiotics are only sometimes necessary for sinusitis if you have a bacterial infection.
If chronic sinusitis keeps coming back, surgery is occasionally the best treatment option. A surgeon can remove blockages and enlarge the sinus passages, making it easy for fluid to properly drain.
How To Treat Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
While sinus infections caused by viruses, allergies, or other non-bacterial factors may not require antibiotics, they still cause the same symptoms which make you feel sick.
Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Nasal congestion
- Pain or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, or forehead
- Thick nasal or post-nasal drainage
Taking steps to alleviate your sinusitis symptoms is often the best treatment to lessen your discomfort.
Sinus infection treatment options include:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Rest, especially the first few days, to help your body fight the infection
- Moisturize the air with a cool-mist vaporizer
- Elevate your head while sleeping to decrease post-nasal drip
- Take warm showers or baths, as steam can soothe your sore throat and loosen mucus
- Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat
- Use saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation kit to alleviate congestion
- Use over-the-counter treatments, such as nasal drops and sprays or pseudoephedrine pills, as your doctor recommends them
What Not to Do for a Sinus Infection
You should always follow your doctors instructions when you are diagnosed with a sinus infection.
- Ask for antibiotics if your doctor feels they are unnecessary
- Take antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else
- Skip doses of your antibiotics or stop taking your antibiotics early when your doctor prescribes them
- Save antibiotics for the next time you get sick
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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.
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
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