How To Identify And Treat Sinus Infections
Lets talk about sinus. What often begins as a sniffle and a slightly blocked nose can quickly become an irritating drip down your throat and a literal pain in your head. Unfortunately, no amount of blowing your nose helps to clear it. Instead, your sinus passages continue to fill up, and the exterior of your nose gets irritated from all the rubbing and blowing.
Its not the only part of your body thats a little raw. If youre experiencing post-nasal drip, your throat will begin to hurt, and your voice can become hoarse. So how do you prevent sinusitis?
In this article, were going to explain what causes a sinus infection, how to identify and treat it, and when to seek help from a medical professional.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
Food Fix: Immune System Boost
Most people turn straight to vitamin C after theyve caught a cold. Thats because it helps build up your immune system.
Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.
Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, its easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.
Popular citrus fruits include:
Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and its a must-have for your health.
Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also slow down hardening of the arteries, and theres that it helps lower blood pressure.
Garlics immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well.
While its used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.
Ginger may also
Spinach made our list not just because its rich in vitamin C its also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
If youve ever suffered from a sinus infection , you know that the symptoms, such as the constant dripping from your nose or the sore irritated throat, are just shy of unbearable. Heres a list of symptoms you might experience if youre suffering from sinusitis:
- Sinusitis is typically accompanied by a stuffy, congested nose.
- People typically report difficulty breathing through their nose, often with discolored discharges and/or a runny nose.
- Many people complain of post-nasal drip, which is the term for the mucus running down the back of your throat. This can lead to irritation because of the constant swallowing, coughing and clearing-of-the-throat.
- In some cases, people may experience anosmia due to the smell receptors being blocked and irritated. It typically resolves itself after the symptoms have cleared, although there are treatments to help speed up the recovery process.
- People also report a feeling of swelling, tenderness, and pain around the eyes and in the forehead.
Treatment For Sinus Infections In Austin Tx
At Nasal & Sinus Center of Austin, our highly qualified ENT doctors provide sophisticated and proven effective solutions for the entire range of conditions affecting the nose, ears, and throatincluding sinus infections. Our ENT doctors are among the first in the world to perform balloon sinuplasty, and have helped scores of patients in Austin and throughout the region breathe better using this innovative technique.
To see one of our ENT doctors, call us at call or . You may also use this form to request an appointment, and we will get in touch with you promptly.
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How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should I Drink For Sinus Infection
Apple Cider Vinegar
A cup of hot water or tea, taken three times daily with two or three tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will help thin out excessive mucus relieving congestion and sinus pressure. Mix with lemon and honey to taste.
Can apple cider vinegar help a sinus infection?
Also to know is, can Apple cider vinegar help a sinus infection?Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid as its primary constituent that helps preventing bacteria growth. Drink a glass of warm water mixed with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and honey to combat your sinus infection. Hot fluids thin out your mucus and effectively evacuate them from your system.
what is the fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection?
What Are The Treatment Options
If you take your child to an ENT specialist, or otolaryngologist, they will examine your childs ears, nose, and throat. A thorough history and examination usually leads to the correct diagnosis. The doctor may also look for factors that make your child more likely to get a sinus infection, including structural changes, allergies, and problems with the immune system.
Occasionally, special instruments will be used to look into the nose during the office visit. Imaging of the sinuses, such as a CT scan, are not recommended in acute sinusitis unless there are complications from the infection. Radiation safety concerns may limit imaging scans, especially in children younger than six-years-old.2
Acute sinusitisWhen bacterial sinusitis is present, most children respond very well to antibiotic therapy. Nasal steroid sprays or nasal saline drops or gentle sprays may also be prescribed for short-term relief of stuffiness. Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines are generally not effective for viral upper respiratory infections in children, and should not be given to children younger than two-years-old.
Chronic sinusitisIf your child suffers from two or more symptoms of sinusitis for at least 12 weeks and has signs of sinus pressure, he or she may have chronic sinusitis.3 Chronic sinusitis or more than four to six episodes of acute sinusitis per year indicates that you should see an ENT specialist, who can recommend appropriate medical or surgical treatment.
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Treatment For Sinus Infections
The type of treatment you will receive will depend on what type of sinus infection you have and how long youve had it.
If you have a bacterial sinus infection, your ENT doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics, which you will have to take for seven to ten days.
Nasal allergies in themselves cause sinus irritation, which can put you at a greater risk of developing an infection. If you have nasal allergies, your ENT specialist will likely give you nasal sprays to soothe the irritation. However, if you have severe inflammation, you may need to take oral steroids, possibly along with oral decongestants.
If your sinus infection doesnt respond to conservative interventions or is complicated by nasal polyps or structural problems, your ENT doctor may recommend surgery, possibly balloon sinuplasty a revolutionary, minimally invasive alternative to traditional sinus surgery. This type of endoscopic nasal surgery has been touted by experts for effectively addressing chronic or recurrent sinusitis.
Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
Sinus infection or sinusitis is common. Many times it is mild and rarely causes complications. Even sometimes it will get better in time with nothing more than enough rest and fluid. However if its complications have occurred, some could be dangerous or even life-threatening. Thats why its also important to understand the warning signs and when to seek immediate medical help!
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Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
Favorite Resources For Finding A Specialist
Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website provides a valuable search tool to find a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Sinus Infection Cold Or Nasal Allergy
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold, allergies, and a sinus infection. The common cold typically builds, peaks, and slowly disappears. It lasts a few days to a week. A cold can transform into a sinus infection. Nasal allergy is inflammation of the nose due to irritating particles . Symptoms of a nasal allergy can include sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, congestion, runny nose, and post nasal drip . Sinusitis and allergy symptoms can happen at the same time as a common cold.
If you are fighting off a cold and develop symptoms of a sinus infection or nasal allergy, see your healthcare provider. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and medical history.
How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
It depends on the type of sinus infection. Someone sufferingfrom a cold or an upper respiratory infection might experience acute sinusitis. This usually clearswithin four weeks.
Subacute sinusitis resulting from seasonal allergiesor bacteria can last up to three months.
And chronic sinusitis can last for 12 or more weeks. If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis, youll likely experience head pain, infected discharge usually green or yellow, and congestion.
So how do you know when to call your doctor?
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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.
How Do Sinus Infections Start
Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinus or nasal cavity becomes inflamed. What can start as inflammation in your sinuses from a respiratory infection, allergies or environmental pollutants can spark a sinus infection when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen, causing mucus to become trapped and germs to grow.
“Once you have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection, that virus can then settle into the sinuses and cause inflammation as well,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, an otolaryngologist and chair of Houston Methodist ENT Specialists. “About 95% of sinusitis is caused by a virus making it much more common than bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is also much more infectious as well.”
Certain conditions, such as having allergies, asthma or a respiratory infection, can make people more susceptible to getting chronic sinus infections, and it is important that these patients be evaluated to address the cause and not just the sinusitis symptoms.
“There are many causes of chronic sinusitis. “Patients with a weakened immune system are more prone to getting recurrent acute sinusitis,” explains Dr. Takashima. “Sometimes, however, the issue may be anatomy, such as a deviated septum , scarring from previous sinus surgery, or nasal polyps, which result from chronic inflammation in the nose. Once the polyps get to a certain size, they rarely regress on their own and they narrow the sinus drainage pathways.”
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The Weird Causes Of Sinus Infections
Did you know that sinus inflammation is a common complication of allergies or any viral, fungal, or bacterial infections?
Even a pinched nerve in your back can cause systemic inflammation .
Technically, nasal congestion produces swelling in the sinus cavity, obstructing drainage and causing mucus to stagnate. A perfect breeding ground for infection.
To your health and happiness,
Your Sinus Infection Natural Treatment
Obviously, you shouldnt use ALL of these remedies TOGETHER. Just choose a few of them, the most available to you, and youre set.
A few combinations you can try are:
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Home Remedies To Help Resolve Sinusitus
- Tryusing saline nasal sprays or decongestant nasal sprays. Saline sprays arerecommended for regular use. A decongestant nasal spray should only be taken inacute cases. Prolonged exposure to the spray can cause congestion to worsen.Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray to help reduce swellingand inflammation. Again, only use the spray as recommended. If you experiencenose bleeds, stop using the spray immediately.
- Over-the-countermedications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can help with headaches, hightemperatures and reduce inflammation.
- Attempta nasal irrigation. It might not sound pleasant but using a syringe filled withpre-boiled salt water to irrigate the nasal cavities can help to remove infectedmucous. Make sure to boil the tap water to kill potential bacteria, then let itcool down before insertion.
- Trysteam inhalation. Add a teaspoon of Vicks vapour rub to a bowl of boilingwater. Cover your head with a towel over the bowl and breathe in the steam forroughly ten minutes. This can help to clear out your nasal cavities.
- Rest.Often infections arise because our bodies are overworked. Giving yourselfplenty of time to rest allows you time to heal.
- Stayhydrated. Drinking water regularly can help to keep the mucous thin.
- Placea warm face cloth or compress on your face to help ease the pain.
- Usea humidifier to moisten the air and soften dried mucus in your nose. This canreduce congestion allowing you to breathe easier.
How Long Do Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis Last
Sinusitis or sinus infections usually clear up if treated early and appropriately. Aside from those who develop complications, the outlook for acute sinusitis is good. People may develop chronic sinusitis or have recurrent attacks of acute sinusitis if they have allergic or structural causes for their sinusitis.
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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.