How Can I Avoid Getting A Sinus Infection
While theres no sure way to guarantee you wont get a sinus infection, there are things you can do to reduce your risks. Because most sinus infections are viral, its important to take the same steps you would to avoid getting a cold or any other virus.
Sinus infection prevention tips
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth
- Limit contact with people who have colds or other viruses
- Disinfect common household items and things like cellphones and shopping cart handles
- Get plenty of sleep
If you suspect that your sinus infections are being triggered by allergies, its a good idea to take steps to avoid common allergens like pet dander, dust, pollen and smoke. You can also talk to a medical provider who can help determine the cause of your allergies and prescribe medications to keep your allergies in check.
Are There Different Types Of Sinus Infections
There are many different types of sinus infections, but they all have one thing in common: they are caused by bacteria or viruses and can be very contagious. Some other examples include colds/flu as well as ear infections if an infection spreads from your nose into these areas where theres poor circulation due to being clogged up with mucus and or fluids stagnant stagnancy due to congestion not draining properly on its own/ with the help of gravity downwards facilitating movement aka aided by a bulb syringe aspirator nasal irrigation system cleaning out the passages without needing to lean over in a seated position while tilting your head sideways, inserted into one nostril at a time flushing it out regularly and as needed rinsing off the infected area with lukewarm sterile saline water , using either over-the-counter or prescription medications.
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What Triggers Sinusitis
The common cold is the leading culprit. The average adult gets two to three colds a year, and the average child gets six to 10. Colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and antibiotics are useless for treatment. But cold viruses produce swelling of the nasal tissues, which can sometimes block the sinuses. Colds also change the mucus, preventing it from doing its normal job of clearing viruses and bacteria from the sinuses.
You may get some sinus pressure when you get a cold, but that doesn’t mean you have sinusitis or that you need an antibiotic. Only about one cold in 100 leads to sinusitis, and you can make the odds work for you by doing what it takes to keep your sinuses draining . You can also help your cause by blowing your nose gently without pinching it tightly forceful blowing can force bacteria up into your sinuses.
Many other things can block your sinuses and lead to infection. The list includes allergies, cigarette smoke and other irritating fumes, changes in barometric pressure during flying or scuba diving, nasal polyps, and a deviated nasal septum.
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Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
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 improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- 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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Will Sinus Infection Clear On Its Own
Sinusitis often develops after a cold or viral infection. Most sinus infections improve on their own, but sometimes they develop into a bacterial infection swelling, inflammation, and mucus production caused by the cold can lead to blockage in the nasal passages, which may encourage the growth of bacteria.
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
Sinusitis describes inflammation of one or more of the paranasal sinuses, the air-filled spaces in the facial bones that open into the nasal cavity. This condition often occurs because of infection. Although infectious sinusitis is certainly uncomfortable, it usually does not pose a serious health threat. However, rare complications of infectious sinusitis can be dangerous and potentially life threatening if not diagnosed and treated promptly. These complications involve spread of the infection to the structures around the eye, the facial bones and/or the nervous system. Although rare, it’s important watch for warning signs and symptoms that might signal a potentially serious infectious sinusitis complication.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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What Happens If You Leave A Sinus Infection Untreated
If left untreated, a sinus infection has the potential to spread to your meninges , causing them to become inflamed a condition called meningitis. Meningitis causes the following signs and symptoms: Sudden high fever.
How do you know if you need antibiotics for a sinus infection?
Generally, antibiotics are needed when: Sinus infection symptoms last longer than a week. Symptoms get worse after they start to get better. Symptoms of sinusitis are severe
What Are The Sinuses
The sinuses are hollow, interconnected spaces inside your skull. They extend across your forehead, behind your nose, between your eyes and under your cheekbones. Sinus walls have a layer of mucus that traps bacteria and keeps the air inside moist.
Sinuses need to drain frequently. If theres a blockage or inflammation, the sinuses dont work like they should.
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How Can I Get Rid Of My Sinus Infection
On the topic of staying home, rest plays a key role in recovering from a viral sinus infection. Viruses must run their course, so getting lots of rest may help shorten the duration and severity of your illness. Its also important to drink plenty of water and to stay away from things that can further irritate your sinuses, like cigarette smoke, strong perfumes and airborne allergens.
While treatments cant cure a viral sinus infection, there are several steps you can take to reduce your symptoms as you recover. Try using a saline nasal spray to rinse your sinuses and an over-the-counter decongestant to help you breathe more easily. On average, the symptoms of a viral sinus infection last for about seven to 10 days.
While many sinus infections can be addressed with self-care measures, you should promptly seek medical care if:
- You have a fever
Should I Stay Home If I Have Sinus Infections
Sinus infection creates panic in the people who have the infection and also in the people who stay around them. Naturally, you dont want to go to work or the office with an infection, so that it doesnt get spread. But as you know by now that the sinus infection is not contagious, at least not all types of sinus infection. But you cant be sure of the type of infection just by the symptoms.
Most of the time it is caused by a virus. And although the infection itself is not contagious, the virus is. You can still spread the cold. Thats why its best not to go to the office or school if not important.
On the other hand, if you have a sinus infection you need proper rest. Taking rest will help to produce enough energy to fight against the infection. In the office, you cant keep in mind to drink water from time to time. But keeping yourself hydrated is one of the most important tasks while having sinusitis. Besides, if you are allergic, staying out with a sinus infection can worsen the condition. Thats why doctors suggest staying at home for at least 7-10 days if you have a sinus infection.
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Can I Prevent Fungal Sinusitis
You may not be able to prevent a fungal sinus infection. If youre at a higher risk for fungal sinus infections, talk to your provider. They may recommend regular checkups to monitor your health and treat infections quickly. Talk to your provider if you:
- Have had a fungal sinus infection in the past.
- Have a health condition that weakens your immune system.
- Take immunosuppressant drugs or are getting chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
What Happens If You Let A Sinus Infection Go Untreated
Correspondingly, can sinus infections go away on their own?
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How do you get rid of a sinus infection naturally?
Try these 10 natural remedies for sinus pain relief to help break the sinus pain cycle:
Do you need antibiotics for sinusitis?
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Medications For A Sinus Infection
Sometimes, your sinus infection wont go away without care from your primary care doctor or otolaryngologists . Most bacterial sinus infections can be cured with the help of antibiotic medicines a type of medicine that kills bacteria. Antibiotics will help you feel better after a couple days, but its important to finish the entire amount that your doctor prescribed.
Symptoms Of Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Verywell / Jessica Olah
During the pandemic, the general public has become more aware of COVID-19 symptoms. While you may experience a fever, headache, and cough if you have COVID, you can also have these and other respiratory symptoms if you have another infection or condition.
Some symptoms are more common in one condition than the other. For example, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are more likely with COVID-19, while facial pain is more specific to a sinus infection.
The lists of symptoms below are just a starting point and do not include all possible symptoms of COVID-19 or a sinus infection. If you develop any respiratory symptoms and they do not seem to be getting better, its important to see your doctor.
Additionally, if you have any symptoms which are in any way associated with COVID-19, you should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding testing and quarantining and contact your healthcare provider.
While COVID and sinus infections share some symptoms, they are caused by completely different things.
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Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
First Know What Youre Dealing With: A Sinus Infection Simply Means That Your Sinuses Are Inflamed Or Infected
Behind the upper bones of your face, youve got a set of four sinuses around your noseand the same kind of tissue that lines your nose also lines your sinuses. Just as allergies or a bad cold can irritate your nasal passages and give you a stuffy nose, they can also cause one or more of your sinuses to puff up.
When this happens, your sinuses cant drain as well as they usually do and mucus gets clogged up in there, building up sometimes painful pressure and providing a home for germs to multiply and in turn potentially lead to an infection, explains Inna Husain, MD, an ENT and assistant professor of otolaryngology at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois.
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What Is A Sinus Infection Sinus Infection Symptoms & Treatment
There are many different symptoms of sinus infections. Here are some signs you may have a sinus infection:
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Sinus infections can be dangerous if left untreated, and they can also lead to other health problems.
To treat your sinus infection an urgent care physician may prescribe you antibiotics to get rid of the infection. For milder infections, doctors will sometimes recommend over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen and nasal decongestants. These are available without a prescription at most pharmacies.
The Two Share Certain Symptoms But Also Have Differences
The overlap in symptoms between COVID-19 and sinus infections make it difficult to tell the two apart. Congestion, headache, fever, sore throat, and cough are some examples of symptoms that the two share.
Despite their overlap, there are some notable differences between sinus infections and COVID-19 as well. Aside from what causes them, this includes another battery of more unique symptoms. A lost of smell or taste is a pretty clear indication its COVID-19, for instance.
This article explains how to tell the difference between a a sinus infection and COVID-19. It also details treatment options for both, why a proper diagnosis is important, and when to see your healthcare provider.
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Treatment For Persistent Sinus Infections And Ear Infections
Having a sinus infection is never pleasant, especially if it leads to an ear infection. Luckily, Kaplan Sinus Relief is here to help with all of your sinus issues. Dr. Kaplan uses an innovative treatment named Balloon Sinuplasty to clear your sinus passageways by inserting and inflating a small balloon.
A minimally invasive procedure, Balloon Sinuplastys success rate is incredibly high. This treatment is painless, requires minimal recovery time, and requires only local anesthesia. Patients can often resume their daily activities within two days of the procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty is an effective treatment for all who suffer from the difficulty of sinus infections.
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How Is Sinusitis Spread
You can get it the same way you get cold and flu — by breathing it in or passing it from your hands to your mouth after touching something. Viruses get in the air after someone who is sick sneezes or coughs. They also can be passed on when someone shakes hands with someone who is sick or touches a doorknob or anything else the sick person has touched.
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When Antibiotics Are In Order
The main reason to prescribe antibiotics is for patient comfort, Dr. Sindwani says. The medical field used to be more convinced than it is today than untreated sinusitis would inevitably become a chronic issue, he says.
We dont think that way as much, he says. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.
Some people think thats two separate things, with chronic sinusitis more likely due to underlying issues like allergies or immune problems.
When To See A Doctor At University Urgent Care Fort Worth
If you have a fever of over 102 F or symptoms that last more than seven days, its time to see your doctor at the University Urgent Care Fort Worth location. It could be something more serious like pneumonia so keep an eye out for signs such as shortness of breath, coughing up blood-tinged phlegm or having trouble breathing when lying down flat on your back with a pillow under the head .
We welcome same-day walk-ins and have appointments available!
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