When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
You have acute sinusitis when you have had cloudy or colored drainage from your nose for up to four weeks, plus one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stuffy, congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure, or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes
- Long-lasting cold symptoms
- Symptoms that do not improve within 10 days of getting sick, or initially get better then worsen again
You might have chronic sinusitis if you have at least two of the four symptoms note below for at least 12 weeks. An ENT specialist would also need to see polyps, pus, or thickened mucous in nose, or get a CT scan, to fully diagnose chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms include:
- Stuff congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes
- Thickened nasal drainage
Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses
Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.
Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.
You may feel pain in:
- on either side of your nose
- in your upper jaws and teeth
- between your eyes
This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.
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How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
Some of the home remedies used to treat sinus infections symptoms may help prevent sinusitis. These include rinsing your nose out with salt water and using medications that your provider might suggest, such as allergy medications or steroid nasal sprays.
You should avoid things you are allergic to, like dust, pollen or smoke, and try to avoid sick people. Wash your hands to reduce your chance of getting a cold or flu.
Bacterial Sinus Infections: When To Suspect
- Yellow or green nasal discharge is seen with both viral and bacterial sinus infections. Suspect a bacterial infection if the discharge becomes thick . But, it also needs one or more of these symptoms:
- Sinus Pain, not just normal sinus congestion. Pain occurs mainly behind the cheekbone or eye or
- Swelling or redness of the skin over any sinus or
- Fever lasts more than 3 days or
- Fever returns after it’s been gone for over 24 hours or
- Nasal discharge and post-nasal drip lasts over 14 days without improvement
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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.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is a condition that occurs when the sinuses — cavities that surround the nasal passages — become swollen and inflamed. This condition is considered to be chronic when the inflammation lasts for at least 12 weeks and isn’t helped by traditional treatments or medications.
People with chronic sinus inflammation tend to experience poor drainage and mucus buildup. This often makes breathing difficult and can cause facial pain or pressure.
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How Do You Know If A Sinus Infection Has Spread To Your Brain
This is a medical emergency. Encephalitis: This results when the infection spreads to your brain tissue. Encephalitis may not have obvious symptoms beyond a headache, fever, or weakness. But more severe cases can lead to confusion, hallucinations, seizures, difficulty speaking, paralysis, or loss consciousness.
Care Advice For Sinus Congestion
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- Sinus pain lasts more than 24 hours, after using nasal washes
- Thick yellow or green pus draining from nose and not improved by nasal washes. Exception: yellow or green tinged secretions are normal.
- Sinus congestion and fullness lasts more than 14 days
- Nasal discharge lasts more than 2 weeks
- You have other questions or concerns
What Is The Plural Of Sinus
The plural form of sinus is sinuses.
|The frontal sinuses may be absent, small, or remarkably large, extending through orbital bones, zygomatic processes, and into the squamae.|
|However, current research shows that bits of hair are only present in around half the sinuses in this area of skin.|
|All this is jam-packed into your sinuses and other nasal structures, occluding your airway completely.|
|Eventually, we wound up radiographing it, and she had a large cyst in her sinuses on the left side.|
|In contrast to lymph nodes, the thymus contains no lymph sinuses or afferent lymphatic vessels.|
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A Little Bit Of Coaching Can Go A Long Way
A study by Rabago et al16 found that coached practice and patient education are effective tools in mastery of the technique .10,17 The researchers also found that several home strategiesincorporating nasal irrigation into the daily hygiene routine, placing the materials in a convenient location, and using warm waterfacilitate regular use.
There is evidence, too, that patients who successfully use large-volume, low-pressure saline irrigation gain more than symptom relief. Rabago et al also found that effective use of this technique was associated with a sense of empowerment, and led to improved self-management skills, as well as a rapid, and long-term, improvement in quality of life.16
No Single Cause No Definitive Treatment
Weve moved away from the notion that chronic rhinosinusitis is always a manifestation of persistent bacterial infection, and now recognize that theres an inflammatory, nonbacterial component.4 In any given patient, several mechanismsacting either simultaneously or independentlymay contribute to sinonasal symptoms.3
Chronic sinusitis is treated in a variety of ways, including medications, immunotherapy, and surgery. Despite their limited efficacy, antibiotics and nasal steroids have been the mainstays of treatment.5 Treating underlying allergies, when they exist, may be helpful. But regardless of which treatment patients receive for chronic rhinosinusitis, many remain symptomatic.6
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Living With Sick Sinus Syndrome
The aging of your SA node causes most cases of sick sinus syndrome, and theres no way to prevent that. But you can help prevent complications by learning as much as you can about the disease and working closely with your cardiologist to find the best treatment.
You can also make healthy lifestyle changes:
- Work with your healthcare provider to keep conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure under control.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms.
What Causes Chronic Sinusitis
The following are some of the most common causes of chronic sinus inflammation:
- Nasal polyps: These are tissue growths that grow in and sometimes block the sinuses and nasal passages.
- Deviated nasal septum: If the wall between your nostrils is crooked, you may experience a blockage in your sinus passages.
- Respiratory tract infections: The common cold and other infections can cause the sinuses to become thickened and inflamed.
- Allergies: Severe seasonal allergies can cause inflammation and sinus blockages.
Other medical conditions can also contribute to chronic sinus inflammation. Some of the most common conditions that do this are cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux disease , HIV, and other immune-related diseases.
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What Are The Treatment Options
Sinusitis is treated differently based on the cause. Most cases of acute sinusitis, about 98 percent, are caused by a virus, not bacteria, and should not be treated with antibiotics. Acute viral sinusitis may be treated using pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, steroid nasal sprays, or salt water irrigation in the nose. These treatments are also good options for acute bacterial sinusitis. Most people get better naturally from acute bacterial sinusitis, called watchful waiting, but some patients with acute bacterial sinusitis may get better faster with an antibiotic.
Chronic sinusitis is treated differently than acute sinusitis. Because chronic sinusitis is caused more by inflammation than infection, the treatments for chronic sinusitis aim to control the inflammation. Salt water nasal irrigation and/or nasal steroid sprays are the main treatments for the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Antibiotics may sometimes be helpful but not always.
Other factors, including allergies, nasal polyps, asthma, and problems with the bodys ability to fight infections, can go along with sinusitis and make it worse unless they are also treated.
X-rays or CT scans of the sinuses are not necessary to diagnose uncomplicated sinusitis if you have the symptoms of sinusitis . If your doctor suspects a complication or if you have repeated episodes or prolonged sinus symptoms, a CT scan of your sinuses may be needed.
Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis
Other common symptoms of chronic sinus inflammation include:
- Thick or discolored discharge that comes from the knows or drains down the back of the throat
- Nasal congestion
- Pain or tenderness around the eyes, nose, forehead, or cheeks
- Reduced sense of taste and smell
- Aching in the jaw and/or teeth
- A cough that gets worse at night
- Irritability or fatigue
In most cases, for a chronic sinusitis diagnosis, at least two of these signs need to be present.
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Diseases Of The Sinuses
The most common disorder affecting the paranasal sinuses is infection, a condition that is known as sinusitis .
Polyps, consisting of swollen nasal lining, may grow from both the maxillary and ethmoidal sinuses and cause nasal obstruction. They occur most commonly as a result of nasal allergy and require surgical removal.
Cancers affecting the paranasal sinuses are rare, especially in the sphenoidal and frontal area. They occur most commonly among the Bantu of South Africa, where they are related to the long-term use of a homemade snuff that is carcinogenic. Recently, however, it has been shown that certain woodworkers in the furniture industry have a greatly increased incidence of nasal sinus cancer.
Treatment Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Nasal washes with saline. Antibiotics are not helpful.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. Antibiotics by mouth.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Treatment of the nasal allergy with allergy medicines also often helps the sinus symptoms.
- All Thick Nasal Drainage. Nasal secretions need treatment with nasal saline when they block the nose. Also, treat if they make breathing through the nose hard. If breathing is noisy, it may mean the dried mucus is farther back. Nasal saline rinses can remove it.
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Say Goodbye To Chronic Sinusitis Today
Are you ready to get rid of sinusitis once and for all? Do you live in Scottsdale or Phoenix areas?
If so, we’re here to help at the Sinus and Allergy Center of Northern Scottsdale. Contact us today to request an appointment — we’ll figure out what’s causing your sinusitis and you get you on your way to feeling more like your old self!
Benefits Of Saline Irrigation Extend Beyond Postop Care
Otolaryngologists recommend saline irrigation after sinus surgery to clear secretions, debris, and crusts reduce the risk of postoperative mucosal adhesions and expedite mucosal healing.7,8 Saline irrigation is also gaining popularity as an alternative approach to chronic sinusitis symptom relief, and several randomized controlled trials have demonstrated both objective and subjective efficacy of this treatment for sinonasal disease.8–11
In 2007, the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed evidence for the effectiveness of nasal saline irrigation for symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis. The reviewers concluded that it is well tolerated and beneficial, whether used alone or as an adjunctive treatment.12
Nasal saline sprays are often recommended because theyre thought to be better tolerated than other delivery modes.13 There have, however, been no comparisons of the relative efficacy of different means of saline delivery, until now.
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How Is Sick Sinus Syndrome Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may suspect sick sinus syndrome based on your symptoms, but they are common in many other diseases. To diagnose your condition, your healthcare provider will do an electrocardiogram . This is a machine that records your heart’s rate and rhythm. If you do not have symptoms at the time of your ECG, it may look normal.
Other possible tests include:
- An ECG while you walk on a treadmill
- A Holter monitor, a recorder you wear for over 24 hours that takes an ECG
- An event recorder, a recorder you wear over several days that samples your heart rate
- Electrophysiologic testing, a hospital procedure that involves threading catheters into your heart through a vein in your thigh
- Echocardiogram or ultrasound of your heart, which checks for structural heart problems
Sinusitis Can Last A While
Doctors call sinusitis when a cold lasts more than 10 to 14 days. It’s called sinusitis when a person has symptoms for more than 3 months.
In either case, a kid might have:
- a lasting runny nose with discharge that’s yellow or green
- puffy eyes, especially in the morning
Less often, a kid could have headache or pain behind the eyes, forehead, and cheeks.
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Study Summary: Nasal Irrigation And Spray Go Head
This study was a high-quality, prospective RCT comparing nasal spray and nasal irrigation.1 Subjects were recruited from the general population. To be eligible, participants had to be 18 years of age or older and have reported at least one of the following chronic rhinosinusitis symptoms on 4 or more days each week in the preceding 2 weeks:
Examples Of Sinusitis In A Sentence
sinusitis Town & Countrysinusitis Forbessinusitis San Antonio Express-Newssinusitis ajcsinusitisABC Newssinusitis Health.comsinusitisHealth.comsinusitis New York Times
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘sinusitis.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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Causes Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Part of the common cold. A cold infects the lining of the nose. It also involves the lining of all the sinuses.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. A problem when the sinus becomes infected with bacteria. . It starts as a viral sinus infection. Main symptoms are increased sinus pain or return of fever. The skin around the eyelids or cheeks may become red or swollen. Thick nasal secretions that last over 14 days may point to a sinus infection. This can occur in younger children.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Sinus congestion often occurs with nasal allergies . Sneezing, itchy nose and clear nasal discharge point to this cause.
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.
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