Common Colds And Sinus Infections
A viral infection associated with the common cold is the most common cause of sinus infections .
This virus may jump to other people, causing a cold that may also develop into viral sinusitis.
In only 0.5 to 2 percent of cases do people develop bacterial sinusitis , which is typically a complication of viral sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis is not contagious.
In rare cases, fungi can cause a sinus infection, particularly if a person has a fungal allergy. But fungal sinusitis generally does not affect people with healthy immune systems.
How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
In the first two weeks of a sinus infection, patients may use saline sprays, over-the-counter steroid sprays like Flonase, and over-the-counter decongestants.
After 10 days, if the drainage is still colored, an antibiotic is likely necessary. Theres no homeopathic alternative to antibiotics. However, saline spray, topical steroid sprays, and decongestants work well with antibiotics to clear most infections.
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections
Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 5)
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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,
How To Tell If You Have An Actual Sinus Infection
Even though we often say we have a sinus infection even if its just inflammation or an allergic response, there are symptoms of an actual infection that may be treatable with antibiotics. Nasal congestion and pain under the eyes or around the temples are, of course, main symptoms, but others include the loss of the sense of smell, green nasal discharge, mucus dripping down your throat, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and even bad breath.
Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up without intervention, but if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, have your symptoms for 10 or more days, notice that your symptoms are getting worse and are not improved by OTC medications, or you have multiple infections in a years time, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
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When To Visit An Ent
You may opt to visit an ENT if your sinus infection symptoms last more than one month. However, when a lingering sinus infection after antibiotics lasts more than 12 weeks, its definitely time to see a specialist.
If your doctor has treated you with antibiotics, saline, steroid sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants and youre still not better, youve entered into a confusing area. You need a thorough exam of your sinus pathways with a fiberoptic scope and a CT scan to properly diagnose the problem.
If at any point youre not sure whats going on and your primary care doctor isnt sure whats causing the symptoms, see an ENT for a more specialized exam.
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**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Bad Sinus Infection
|How long does it take to get over a bad sinus infection?|
|I thought I had a bad head cold but it turned out to be a sinus infection. I started antibiotics yesterday but my head is still throbbing, I feel like a zombie and need to get back to work.|
|The process of sinus infection is:1. The sinuses get clogged 2. The immune system attempts to fix it via inflammation 3. Inflammation includes swelling, which blocks the sinuses further 4. Mucus stagnates, providing a perfect place for bacteria to multiply 5. The bacterial infection becomes a full-blown sinus infectionHere are the remedies for each phase and type of sinusitis:1. Cang Ling Tang, for sinusitis with yellow colored mucus2. Jie Ge Cang Er Jian, for sinusitis with green colored mucus3. Xin Zhi Er Chen Teng, for chronic sinusitis4. Yu Ping Feng San, for sinusitis prevention|
|2. Did the doc give you any kind of decongestant?|
|3. May my chosen divine spirit have mercy on me, I’m an expert on this.|
What’s A Sinus Infection Again
So, a sinus infection is technically called sinusitis, and it’s basically the term for when your sinuses are inflamed, according to the US National Library of Medicine . As for what those sinuses are, exactly, they’re “pockets in the face next to the nose that are typically full of air,” Philip Chen, MD, otolaryngologist with UT Health San Antonio, tells Health. “These pockets have a lining of mucosa that helps keep the sinus healthy,” which is what becomes inflamed when the sinuses are infected.
Another type of sinus infection, rhinosinusitis, occurs when the lining of the sinus cavities ar swollen, along with the lining of the nasal cavity, says Dr. Chen.
As for what causes a sinus infection, it’s typically a condition that blocks the sinuses, like a viral upper respiratory tract infection , or allergies, Landon Duyka, MD, otolaryngologist at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, tells ?Health. The blockage ultimately “allows for an infection to develop and progress within the sinuses.
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When To See A Doctor For Sinus Pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment. Allina Health has many convenient care options for care, from online visits to walk-in care, to help you get better fast.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat for your treatment options.
Treatment For Sinus Infection
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.
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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.
How Do You Diagnose Chronic Sinusitis
The presence of two or more of the listed symptoms for at least three months raises the suspicion of a chronic sinus infection.
In such cases, we will evaluate you to confirm the diagnosis. This involves applying pressure on your sinuses to elicit tenderness. If the tenderness is positive, your sinuses are likely to be inflamed. We will then take a peek into your nose using a small flexible scope, and check for nasal polyps, pus-filled discharge, and deviated septum.
We may also recommend nasal endoscopy. This is an office procedure that enables us to view the interior of your nose and sinus passages. Its done with an instrument called an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light. We will pass this scope into your nose and sinuses to look inside. Nasal endoscopy allows us to detect any swelling and polyps, as well as collect discharge from the infected area. This can help spot the cause of your infection and whats the best way to treat it.
If need be, we may also perform imaging in the form of a computed tomography to look for further problems.
Allergy skin tests look for allergic causes and to check for problems within your immune system may also be done.
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How To Clear A Stuffy Nose While Sleeping
To get fluid out of your nose, youll need to take a small breath in followed by another one-handed hold on the closing process. Hold it until thirty seconds has passed and then release both hands overhead while still keeping up this strange looking posture! You can repeat as many times per day or at different times throughout each session if needed just be mindful that doing so may attract attention from passersby since they might think something is wrong with how I look walking around like that all morning long
Two Types Of Sinus Infections
Determining how long your sinus infection will last is dependent on what type you are experiencing. Acute sinusitis lasts for less than four weeks. Chronic sinusitis can last for more than 12 weeks.
The majority of sinus infection sufferers will see their symptoms start to resolve after about 10 days. While one to two infections a year is considering normal, more than four requires medical attention.
If you are experiencing chronic sinusitis with a single infection lasting three months at a time, there may be other factors to consider. Environmental factors such as smoking or allergies are common causes of developing chronic sinusitis.
How Long Is A Sinus Infection Contagious
If you are experiencing symptoms of viral infection for more than two weeks, its likely that they will subside after seven days and return again in another week. However if your condition has not improved by then or become worse with no change over time this could mean an bacterial sinusitis instead which cannot spread through contact.
Okay But How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Something else you need to know: There are two different types of sinusitis, acute and chronic sinusitis. Essentially, acute sinusitis is anything that lasts less than four weeks, says Dr. Ford, while chronic sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeksbut those are just ballparks.
Typically acute sinusitis resolves by 10 days, but if not, then the possibility of a bacterial infection should be considered, says Dr. Chen. Getting one or 2 sinus infections a year is considered normal. More than 4 should prompt a visit to an ear, nose, and throat surgeon.
However, if you have chronic sinusitis, it can last up to 3 months, and may be caused by environmental factors. Chronic sinusitis may have a number of causes, but the most common cause is allergies, says Dr. Ford. Smoking causes impaired function of the cilia, part of the nasal membranes that remove mucus, and can contribute to developing chronic sinusitis.
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How Do You Treat A Sinus Infection
Treatment for acute and chronic sinus infections include self-care, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and sinus surgery, if necessary, to enlarge the opening to the sinuses or address other anatomical issues.
Your doctor may also recommend a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications, including:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Steroid nasal sprays
- Saline nasal irrigations
Patients with sinusitis often go to the doctor expecting to get a prescription for an antibiotic. If you have signs of a sinus infection, talk to your doctor about whether an antibiotic is appropriate to treat the type of infection that you have. Dr. Takashima warns that we must be vigilant about not treating viral infections with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections, to prevent creating superbugs antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
So if you’ve ever had a sinus infection before, you know they feel pretty miserable: The more common symptoms are nasal congestion, discolored mucous from the nose, post nasal drainage, facial pain, facial pressure, decreased smell and taste, says Dr. Duyka. Some patients also experience ear pain, upper tooth pain, sore throat, bad breath, and/or cough.
But here’s some quick advice: That whole thing about the color of your snot telling you whether or not you have a bacterial or viral infection? That’s a myth, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. “The green-yellow color of mucus that can develop is a byproduct of our own white blood cells, which we use to fight any kind of infection, viral or bacterial, so we cant tell the cause from the color of the mucus,” she says. When mucus is thick and dark it usually suggests some mild dehydration, and you should increase fluid intake and use lots of saline spray to keep the mucus thin.
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Will Sinus Infections Resolve If Left Untreated
Lingering sinus infections should be treated before they escalate into a more serious issue. If a sinus infection is untreated, it may begin to impact the surrounding areas: the eyes and brain.
Untreated sinus infections can result in orbital and intracranial complications. Orbital refers to an infection that moves from the sinus into the eye. It can even result in an abscess in the eye area, which threatens vision.
Intracranial infections refer to infection in the brain. These can ultimately progress to become a brain abscess or meningitis if left untreated.
Because the sinuses are located close to the eye and brain, the most serious complications of an untreated sinus infection affect these important structures.
How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Bad Breath
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.
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