Can You Have A Sinus Infection Without A Fever
If you have signs of a sinus infection but no fever, you may be wondering, Can you even have a sinus infection without a fever? The simple answer to this question is yes you can have a sinus infection without a fever.
However, a fever or lack of fever can sometimes help you determine whether or not you have a cold, viral sinus infection, or bacterial sinus infection. Lets take a few minutes to cover the difference between bacterial and viral infections and then discuss sinus infection symptoms and treatment options.
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How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Sinus infections can last several days. Viral sinus infections are usually most severe three to six days after they start, and then begin to improve by day 10. A viral sinus infection can develop into a bacterial infection, which typically lasts longer than 10 days. Patients will usually respond to antibiotics within two to three days after a bacterial sinus infection is diagnosed and treated. After that, sinus infections can resolve anywhere between seven and 14 days.
There are three types of sinusitis. All three are based on length of symptoms:
- Acute Sinusitis – symptoms last for less than four weeks
- Subacute Sinusitis – symptoms last for four to 12 weeks
- Chronic Sinusitis – symptoms last for more than 12 weeks
What Are The Different Types Of Sinus Infections
Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, and theyll usually go away on their own. In fact, if the infection doesnt clear up after a week to 10 days, it can be an indication that its caused by bacteria. It may have started as a bacterial infection, or a viral infection may develop into a bacterial infection after your sinuses become filled with fluid and bacteria then forms.
If you have sinus infections that seem to clear up only to shortly return, you probably have a bacterial infection. Thick, dark, or greenish-yellow nasal discharge is another indication, but your doctor can perform tests to verify the type of infection if needed.
Sinus infections can also be classified as acute or chronic. Acute infections usually start suddenly with symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain and can last up to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis occurs when your infection persists for at least 12 weeks despite attempts to treat it.
In the short term, a sinus infection can cause a long list of symptoms, including the following:
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How To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
If you want to get rid of your sinusitis, you and your ENT will need to work together to discover the source of your sinus infections. For example, your sinusitis might always be precipitated by a cold, or you could have a deviated septum and sinusitis or sinusitis and sleep apnea. Regardless, finding the root cause behind your recurrent or prolonged sinusitis will help determine treatment.
Once the source of your sinus infections is found, you and your ENT will need to discuss treatment options. For those with recurrent sinus issues, one treatment, in particular, has proven itself effective again and again. That treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to perform and requires little to no recovery time.
Does Fresh Air Help Sinuses
Try to breathe in clean, fresh air This will be the best for your sinuses and your recovery.
COVID-19 and sinus infections can have similar symptoms, such as a sore throat, headache, and cough While both illnesses are contagious, COVID-19 is more likely to spread than a sinus infection and it can also be more dangerous.
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How Do You Know If A Sinus Infection Is Serious
See a doctor immediately if you have the following signs or symptoms, which could indicate a serious infection:FeverSwelling or redness around your eyesSevere headacheForehead swellingConfusionDouble vision or other vision changesStiff neck.
About 70% of sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
What Should I Do If I Think That I Have A Viral Upper Respiratory Infection
Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Also take one or more of the following medications:
For fever and pain, Acetaminophen is generally preferred. Ibuprofen and/or naproxen appear to carry less risk for Reyes syndrome than aspirin. For other symptoms, over-the-counter cold preparations can provide significant relief. Be sure to read product labels to find the best cold preparation to match your symptoms and to determine if that medicine is safe for you.
To dry out the nose and relieve nasal obstruction, try a traditional antihistamine . All antihistamines are best used for allergy, but they can be helpful for suppressing some viral URI symptoms. Because these products can make you sleepy, avoid driving and other complex tasks when taking these medications. Newly available OTC loratadine is non-sedating but may not be as effective for suppressing viral URI symptoms.
To relieve a stuffy, clogged nose, try an oral decongestant . Note that these products can be associated with insomnia, nervousness, and irritability in some patients. Often decongestants are combined with other drugs in OTC medications. A -D at the end of a medications name suggests that the medication includes an oral decongestant.To make blowing your nose easier, take guaifenesin . These products thin mucous and can help thin thick discolored drainage.
To suppress coughing, take dextromethorphan can be helpful as a cough suppressant.
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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
First Line Of Defense Against Sinusitis: Nasal Irrigation
One of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective ways to prevent and treat sinus problems is nasal irrigation. Using a homemade solution, you can often relieve sinusitis symptoms, reduce reliance on nasal sprays and antibiotics, and improve your quality of life. At least once a day, follow these steps:
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Your Sinusitis Wont Go Away Heres What You Need To Know
Sinusitis also known as a sinus infection is, for the most part, a bacterial infection caused by inflammation of the sinuses. Chronic and recurring long-lasting sinusitis can render you incapacitated and quickly eat up your sick days.
But when your sinusitis wont go away, what options do you have? This guide walks you through how to identify a sinus infection, what happens if you ignore it, how to treat your chronic sinusitis, and more.
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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Essential Oils For Sinus Infections
Many essential oils that contain antimicrobial properties, make a powerful weapon against bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
If your nose is stuffy, try to dilute 1 drop of Eucalyptus Oil in 1 tbsp of carrier oil and rub it on the bridge of your nose .
Alternatively, you can use Frankincense essential oil.
When Antibiotics Dont Work
Some patients suffer from recurring sinus infections. If your sinus infection does not improve within five to seven days after you finish the whole course of antibiotics, or if you experience another sinus infection within a few weeks, you may be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for treatment.
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What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Sinus Problems
Avoid dairy if you have had previous episodes of sinus infections Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus Other foods to avoid include tomatoes , chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion.
Amoxicillin remains the drug of choice for acute, uncomplicated bacterial sinusitis Amoxicillin is most effective when given frequently enough to sustain adequate levels in the infected tissue While often prescribed twice daily, it is even more effective if taken in 3 or 4 divided doses.
What Are The Sinuses How Many Do We Have
A sinus is a hollow, air-filled cavity. For the purposes of this article, a sinus will refer to those hollow cavities that are in the skull and connected to the nasal airway by a narrow hole in the bone . Normally all sinuses are open to the nasal airway through an ostium. Humans have four pair of these cavities each referred to as the:
The four pairs of sinuses are often described as a unit and termed the paranasal sinuses. The cells of the inner lining of each sinus are mucus-secreting cells, epithelial cells, and some cells that are part of the immune system .
Functions of the sinuses include humidifying and warming inspired air, insulation of surrounding structures , increasing voice resonance, and as buffers against facial trauma. The sinuses decrease the weight of the skull. If the inflammation hinders the clearance of mucous or blocks the natural ostium, the inflammation may progress into a bacterial infection.
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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 Good To Eat When You Have A Sinus Infection
Vitamins and minerals Colorful fruits and vegetables like apricots, cantaloupe, strawberries, red and green peppers, kale, parsley and broccoli get high praise from the scientists working on sinus healers world-wide They contain lots of vitamin C which is known to fend off colds, allergies and sinus infections.
Using your index and middle fingers, apply pressure near your nose between your cheekbones and jaw Move your fingers in a circular motion toward your ears You can use your thumbs instead of your fingers for a deeper massage This should take 30 seconds to a minute.
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Most Sinus Infections Dont Require Antibiotics
Ah, . The New England Journal of Medicine published a clinical practice review of acute sinus infections in adults, that is, sinus infections of up to four weeks. The need for an updated review was likely spurred by the disconcerting fact that while the vast majority of acute sinus infections will improve or even clear on their own without antibiotics within one to two weeks, most end up being treated with antibiotics.
It is this discrepancy that has clinical researchers and public health folks jumping up and down in alarm, because more unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics mean more side effects and higher bacterial resistance rates. But on the other hand, while 85% of sinus infections improve or clear on their own, theres the 15% that do not. Potential complications are rare, but serious, and include brain infections, even abscesses.
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How Can I Get My Sinuses To Drain
How To Drain Your SinusesUsing a humidifier or vaporizerTaking a hot shower or steam bathHydrating with warm fluids, such as chicken noodle soup or teaUse a nasal nebulizer as part of your daily nasal hygiene routine Applying hot facial compressesMore items.
Symptoms of a sinus infection include ear pain, headaches, facial pain and tenderness, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, fever, and fatigue If these symptoms persist or become intolerable despite treatment, or if they improve only to return, its time to seek medical assistance.
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Dealing With Recurring Or Severe Sinus Infections
If you have frequent and/or long-lasting sinus infections, your doctor may prescribe imaging tests to determine the cause of your problem. If appropriate, a surgeon can remove blockages and enlarge the sinus passages to help the sinuses drain more easily. Better drainage can make it less likely that a sinus infection will develop.
If you suffer from recurring sinus infections or infections that linger, talk with your Baptist Health physician about your symptoms and the best treatments for you. If you dont have a doctor, you can find one in our online provider directory.
Next Steps and Useful Resources
Viral Vs Bacterial Sinus Infection
Viral Sinus Infection
Aside from causing common cold, viruses can cause inflammation in the sinuses. Symptoms like a runny nose and nasal congestion are some of the hallmarks of viruses which can further lead to inflammation of the sinuses. The discomfort from the illness reaches its peak usually on the fourth or fifth day and slowly begins to recede afterwards. It can take anywhere from a week to ten days for the above mentioned nasal symptoms to go away on their own. Improvement in patients with common cold can be seen after that, yet it might take them more time to return to normal.
Bacterial Sinus Infection
Bacterial sinus infection or bacterial sinusitis occurs when drainage of the fluid collected within the sinuses is hampered somehow. This is often observed in common cold which causes an overload of the fluid in the sinuses. Bacteria tend to thrive in the sinus pockets that are wet, moist and filled with fluid. The bacterial growth usually occurs after 10-day duration of the common cold.
Doctors are not able to differentiate between viral or bacterial sinusitis since the diagnosis for both of them is to check the symptoms like nasal congestion, headache, cough, thick post-nasal or nasal drainage, etc. In some cases, the help of other diagnostic tests like cultures or CT scans is taken to reach a definitive diagnosis.
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Lingering Sinus Infection Or Chronic Runny Nose
A lingering sinus infection is different from a chronic runny nose. Chronic runny nose typically comes from allergies or other irritants in the air. However, this can turn into an infection over time.
When the sinuses become infected, the allergies, irritants, or viral cold have caused swelling in the nose thats blocked the drainage pathways. Consequently, fluid and mucous accumulate in the sinuses, where it has become infected with bacteria.
If youve been sick more than 10 days and begin to experience other symptoms like facial pressure, headache, and fever, youre dealing with more than a chronic runny nose.
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
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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