How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
Runny nose, congestion, swollen, itching eyes, sore throat, headache welcome to your sinus infection! And you arent alone one in seven adults in the United States, or roughly 35 million people, will suffer the misery of a sinus infection this year, leading to 16 million doctor visits annually. A sinus infection, or sinusitis, can lead to lost workdays, less time with family, lack of exercise and leisure time, diminishing quality of life for you and those around you. Left untreated, a sinus infection can turn into a chronic condition or an even more serious problem. Learn how to get rid of a sinus infection and when to see a doctor.
Sinus Infection Home Remedies Recommended By A Doctor
Philip Scolaro, MD
You probably dont give too much thought to your ability to breathe through your nose until you wake up with a sinus infection and that ability is gone!
Sinus infections, sometimes called acute sinusitis, can steal your joy pretty quickly.
A lot of viruses start with nasal symptoms. If you have a scratchy throat, congestion, and a runny nose, youve probably got a virus on your hands.
Will Antibiotics Help Ease My Sinus Infection
No but sometimes yes. Since most sinus infections are caused by a virus, and viruses are not treated by antibiotics, the answer is no. Your infection will run its course over seven to 10 days and resolve on its own. Sometimes a sinus infection becomes chronic, lasting 12 weeks or more. With prolonged cases, a bacterial infection may develop, and antibiotics may be prescribed. Its important to determine if your infection is bacterial since taking antibiotics unnecessarily can lead to harmful side effects and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. If you are prescribed a course of antibiotics by your doctor, make sure to follow the instructions and take all the recommended doses.
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About Ear Nose And Throat
Ear, Nose, and Throat Services at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside ranks among the best nationally on U.S. News & World Reports listings. Our team includes board-certified physicians and highly skilled speech-language pathologists and audiologists. We treat a variety of ear, nose, and throat conditions in both children and adults and provide both surgical and non-surgical options. Our doctors also take part in research and clinical trials. We have locations throughout western Pennsylvania for patient convenience.
Other Tips For Preventing And Treating Sinus Infections
- Use a humidifier at night to open nasal passages.
- Take hot showers and inhale the steam.
- Get plenty of sleep and avoid stress.
- Get plenty of fresh air.
- Elevate your head while sleeping to help drain sinuses.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take fermented cod liver oil capsules to boost your immune system.
- Seek treatment at the first sign of a cold or allergies so they dont lead to sinus infection.
- Avoid pollution.
- Avoid using chemicals that emit strong fumes.
- Wash your hands often as bacterial and viral infections are most common causes of sinusitis..
Have you tried any of these home remedies for sinus infection? Do you know of any others we havent mentioned? Weve round up a separate article discussing tea tree oil to treat sinus infection that you can check out. Share your experience with us!
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When To Seek Help For A Sinus Infection
Most adults and some children have had at at least one encounter with a sinus infection. As a result, you probably know how annoying and sometimes painful sinus infections, or sinusitis, can be.
With winter approaching, sinus infections become more prevalent and may impact your day-to-day life. It is important to know when and how to treat them if you experience sinus discomfort.
Sinusitis symptomsSinus infectors occur when then the space around your nasal passages, or sinuses, is swollen, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, sinus drainage slows down, causing mucus to develop. This buildup is what prompts irritation and stuffy noses.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there are two types of sinus infections: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis has a duration of up to four weeks, while the chronic form of sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeks and sometimes lasts for multiple months or years.
For the more common acute sinusitis, the symptoms include congestion, cough, yellow or green-colored discharge from the nose or throat, tenderness and pressure around the eyes and a decreased sense of smell and taste, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Additional symptoms can include fever, headache, tiredness and pain in the upper jaw, ear and teeth.
When to see a doctor Unfortunately, antibiotics can only be prescribed for bacterial sinus infections. Therefore, you commonly have to wait before seeking treatment for sinus infections.
Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and you’re very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
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How Do You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Naturally
For those who want to limit their intake of all medications, including over-the-counter drugs, there are several natural home remedies that can provide relief from sinus pressure.
Many home remedies for sinus infections rely on hydration of the nasal passages. This can take the form of anything from holding a warm compress to your face, keeping your head over a bowl of hot water to breath in the steam, or even taking a hot shower. Increasing the amount of moisture in the nasal cavities can help flush irritants out of your nose, which will reduce your inflammation.
One of the most popular ways to treat a sinus infection at home is with the use of a neti pot. This treatment involves nasal irrigation where the sinuses are flushed with saline solution or distilled water either by pouring water from a neti pot or injecting it carefully into the sinuses with a bulb or syringe.
Just because nasal irrigation with a neti pot or small syringe is natural does not mean it is universally safe. It is vital that you use distilled water, as further infection can result from untreated tap water being placed in the sinus cavities. The infections caused by improper use of a neti pot have resulted in death, and for this reason some medical professionals are hesitant to recommend this treatment.
At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help
Fortunately, if you are suffering from any of these symptoms, or are attempting to determine whether you are dealing with a sinus infection you can contact or visit us at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center. Our professionals will be focused on doing everything possible to reduce your discomfort, and help your situation improve.
This also applies to any other concerns or health issues that you may encounter during these winter months.
At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center, not only do we deliver immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening, but we also provide both primary and preventive care.
Our Primary Care
Our intuitive approach and commitment to patients enable them to receive the specific type of care that they prefer, when and how they want it. This include:
- After Hours Care Available
Regardless of whether you are in need of primary care, preventative care or urgent care, you can receive the same great care and consideration that you receive by visiting our offices simply by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.
Regardless of how you contact us, we can also assist you, or answer any questions regarding any of these other medical problems.
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When To See A Doctor
Generally, sinus infections clear up on their own. If you have a sinus headache thats lingering for weeks or one thats unusually painful, you should contact your doctor. Some sinus infections require treatment with antibiotics.
While nothing will immediately resolve the pain of a sinus headache, taking the proper measures to care for it can relieve symptoms and reduce its duration. These tips will have you prepared to tackle your next sinus headache and move on with your week.
Causes And Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Sinus inflammation, also known as sinusitis, is a condition where the nasal passageway becomes inflamed due to an infection or allergies. There are two different types of sinus infections: acute sinus infection and a chronic sinus infection. Acute sinus inflammation can be caused by another condition or infection, such as the common cold or allergies. A chronic sinus infection has a much more complicated diagnosis and almost always requires medical assistance to keep under control.
The two leading causes of an acute infection are either a bacterial infection or a viral infection. While they are similar, bacterial infections have a different treatment procedure than a viral infection, which is why it is essential to get the diagnosis right. Bacterial infections that cause sinusitis are far less frequent than a viral infection.
Depending on the severity of the sinus infection, as well as the cause and type of sinus infection, the symptoms differ. Nevertheless, several more common symptoms apply to almost every case of sinus infections, these include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure
The very first symptoms that you may experience with a sinus infection are nasal congestion and runny nose. You may need more advanced treatment that can only be prescribed by a medical professional.
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Sinus Infection Home Remedies And Prevention
Along with treatment, specific home remedies can help you improve faster and keep the symptoms at a tolerable level for the duration that the sinus infection exists. Also, you can even give yourself a better chance to prevent obtaining an acute sinus infection altogether with proper lifestyle changes in place.
For home remedies, rest and eating healthy is the best way to recover promptly. When the body is fighting off a sinus infection, or any infection for that matter, it needs proper rest and nutrients to do so. With that said, there are several quick, easy things to do while you rest, such as:
- Stay hydrated
- Clean out your nasal passageway
- Elevate your head while sleeping
- Place a humidifier in your home
- Take hot showers
Ultimately, it comes down to the focus on relieving the pressure built up in your sinuses. The best way to do that is to keep your nasal passageway from getting clogged. Using a warm compress, placing a humidifier in your home and elevating your head while resting is all excellent tactic to implement to keep the nasal passageway clear and breathing easily.
So how do you prevent a sinus infection from occurring in the first place? While it is not always possible to avoid, there are precautions you can take to help minimize your risk, including:
- Receiving a flu shot
- Keeping your distance from others who are sick
- Planning for an allergy attack
- Practice good hygiene
Over The Counter Medications
For help alleviating sinus pressure and pain, try ibuprofen and a decongestant. Some medications include a combination of pain reliever and decongestant.
Mild antihistamines like Claritin and Allegra are helpful in moderation. Strong antihistamines like Benadryl are often way too drying. Be careful not to take antihistamines too often.
Even though you want your nose to stop running, too many antihistamines can make it more likely that youll get sinus infections in the future.
Drugs like Mucinex and Flonase can also be helpful in thinning the mucus in your nose and sinuses.
If you use Afrin, make sure you stop after three days. Though it can seem like a miracle drug, using it more than three days in a row can lead to something called rebound congestion. In other words, when you stop using the Afrin after continuous use, your nose becomes more congested than it was in the first place!
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Here Are Seven Effective Home Remedies For Sinus That Can Help You Tackle The Problem Naturally
Drinking water, tea or juices without sugar are good ways to keep your system hydrated
2. Pungent SpicesSpices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help in breaking up and draining out congested mucus. Similarly, horseradish can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a mucus dissolving elixir. As an alternative, 1/4 teaspoon of the freshly grated horseradish root can be held in the mouth for a few minutes, once the taste has evaporated, it can be swallowed.
Spices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
3.SteamThis one works like magic and doctors prescribe it too. Add 3 drops of pine or rosemary oil with 3 drops of peppermint, and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to a steaming hot bowl of water or add 3 drops of rosemary with 1 drop of thyme and peppermint oil. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam, this will help in clearing a blocked nasal passage.
Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in IndiaApple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with many health benefits
6. SoupA number of studies support the benefits of having soup in helping ease congestion. From chicken soup to vegetable soup with fresh herbs, you can choose from a range of recipes and pick your favourite. It is the steam combined with a bunch of healthy ingredients which help clear the sinuses.
When Should I Ask My Doctor About A Sinus Infection
As with any other medical condition, it is imperative that you see a doctor if certain worrisome symptoms begin to appear. This is especially true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the first hint of sinus pain may not be a reason to head to the doctor, if you have been exposed to others who have tested positive or may be infected with the coronavirus, you should get tested if you begin feeling poorly. Similarly, a bit of nasal decongestion may not be cause for concern, but if you begin experiencing severe shortness of breath, get medical help immediately.
One of the reasons many people do not seek medical attention when they should is uncertainty about when they can get an appointment with their healthcare provider. At TrustCare, our many walk-in clinics are open every day of the week to make sure you can get the care you need without the hassle of making an appointment. If you are experiencing symptoms that seem like more than a bit of nasal congestion, visit one of our TrustCare locations today.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Chronic Sinusitis
Does it feel like your sinus infection just wont quit? If you experience at least two of the following for 12 weeks or more even though youve been treated it may be chronic sinusitis:
- A stuffed nose
- Discharge of mucus or postnasal drip
- Pain or pressure in your face
- Problems with smell
Chronic sinus infections can be triggered by colds but are typically caused by long-term inflammation. Sometimes, when treatments to control that inflammation fail, people with chronic sinusitis need surgery to drain their mucus.
What Are The Potential Complications Of A Sinus Infection
While its OK to wait to see whether common sinus infection symptoms clear up on their own, dont delay getting medical treatment if you notice the most serious symptoms. Vision changes and swelling around the eyes could indicate you have cavernous sinus thrombosis , which needs immediate treatment with antibiotics through an IV and could require hospitalization. Neck stiffness could indicate the infection has spread to the brain, which can develop into meningitis or a brain abscess. These are both life-threatening conditions if they go untreated.
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What To Do For Sinus Pressure And Pain At Home
Here are the top 10 at-hometreatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.