Will My Sinus Infection Clear Up On Its Own
The first few weeks of the common cold arent fun, but the acute sinusitis that can pop up afterwards doesnt help either. Sinus congestion and the common cold, unfortunately, go hand in hand. Acute sinusitis frequently is caused by the common cold, but also can be caused by allergies and bacterial and fungal infections.
Sinus infections are caused when the cavities around your nasal passages become inflamed and swollen, which eventually interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. This tends to get annoying, because it makes breathing through the nose difficult. It also affects the area around your eyes and face, and can cause a throbbing headache.
When a sinus infection hits, its always worse than what you remembered from the last time you had one. This may give you the idea that you need antibiotics, but most clear up without them. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and arent recommended within the first week of developing a cold. About 70 percent of sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
Consider these other forms of treatments instead of antibiotics:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirins, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve temporary pain.
- Saline nasal spray. This is used to spray into your nose several times a day to rinse your nasal passages. They can help to prevent and treat inflammation.
Antibiotics only will be needed if the infection is severe, recurrent or persistent.
Topics in this Post
How Do I Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
To get rid of a sinus headache, you have to treat the underlying cause. But you can take steps to ease sinus pressure and pain at home:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
- Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
- Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
- Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.
Viruses, bacteria and sometimes fungi cause sinus infections. Viral infections often go away on their own. But if your infection is bacterial or fungal, you need antibiotics or antifungal medications. Your healthcare provider may also recommend other medications to ease discomfort, such as:
- Antihistamines to prevent allergy symptoms.
- Pain relievers to ease headache pain.
- Steroids to reduce inflammation.
Migraines with sinus symptoms
Sinus headaches that are actually migraines need a different type of treatment. The first step is to relieve your pain. You should know that frequently using over-the-counter medications when you have a headache can cause even more headaches .
Your provider may recommend prescription medication for migraine pain. You may also need a preventive medication that helps you have fewer migraine attacks.
How To Clear Baby Nasal Congestion
How to clear baby nasal congestion will essentially differ from the options for adults and older children for various reasons. First, babies dont yet know how to blow their nose. Thus you need to aid them in the removal of the mucus present in the nasal passages. To do this, you need to use a bulb syringe.
The best way to clear your babys nose congestion is to use a saline nasal drop. Saline nasal drops helps to loosen and flush out thick nasal discharge and to moisturize the nasal passages, thus relieving a congested or stuffy nose. You can either buy a saline nasal drop at your local drugstore or prepare your own by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of previously boiled warm water.
Another way to help clear baby nasal congestion is to keep the baby in upright position as he/she sleeps. You can for example let the bay sleep upright in your car seat. You should also consider sliding an extra pillow beneath the mattress of your babys crib or propping the crib legs up with a small block of wood.
Laying the baby on your laps or chest also helps in draining out excess mucus.
Running a humidifier in your bedroom is also a great way to clear baby nose congestion. This is because dry nasal passages are often the cause of congestion and running a humidifier in the house restores moisture in the air.
Although nasal decongestants are a popular option for treatment of congestion, they should never be used to clear nasal congestion in babies.
You May Like: Can You Take Advil Cold And Sinus With Dayquil
The Right Way To Treat A Sinus Infection
5 min Read Time
Your head is throbbing, especially around your eyes. You cant stop coughing, and for some reason, your breath is terrible. Blowing your nose is a mess.
Bad news: You could have a sinus infection. Most frequently triggered by the common cold, over 30 million American adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.
So, what exactly are sinus infections? How can you tell if you have one? And holy cow how can you feel better as quickly as possible?
Easy Natural Remedies Help Mucus Flow
In many cases, sinushome remedies including those things your mother told you to do can effectively improve inflamed sinuses, says Anthony Del Signore, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City.
These treatments sooth irritated passageways and increase the flow of mucus so you dont feel so stuffed up, he explains.
Also Check: Steroid Injection For Sinus Infection
How To Treat A Sinus Infection: Natural Remedies
Ginger compress: Grate a large gingerroot into 1 pint boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain. Soak a washcloth in the tea, then apply to your face as part of your postural drainage.
Sinupret: This German product contains a handful of herbs with mucus-thinning, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Studies have found it protects people with chronic sinusitis from infection and aids recovery in those with acute sinusitis when taken with antibiotics and decongestants. Follow the package directions.
Pycnogenol/grape seed extract: This antioxidant helps reduce inflammation associated with sinus allergy and irritation. Take 50 milligrams three times a day.
Fenugreek and thyme: To thin mucus, take two fenugreek capsules with one thyme capsule two to three times a day.
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.
Also Check: How Long Until Sinus Infection Goes Away
H2o: A Natural Alternative To Sinus Infection Antibiotics
One of the most powerful solvents on earth is nothing more than pure water. Water is used in many applications as a thinner, cleaner, and diluter. When it comes to a sinus infection, water can be used in much the same way to thin mucus, clean the sinuses, and dilute a blockage, which is one of the major sinus infection vs cold benefits. Getting rid of your sinus infection may involve the use of liquid, mist, or vaporized water.
What Happens If You Let A Sinus Infection Go Untreated
A sinus infection that is left untreated can not only make life miserable it may develop into chronic sinusitis. If an infection isnt cared for properly, it could also result in some potentially serious complications. These types of issues are rare but they can occur:
If left untreated, sinus infections could potentially spread to the eyes, causing redness, irritation, and/or swelling. In severe cases, sufferers may experience reduced, blurry, or a complete loss of vision.
- Severe sinusitis may need to be treated with antibiotics administered through an IV.
- A CT scan may be required to determine the seriousness of the infection.
- In very rare cases, brain abscesses or meningitis may result from a severe and untreated sinus infection.
Also Check: Advil Sinus Congestion And Pain Walmart
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.
Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.
I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.
When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.
#2: Mucous Color
I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.
Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.
So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.
#3: Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.
However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
Also Check: Can Acupuncture Help With Sinus Problems
Anatomy Of The Paranasal Sinuses
The paranasal sinuses comprise four pairs of sinuses that surround the nose and drain into the nasal cavity by way of narrow channels called ostia . Mucus leaving the frontal and maxillary sinuses drains through the ethmoid sinuses , so a backup in the ethmoids is likely to clog the other two types of sinuses. The sphenoid sinuses are located deep in the skull, behind the eyes. Sinusitis develops when one or more sinuses become blocked.
There are millions of bacteria in our noses, and most of the time, they’re harmless. Even when a few creep into the sinuses, they don’t cause trouble, as long as they keep draining into the nose along with mucus. But if sinus drainage is blocked, glands in the sinuses continue to produce mucus, and the resulting pool of backed-up mucus provides what Dr. Metson calls “the perfect culture medium.” The bacteria grow out of control, causing infection, and the immune system kicks off an inflammatory response. The result: swelling, which causes and facial pain mucus buildup, which produces congestion and an influx of white blood cells to fight the bacteria, which thickens the mucus and may tint it yellow or green. Other symptoms include loss of smell or taste, cough, bad breath, fever, toothache, and fullness in the ears.
How Can You Tell If You Have An Acute Sinus Infection
Its tempting to label every nasal issue as a sinus infection, but thats not always the case. Common symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
- Headaches and sometimes, toothaches
Many people believe that green snot means you have a bacterial sinus infection, curable only with antibiotics. Not true. Sage-colored mucus is common with viral infections and allergies and can happen when snot sits in your face for a while before being expelled.
A trip to your doctor may be necessary if you have a bacterial infection, but it can often be difficult to distinguish between that and a viral infection. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or improve before worsening again, call your HCP.
If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, its a sign to seek medical attention immediately, even if theyve been present for fewer than seven days:
- Abrupt vision changes
- Continual high fever
Recommended Reading: Baz Allergy Asthma And Sinus Center
How Are Sinus Headaches Diagnosed
Most of the time when people diagnose themselves with a sinus headache, its really a migraine. So, its important to see your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or ongoing, you may also need imaging tests. A magnetic resonance imaging test can rule out serious brain conditions. Multiple imaging tests can reveal sinus blockages and include:
- Computed tomography scan.
- Nasal endoscopy .
Tips To Prevent Sinus Infections
- Dont smoke Cigarette smoke can irritate the sinuses and worsen an existing sinus condition.
- Eat a healthy diet A healthy diet helps keep the immune system strong.
- Stay active Part of keeping your body healthy is keeping it active. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise, at least three times a week to keep your immune system in top-notch shape.
- Drink plenty of water Dehydration can cause many health conditions. Stay hydrated to keep your body healthy and prevent health issues.
- Wash your hands Especially during cold and flu season!
- Clean your home regularly Vacuum and dust your home weekly to get rid of irritating dust mites.
Don’t Miss: Uti And Sinus Infection At Same Time
Invest In A Humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which may help reduce inflammation and open up your nasal passages. For a humidifier to be the most effective, Abi Hachem says it should be placed as close as possible to you in the same room so it can deliver the humidity into your nasal cavity.
It’s also important to keep your humidifier clean to prevent bacteria and fungi from building up in the tank and being released into the air, potentially causing lung problems. To clean your humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The EPA recommends that you empty the tank and dry all surfaces of the humidifier every day.
Nothing Working See An Ent
Oftentimes, no matter how hard you try to clear the infection on your own, your symptoms may not resolve. As a general rule of thumb, check with your doctor if your sinus infection symptoms last for 10 days or longer. During the visit with your doctor, they will determine whether youre dealing with a bacterial or viral infection. Most of the time, antibiotics such as amoxicillin, Augmentin, cefdinir, or doxycycline are used to help your body get rid of the infection. Typical courses of antibiotics last anywhere from 5 to 21 days.
If after all of the above treatments your symptoms still persist, it is advisable to see a specialist. The physicians at Capital Otolaryngology have several tools at their disposal to get you on the road to recovery. We use an in-office CT scan and endoscopy to further evaluate and target the problem in your nose and sinuses. Our physicians always focus on fixing our patients with minimally invasive techniques so that you can get back to living a normal and healthy life as quickly as possible.
Recommended Reading: What Clears Up A Sinus Infection
A Brief Explanation Of The Sinuses And Sinus Congestion
In order to understand how to clear the sinuses, it is necessary to have a grasp of what exactly the sinuses are, and what is happening when they become congested.
The sinuses are a series of small air cavities in the skull, located within the cheek bones, behind the nose and in the forehead. They are connected to the throat and nasal passages and represent the uppermost components of the respiratory tract.
Sometimes, these cavities can become inflamed and filled with mucus and cause sinus congestion. There are many different things which can cause this to happen, and the medicinal treatments will vary depending on the specific cause. Some of the most common diseases and environmental factors which can cause sinus congestion include:
- The common cold
- Allergens and dust particles
Regardless of what is causing it, the symptoms of sinus congestion will usually be the same: uncomfortable pressure in the sinus cavities, headaches, and difficulty breathing linked to the inflammation and mucus buildup.
Continue to Page 2
Natural Ways To Clear Up Sinus Infections Fast
If you have ever had a sinus infection, you know the true pain and suffering it can put you through. Even though we havent had a very harsh winter this year , there are reports of a particularly nasty cold virus making the rounds.
There are numerous ideas as to why we catch colds more during the winter than other times of the year, but not one of them have been proven. It seems to make sense that, because it is cold, we tend to stay indoors more. With the holidays in the middle of winter, it is easier to pass along these viruses.
Another thought, however, is that we get less ultraviolet light during the dark winter months. Viruses are very sensitive to ultraviolet lights as it destroys their DNA. Still another thought is that when humans step outside into cold weather, our body temperature drops just enough that the rhinovirus or the influenza virus can take hold and begin to duplicate itself.
Regardless of the cause, when your head feels as if it is going to explode, and when your eyes have so much pressure behind them that they feel ready to pop out of their sockets, one thing is clear: You want relief and you want it now.
So there you are, lying on the sofa, feeling like death, and your local television station starts advertising the latest overpriced cold and sinus medication.
You dont have to live with a nasty sinus infection, however. There are plenty of natural ways to deal with it. You can kill the infection and clear up your sinuses quickly and easily.
You May Like: Antibiotic For Bronchitis And Sinus Infection