Complications Of Chronic Sinusitis
Some people are troubled by frequent sinus infections, or continuous infection. Chronic sinusitis can linger for weeks or even months at a time. This can sometimes lead to serious complications, including infections in the bones and tissue near to the sinuses. Very rarely this infection can spread to the brain and the fluid around the brain. The person will be very ill and have swelling around the eyes.People with chronic sinusitis may have other problems which affect the nose, throat and ears at the same time, including:
- Middle ear infection and temporary deafness
- Post-nasal drip , which can lead to constant coughing, a sore throat and bad breath.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
While most coldsand even sinus infectionsclear up on their own, its important to know when you need medical help. If youre having symptoms, heres when you should call a doctor:
- Your symptoms are persisting or worsening after 10 days.
- Pain and discomfort are severe.
- You have a stiff neck or swelling around the eyes.
- Youre experiencing changes in vision or mental function.
- Symptoms go away but then come back.
- You have a fever that persists beyond a few days.
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Irrigate To Relieve Sinus Pressure
“Salt water irrigation is the best way to cleanse the nose and sinuses this can help prevent or relieve sinus pain. You can use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray, but I recommend using a sinus rinse bottle, neti pot, or bulb syringe irrigation kit that you can get at the drugstore,” advises Das.
Try this commonly-used, easy-to-make nasal irrigation solution with your own sinus irrigation kit: Fill a clean 8-ounce glass with distilled or sterilized lukewarm water. Do not use tap water unless it has been boiled for at least 1 minute . Add 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda. And be sure to clean all equipment and make a fresh batch of solution each time you use your kit.
Use Decongestants But Only Temporarily
You can definitely pop some Sudafed tablets or even spritz some Afrin into your nose, but beware: you cant do this forever.
In an acute infection, a decongestant can be useful, but Afrin can become addicting if used for more than a few days and oral decongestants used regularly can have cardiovascular effects, says Dr. Thompson. These are targeted for short-term use.
Also, FYI, patients with high blood pressure shouldnt use these OTC products, and people who are sensitive to stimulants, like caffeine, might have trouble sleeping when using them, per Dr. Takashima.
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Reducing Pressure In Your Sinuses
What Causes Sinus Headaches
Sinus infections cause sinus headaches. Anything that makes mucus buildup in the sinuses can lead to a sinus infection, such as:
- The common cold is most often to blame.
- Seasonal allergies trigger mucus production.
- Nasal polyps, abnormal growths in the nose or sinuses. Nasal polyps can block mucus from draining.
- Deviated septum, which is when the line of cartilage and bone down the center of the nose isnt straight. A deviated septum can prevent mucus from properly draining.
Too much mucus gives germs an opportunity to grow. As germs build up, they irritate the sinuses. In response, sinus tissue swells, blocking the passage of mucus. Swollen, irritated sinuses filled with liquid make your face feel tender and achy.
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Therapist Explains How To Clear Your Sinuses Immediately In Just Two Steps
You hear the words sinus and sinuses often, but do you know what they are and what they do?
Interestingly, sinuses are literal air pockets behind the bones of your upper face, between your eyes, and behind your cheeks, nose and forehead. Thats right sinuses are just air spaces in your skull and facial bones! In total, we have four paired cavities, or sinuses.
Its what the sinuses do that is far more important. See, the sinuses make up the upper portion of the respiratory tract, extending from your nose all the way down into your throat. Our paranasal sinuses, or air cavities in the cranial bones near our nose, help to moisturize and filter air inhaled through the nasal passages.
In otherwords, these simple air cavities actively filter and remove particles from the air we breathe!
Sinus cavities also allow for voice intonation and resonance. When were sick, mucus builds up in these hollow areas, which is why we sometimes sound stuffed up. Also, sinus cavities lighten the total weight of that brain bucket known as a skull.
How To Prevent A Sinus Headache
Once you learn whats causing your headache, you can take the steps to prevent them in the future. If the inflammation comes because you have allergies, then identifying what you are allergic to and implementing reduction strategies can be helpful, Dr. Epstein states.
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First, avoid environmental triggers. Since seasonal allergies are a common cause of sinus headaches, its wise to limit your time outdoorsat least until your symptoms start improving.
Avoid irritants such as strong perfumes/colognes and smoke that trigger inflammation of nasal mucosa and secretion of mucus, says Dr. Nicole Aaronson, MD, pediatric otolaryngologist. Keep the nasal passages moist with nasal saline spray and/or a humidifier. If there are underlying allergies, treat the allergies or avoid allergens when possible. Maintain good hydration to prevent nasal congestion.
To minimize the chances of getting a headache in the midst of allergy or cold season, Dr. Stephenson recommends avoiding the following:
- Vacuuming daily during allergy season to minimize indoor allergens.
- Change bed sheets every few days, to minimize allergens.
- Use an indoor air purifier and clean the filter regularly.
- Avoid alcohol when congested, which can trigger more pressure.
- Avoid flying, as that can also increase sinus pressure and trigger a headache.
- Use a humidifier at night, but keep it squeaky-clean, to avoid mold.
- When you have a cold, use a neti pot daily.
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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
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How To Clear Your Sinuses Without Drugs In 60 Seconds
Everyone, at some point, has experienced the feeling of sinus congestion: headaches, difficulty breathing through the nose, the loss of the sense of smell, and even a change in the sound of your voice. There are many things that can cause sinus congestion, but for most people, the solution is usually the same: over-the-counter drugs.
While these drugs do work, they often have undesirable side effects like drowsiness, and there is also the cumulative effect of taking pharmaceutical medicines on a regular basis that can take a toll on the body over time.
The good news is that there is now a safe alternative: in this article, you will learn about a chemical-free solution to clear your sinuses that takes only about a minute, and is absolutely free.
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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.
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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.
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Foods That Help Relieve Sinus Congestion
Sinus congestion has many reverberating symptoms that can ruin your day and put you out of commission. Sinus congestion is the fullness you feel in various areas across your face, head and neck caused by a blockage in the sinus cavities. Sinus congestion occurs when the mucus in your nasal passageway doesnt drain properly, leaving a build-up that blocks your sinuses.
Heres What Causes All That Congestion
When a pathogen enters our airways, it latches to cells deep inside our noses and begins to multiply. As the virus does this, it irritates our nasal passages and sinuses, triggering inflammation, said Dr. Christopher Thompson, an otolaryngologist with Providence Mission Hospital in Orange County, California.
This signals your immune system to create mucus to wash the virus out of your system, Thompson said. That mucus, which builds up and creates sinus pressure, also moistens our irritated nose and and sinuses. We actually always have some mucus draining down the back of our throat, but the mucus produced during a cold is much thicker and stickier. It also becomes yellow and green a sign that our body is, in fact, fending off a virus.
Most people will recover from a cold within about seven days, but the congestion sometimes lingers even when the infection itself has cleared, and you might find yourself blowing your nose or clearing your throat for a week or two longer.
This is because your body produces a lot of extra mucus to flush the cold virus out of your system, Thompson said. It takes time for your body to clear out all that mucus, even after the virus itself is no longer in your system.
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How To Relieve A Head Cold And Sinus Congestion
Though there are some differences between head congestion and sinus congestion, the following tips can help provide relief from your symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Drink plenty of water: Water can help thin mucus, which is more likely to drain.
- Make a wrap: Applying a warm towel to your head to ease swollen tissues and relieve pressure.
- Get steamy: Inhaling steam helps keep nasal passages moist and assists with drainage.
- Find relief with SUDAFED®: SUDAFED PE® Head Congestion + Pain can help relievethe pain and pressure associated with head congestion while SUDAFED PE® Sinus Pressure + Pain with acetaminophen can help provide relief from sinus pain and pressure.
Complicated Acute Frontal Sinusitis
Extrasinus complications from acute bacterial rhinosinusitis are uncommon. The estimated incidence of complications, per one study from the Netherlands, is 1:12,000 for pediatric ABRS and 1:32,000 for adult ABRS . Adolescent and young adult males are significantly more affected than females , with a seasonal pattern favoring the winter months . Whereas orbital complications are the most common complications from all forms of ABRS, the vast majority of intracranial complications result from acute frontal sinusitis . An epidemiologic study of intracranial complications of ABRS in US children recorded between 2.7 and 4.3 cases per million per year.
Infections can spread from the frontal sinus to intracranial structures, or less commonly to the orbits, by hematogenous or direct routes.
The frontal sinus is susceptible to extrasinus spread of infection in part because its venous drainage occurs through diploic veins that traverse the posterior table and communicate with the venous supply of the meninges, cavernous sinus and dural sinuses.
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Acupressure And Acupuncture For Sinuses
Acupuncture is used to treat chronic sinus pressure and other symptoms.
Research from 2006 found that about 99 percent of acupuncturists in the United States treat sinus problems. Similarly, the Cleveland Clinic recommends using acupressure to relieve sinus pressure due to allergies.
While more research is needed on using acupressure to treat sinus symptoms, this practice may help improve blood flow, relax muscles, and help mucus drain from the sinuses.
You can do acupressure for sinus symptoms on yourself. It only takes a few minutes.
You can press on the acupressure points or gently rub or rotate your fingers in a circular motion over the area.
You can also get professional acupressure treatment from a certified acupuncturist. Some massage therapists may also use acupressure points.
Here are the main acupressure points for sinus relief and how to find them:
Which Specialties Of Doctors Treat Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
- Sinusitis is often first diagnosed by a general practitioner, primary care physician, or internal medicine physician. A pediatrician may diagnose sinus infections in children.
- If sinusitis is chronic or severe, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist, also called an ear, nose, and throat specialist . If your sinusitis is caused by allergies, you may be referred to an allergist.
- If you experience an emergency due to your sinusitis, go to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital.
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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:
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Common Symptoms And Signs Of Sinus Infections
Signs and symptoms of sinus infections depend upon the sinuses that are affected, and whether the sinus infection is acute or chronic.
Common Sinus Infection Symptoms and Signs
- Stuffy nose or congestion
5 Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
Chronic sinusitis may have many of the same symptoms as acute sinusitis, but the symptoms last longer or are more severe. In addition, people with chronic sinusitis may also experience multiple symptoms, for example:
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