Nasal Polyp Causes And Risk Factors
Nobody really knows what causes nasal polyps, or why they happen in some people, but don’t happen in others. Some experts believe it may have something to do with the immune system or the chemical makeup in the lining of your nose and sinuses. But we need more research.
Anyone can get nasal polyps, but they’re most common in adults over age 40 and are twice as likely to affect men as women. Children under age 10 rarely get them. If they do, a doctor will check for signs of cystic fibrosis.
Nasal polyps are linked to allergic rhinitis, asthma, aspirin allergy, sinus infections, acute and chronic infections, something stuck in the nose, and cystic fibrosis. But many times, the cause is unknown. Sometimes, people get them before they develop asthma or sinusitis.
Some experts think that symptoms of allergies — including a runny nose, sneezing, and itching — make some people more likely to get nasal polyps. But the allergy connection is controversial. Other researchers think that sinus infections are to blame.
How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
No matter if its an acute infection or a chronic infection, or even a recurrent one (sinus infection that keeps coming back even after treatment, the signs of a sinus infection are bothersome. It wont let you sleep well, eat well or work well.
So, how to treat a sinus infection? In this situation, lots of people turn towards the medication. But thats always not necessary or even beneficial. Even the best antibiotic for sinus infection can be useless in some cases as antibiotics wont help you against viruses or allergens.
There are lots of ways to treat the infection naturally. It will not harm you in any way. Besides, these are less expensive, or some are even free of cost. To know them to check out the list below-
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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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.
Sinus Pain And Pressure
Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.
The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.
Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.
Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.
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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.
When Should I See A Doctor
These home remedies for sinus infections are great for acute infections in the upper respiratory system.
But if five days or so pass and youre not seeing any improvement, or if things are getting worse, its probably time to see an ENT doctor.
If you feel a lot more pressure behind your cheekbones and eyes or your nasal drainage has changed to yellow or green-tinged, its likely your sinus cavity has gotten infected from the blockage.
If you have symptoms like a fever, body aches, chills, chest congestion, or a cough, something more serious could be going on. Especially in this era of COVID-19, its a good idea to get checked out just to be safe.
If youve tried these home remedies without luck, contact ENT Associates of Lubbock to see what your next steps should be.
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Chronic Sinusitis And Sinus Headaches
Sinusitis happens when the sinuses or cavities around the nasal passages become swollen. The sinuses can become inflamed if you have an infection or because of an allergic reaction. The symptoms usually go away within a couple of weeks, but some people experience longer or recurring sinus infections. If you have chronic sinusitis, you could be dealing with symptoms such as nasal discharge, congestion, and pain or sinus headaches for many months.
When Antibiotics Are In Order
The main reason to prescribe antibiotics is for patient comfort, Dr. Sindwani says. The medical field used to be more convinced than it is today than untreated sinusitis would inevitably become a chronic issue, he says.
We dont think that way as much, he says. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.
Some people think thats two separate things, with chronic sinusitis more likely due to underlying issues like allergies or immune problems.
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Natural Remedies For Chronic Sinus Infections
Natural remedies for sinus infections may not fully cure your symptoms, but they can work to reduce them. Examples of these approaches include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids.Fluids help to thin out mucus, which makes it easier to pass through your sinus passages. You know youre drinking enough when your urine is pale yellow.
- Applying warm compresses. Create a warm compress using a soft washcloth and warm water. These compresses help to open your sinus passages and soothe swollen facial tissues to make breathing easier.
- Using a neti pot. A neti pot is an alternative to saline nose sprays. You can buy these at most drugstores and online. They look like a small tea pot with an elongated spout. You fill the pot with sterile water, insert it into one nostril, and pour in the water so it comes out the other nostril. Here are step-by-step instructions.
In addition to these measures, its important to get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep at night enables your body time to heal and maintain a healthy immune system.
Taking steps to keep your nasal passages draining well can help you avoid sinus infections. Examples of healthy habits to practice include:
You can also ask your doctor for additional prevention recommendations that target the cause of your sinus infection.
Saline Spray And Sinus Rinses
Using a saline solution, rinse your nose and sinuses with a neti pot or other irrigation system.
You can buy saline solution over the counter or make your own at home with distilled water and saline packets. Saline spray also comes in small bottles that you can spray directly into your nose.
Sinus rinses like these work by flushing mucus out of the nose and sinuses to keep things flowing freely.
Saline also has a natural decongesting effect, meaning it shrinks your swollen nasal tissues and makes it easier for you to breathe through your nose!
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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.
Sinus Surgery For Chronic Infections
If medical therapies dont clear up chronic sinusitis, your doctor will usually recommend surgery.
Several surgical approaches can enlarge the sinus cavities to make breathing and drainage easier. In the past, sinus surgeries required bone and tissue removal. Recent advancements mean this isnt the case.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, is a condition where the nasal passages become swollen and infected. The sinuses are hollow air spaces in the facial bones, near the nose. They produce mucus, which helps line the nose and prevent dust and other particles from entering the lungs. Rarely sinusitis can develop into serious medical complications, including meningitis and brain abscess. A patient may need medical intervention if sinusitis lasts longer than nine days and it is unresponsive to over-the-counter medications.
- Thick yellow or green mucus draining from the nose or down the back of your throat
Treating Sinus Infections Using Natural Remedies
Natural home remedies are a safe and effective solution in the prevention and treatment of sinusitis. These simple and inexpensive solutions offer an alternative to the expense and side effects that often accompany over-the-counter medications. For some sinus sufferers, home remedies may fall short in providing long-term results. For those who suffer frequent or extended sinus infections, it is important to see a medical professional. If left untreated, these sinus infections may impact overall health and could lead to further medical complications in addition to the daily symptoms of sinusitis.
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Treating Sinusitis At Advent
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis and stuck in the cycle of antibiotics and symptom management, you may be struggling with an underlying issue. At ADVENT, following a proper evaluation of The Breathing Triangle®, you may find that youre a great candidate for a simple, in-office solution such as Balloon Sinuplasty.
At ADVENT, we get to the bottom of reoccurring sinusitis, so you can ditch the cycle of ineffective treatments and finally find the relief youve been looking for.
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What Is Acute Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the sinuses, most often including a sinus infection. The sinuses are four paired cavities in the head. They are connected by narrow channels. The sinuses make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose, cleaning the nose. Typically filled with air, the sinuses can become blocked by fluid and swell from irritation. When this happens, they can become infected.
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Inhale Menthol And Camphor
Another inhaled odor that can help open up sinus passages is menthol, which is an ingredient in popular ointments that are used specifically to treat a stuffy nose. These ointments also contain eucalyptus oil and camphor, which combine with menthol to create a powerful scent that immediately relieves sinus pressure. This ointment can be rubbed on your chest and under your nose to deliver its soothing benefits. Unlike eucalyptus oil, this ointment should not be placed in the mouth.
How To Treat Sinusitis
With symptoms that linger, it can be hard to treat and get rid of a sinus infection for good.
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for combating sinus infections. Taken anywhere from 3 to 28 days, antibiotics help fight the bacteria. Because antibiotics dont typically alleviate symptoms, nasal decongestants, antihistamines, topical nasal corticosteroids and nasal saline can help to manage them.
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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 Is Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is a long-lasting sinus inflammation and infection. It can linger over a period of time, typically longer than 12 weeks. The sinuses are four paired cavities in the head. These spaces are connected by narrow channels. The four spaces are named for the bones they are near: ethmoidal, sphenoidal, frontal and maxillary. The sinuses make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. This drainage works as a filtration system, keeping the nose clean and free of bacteria.
The sinuses can become infected when they are blocked and filled with fluid. This is called sinusitis. There are several kinds of sinusitis: acute, subacute, chronic and recurrent. Unlike chronic sinusitis,acute sinusitis typically lasts only a few days, but can last up to four weeks, before going away with minimal or no treatment. Chronic sinusitis may require different types of treatment. Surgery is sometimes needed in severe cases of chronic sinusitis that do not respond to other methods.
Chronic sinusitis is different than recurrent sinusitis because chronic sinusitis symptoms never really go away for long periods of time. In recurrent sinusitis, you have 4 or more bouts of sinusitis in one year, but you also have symptom-free periods in between.
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How Is Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms of a sinus infection have continued for more than 12 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may use an endoscope .
In very few cases, your provider might order a biopsy to see if the infection has spread. Biopsies involve taking tissue or bone samples to example under the microscope.
Allergy Shots And Other Immunotherapy
You call them allergy shots. Your doctor calls it “immunotherapy.” By either name, the goal is the same: Retrain your immune system so it doesn’t go into allergy mode.
When you get allergy shots, your doctor gives you small, gradually increasing amounts of the pollens that are causing your symptoms. Over time, your body builds up a resistance to them. The shots are a long-term commitment, likely taking 3 to 5 years. After that, your doctor will see if you still need them.
Instead of getting shots at the doctorâs office, there are also under-the-tongue tablets that you can take at home. The FDA has approved three of these products: Grastek, Oralair, and Ragwitek. They work the same way as shots. The goal is to boost your tolerance of allergy triggers.
The tablets can cause an allergic reaction in some people, so you will need to take your first one at your doctorâs office to make sure itâs safe for you. Even if you donât have a reaction, you may feel itching or burning in your mouth or lips or have stomach troubles. These problems usually go away after a few days.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology : âSLIT Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis Nothing to Sneeze About.â
FDA. “Itching for Allergy Relief?” News release.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: “Allergens: Pollen.”
National Jewish Health: “Pollen Allergy.”
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: “Pollen.”
Sanofi-aventis U.S. News release.
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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.