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.
Can A Sinus Infection Make You Cough
Can a sinus infection make you cough? Yes a sinus infection can definitely lead to coughing. This particular situation has everything to do with excess mucus and how your sinuses attempt to drain that mucus.
When youre dealing with cold symptoms, youre suffering from allergies, or you have a sinus infection, your body is likely to create more mucus than normal, which can end up draining into the throat. While this sounds rather disgusting, mucus in the throat is pretty common, and it can happen whether youre sick or not.
However, when this drainage happens persistently for an extended period of time, you can find yourself with a nagging cough. A cough from a sinus infection isnt necessarily cause for alarm, and it doesnt mean you automatically need to book an appointment with your doctor.
Lets break down coughing during a sinus infection and what a doctor might recommend as treatment.
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Final Thoughts On Home Remedies For Sinus Infections
Although sinus infections are common, there are home remedies for sinus infections that can help. Common sinus infection symptoms include a thick green-yellow nasal discharge, pain around the eyes and cheekbones, and clogged nasal passages.
In this article, we discussed several home remedies, including flushing your nasal passage with a neti pot drinking water applying a warm compress or essential oils or consuming bromelain, honey, grapefruit seed extract, echinacea, horseradish, and cayenne pepper tea, green tea, and ginger tea.
A number of these sinus infections
How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
A pharmacist can advise you about medicines that can help, such as:
- salt water nasal sprays or solutions to rinse out the inside of your nose
You can buy nasal sprays without a prescription, but decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than a week.
Some decongestant tablets also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. Be careful when taking painkillers and a decongestant. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
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.
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Nutrition And Dietary Supplements
Because supplements may have side effects, or interact with medications, you should take them only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs only under the supervision of a health care provider.
- Sinupret. A proprietary formulation containing Sambucus nigra , Rumex acetosa , Primula veris , Verbena officinalis , Gentiana lutea . Several studies suggest that Sinupret may be effective in relieving symptoms of sinusitis. The herbs it contains may work by thinning mucus and helping the sinuses drain. They may also help strengthen the immune system. Ask your doctor if sinupret is right for you.
Treatment And Medication Options For Sinus Infection
Up to 70 percent of people with acute sinusitis recover without prescribed medications, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology .
Treatment for acute sinus infections focus on relieving symptoms, such as by:
- Drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of rest
- Flushing out the sinuses with a saline nasal wash like a Neti Pot or a saline nasal spray
- Inhaling steam several times a day
- Using a humidifier
- Resting a warmed, moist washcloth or a warm compress over your nose and cheeks
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Treatment #: Nasal Spray
There are several types of nasal sprays available. Each addresses the sinus inflammation in a different way.
A decongestant nasal spray helps open up nasal passages by reducing blood flow in the lining of the nose. This shrinks the size of the blood vessels, which in turn causes inflamed tissue to shrink and helps sinuses open up again. Oxymetazoline is the active ingredient in many decongestant sprays including Afrin. These should not be used for more than 3 days in a row or they will cause the congestion to worsen.
A saline spray that uses the 0.9% non-iodized sodium chloride and distilled water described earlier can be bought over the counter or made at home. You can carry a small bottle with you and spray it into your nose as needed.
Steroidal sprays are designed to treat inflammation and congestion. The dose is very small and over time have not been shown to have systemic side-effects. There are many types of steroidal sprays that are over-the-counter now. They take longer than decongestant spray and may take weeks to show noticeable improvement.
This is a prescription spray that can also prevent the symptoms of allergies like itching, sneezing and a runny nose. They act on certain body cells, mast cells, and prevent them from releasing the substances that cause the allergic reaction.
What Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
Sinus infection is most often diagnosed based on the history and examination of a doctor. Because plain X-ray studies of the sinuses may be misleading and procedures such as CT and MRI scans, which are much more sensitive in their ability to diagnose a sinus infection, are so expensive and not available in most doctors’ offices, most sinus infections are initially diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination. These physical findings may include:
- redness and swelling of the nasal passages,
- purulent drainage from the nasal passages ,
- tenderness to percussion over the cheeks or forehead region of the sinuses, and
- swelling about the eyes and cheeks.
Occasionally, nasal secretions are examined for secreted cells that may help differentiate between infectious and allergic sinusitis. Infectious sinusitis may show specialized cells of infection while allergic sinusitis may show specialized white blood cells of allergy . Physicians prescribe antibiotics if the bacterial infection is suspected. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections many physicians then treat the symptoms.
In addition, both rigid and flexible endoscopy has been used to obtain diagnostic material from sinuses. These procedures are usually done by an otolaryngologist under topical and local anesthesia. Occasionally, there may be a need to sedate the patient. Some investigators suggest that endoscopy specimens are comparable to those obtained by needle puncture.
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How To Get Relief From Sinusitis
If youve ever struggled to find relief from a sinus infection, youre not alone. Its a condition that impacts over 30 million Americans a year. In the US alone, sinusitis accounts for roughly 70 million days of decreased activity each year.
And, it seems that everyone is looking for a quick fix so they can get on with their daily activities. That being said…
Possible Causes Of Sinusitis
The most common causes of sinusitis are viral, bacterial or fungal infections of the upper respiratory tract, including the numerous viruses that cause the common cold.
The mechanism of infection is simple. When an infection such as a cold inflames and swells the mucous membranes in your nose, the swollen membranes obstruct the sinus openings and keep mucus from draining. This blockage is the critical point! As drainage becomes blocked, the blockage creates an environment in which bacteria and viruses trapped in the sinuses can grow.
There are also several other, less frequently seen, causes of sinusitis and they include :
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What Causes Chronic Sinus Infection
Multiple factors acting together usually contribute to chronic sinusitis.
People with allergies are more prone to develop chronic sinusitis. About one in five people with chronic sinusitis also have asthma. This is because the linings of your nose and sinuses are in continuation with the linings of your lungs. These people are also likely to have nasal polyps .
A bacterial or viral infection can also trigger the condition. The infection is often low grade. The bacteria confine themselves in stubborn biofilms, making it difficult for your immune system or antibiotics to find and attack them.
An overlap of additional factors such as smoking, environmental pollutants, and deviated septum, further complicate the picture of chronic sinusitis.
It would be more appropriate to say that if youre already prone to allergies and nasal polyps, it becomes easier for harmful bugs, especially fungi to penetrate your sinuses. Likewise, a weak immune system makes you more susceptible to catch bacterial, viral, or fungal sinus infection.
A sinus that is inflamed and swollen can no longer sweep away the excess mucus and harmful agents due to the blockage of tiny hairs that facilitate this function.
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Are There Any Complications From Chronic Sinusitis
Living with untreated chronic sinusitis can be unpleasant with the persistent symptoms but serious complications are uncommon. A sinus infection may spread to nearby areas, such as around an eye, into adjoining bones, into the blood, or into the brain. Children are more prone than adults are to complications. Swelling or redness of an eyelid or cheek in a child with sinusitis should be reported to a doctor urgently.
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Ways To Reduce Sinus Inflammation
Anyone with allergies knows how bad it can get. Springtime can trigger a concert of sneezing, nose blowing and congestion that lasts until summer or beyond.
One of the most common characteristics of allergies is sinus inflammation and blockage, which can be downright painful and debilitating. The sinuses can also become inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection, but the most common cause among people who have experienced it is likely allergic in nature.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can reduce sinus inflammation right from the comfort of your home. Lets go over 3 of the most popular at-home treatments:
Sinus Infection Home Remedy
Unlike acute sinusitis which can be either viral or bacterial, chronic sinusitis appears to be more fungus-induced.
It, therefore, resembles a fungal infection that escapes all antibiotic treatment.
It can be very beneficial to treat it with nasal irrigations but without using a regular saline solution.
In this case, it is better to use these two ingredients:
Xylitol is a natural alcohol found in most plants and is as sweet as sugar.
Its glycemic index is insignificant and it can be used as a natural sweetener.
But it has other interesting properties like suppressing biofilm formation and blocking the growth of fungi.
It can therefore be beneficial when it goes into the composition of chewing gum because it prevents the proliferation of bacteria.
In the case of nasal irrigation, the addition of pure xylitol is essential for combating fungal infection.
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How Do I Prevent Chronic Sinusitis
You may be able to prevent infections and chronic sinusitis if you:
- Treat the underlying conditions behind chronic sinusitis, like asthma and allergies.
- Avoid allergens such as animal dander, dust, pollen, smoke and mold that trigger swelling in the sinuses.
- Quit smoking if you do smoke and avoid any secondhand smoke.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Rinse your nasal passages with saline solution, either purchased or with a neti pot.
- Eat healthy foods, stay hydrated and exercise regularly to stay healthy overall.
- Use a humidifier to keep nasal tissues moist.
When Antibiotics Dont Work
Have an infection that isnt responding to antibiotics or sinusitis that has more than two weeks? Youre experiencing a unique sinus infection that could cause more serious complications.
Depending on your specific case, a CT scan can help. This gives health care providers a closer look at what is occurring in the sinuses. You may also benefit from an otolaryngology specialist, who can determine whether other issues are causing your ongoing sinusitis.
Should the root of your sinus infection remain a mystery, additional tests can pinpoint the exact cause. If bacterial, your primary care provider may prescribe you a specific antibiotic. Fungal infections are rare and need to be treated surgically.
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What Causes Sinusitis
98% of sinusitis is the result of a viral infection.
It can also be the result of a bacterial infection and some, rarer, have a fungal origin .
Certain factors can predispose to sinusitis such as:
allergic rhinitis which facilitates infections exposure to smoke or cigarettes which irritates the mucous membranes an anatomical defect that blocks the drainage of the sinuses
Sinusitis results in the blockage of the sinus opening called the ostium, resulting in inflammation.
The air could no longer circulate and the secretions were no longer being removed, the blocked sinuses become an ideal environment for a bacterial infection.
Causes & Risk Factors
Any health situation that blocks off the vital drainage channels of your sinuses can cause a sinus infection including:
- Respiratory infections like the common cold
- Hay fever or exposure to allergens such as cigarette smoke, dry air and pollutants
- Obstructions in the nasal or sinus cavities including nasal polyps, deviated septum, or nasal bone spur
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Changes in air pressure
- Infections resulting from dental problems
- Physical injury to the sinuses
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi
The five most common bacteria that can cause sinus infections are: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Risk factors for sinus infections include:
- Having asthma
- Being in the hospital, especially if the reason you are in the hospital is related to a head injury or you needed a tube inserted into your nose
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Complications Of Sinus Infection
Sinus inflammation can spread to the bones and soft tissues of the face and eyes. This can cause:
- Cellulitis of the face or around the eyes
- Abscesses of the eyes
Left intreated, sinus infections can also lead to serious intracranial complications, including blood clots within the cavernous sinus, pus between the skulls and dura mater , and meningitis.
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.
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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.
How Do You Get Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis means that a sinusitis becomes persistent and lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis is uncommon. Most cases of chronic sinusitis develop following an acute sinusitis infection. Most cases of acute sinusitis go away within 2-3 weeks, often much sooner. In some cases the symptoms do not go and become persistent . The following are causes of acute sinusitis that may progress into a chronic sinusitis:
- Cold or flu-like illnesses – in most cases, acute sinusitis develops from a cold or flu-like illness. Colds and flu are caused by germs called viruses which may spread to the sinuses. The infection may remain viral before clearing, causing a viral sinus infection. In a small number of cases, germs called bacteria add on to an infection that started with a virus. This can cause a bacterial sinus infection which can make the infection worse, can last longer and may cause more damage or changes to the lining of the sinus.
- Dental infections – in some cases, infection spreads to a cheekbone sinus from an infected tooth.
- Other risk factors for sinus infection – in a few people, one or more factors are present that may cause their sinuses to be more prone to infection. Acute sinusitis may be more likely to progress into chronic sinusitis as there is an underlying problem. Risk factors for sinus infection are dealt with in detail in our separate leaflet called Acute Sinusitis.
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