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How To Ease A Sinus Infection

What Causes A Sinus Infection

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Before you can begin finding relief from the symptoms of a sinus infection, its important to understand whats causing it.

One of the most common causes of sinusitis is a virtual infection, such as the common cold or influenza. As a result, most people have experienced at least a mild sinus infection at some point.

Its not common for a viral infection to develop into a secondary bacterial infection but it does happen occasionally. And, in some cases, fungal infections may be the source of the sinusitis symptoms.

People who suffer from allergies , nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or dental infections are also more likely to experience a sinus infection. In many cases, these sufferers will develop chronic sinusitis, requiring treatment management strategies.

How To Get Rid Of Sinus Infections In 24 Hours

If you are one of the millions of Americans that battle frequent or long-term sinus infections and are seeking a sinusitis treatment that does not involve risky surgery, there is good news sinusitis treatment is available. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and minimally invasive solution for long-lasting relief from sinus infection causes.

This safe and simple sinus infection treatment can be done in the comfort of the office with our Board Certified Otolaryngologist, Dr. Brian Lee. The procedure gently inflates the sinus cavity to clear the blockage and restore the natural flow from the body. If you would like to know more about balloon sinuplasty and how to cure sinus infections permanently, schedule your appointment today and start your journey toward real and lasting sinus infection relief.

Surgery For Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis, which is an infection that lasts for 12 weeks or more, requires more intense treatment. You may need multiple rounds of antibiotics or, in rare cases, surgery.

Sinus surgery helps open up the nasal cavities so that the sinuses can drain better. The goal is to help prevent recurring, severe sinus infections in the future.

Most people dont need the surgery, but it may be recommended if you have repeated infections, have followed multiple courses of treatment with no improvement, or if you have a polyp in your nose that blocks your sinuses from draining.

When you feel symptoms of a sinus infection coming on, its best to begin with at-home treatment right away. Keep up with compresses, and avoid food or drinks that can make inflammation worse, including alcohol.

To learn more about treatment options for sinus infections and other sino-nasal disorders, please visit the UPMC Sino-Nasal and Allergy Center website.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 17, 2016, and was last reviewed on June 23, 2022

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How To Tell If These Remedies Are Not Working

You will know if these remedies are effective because you will begin to feel better and your sinuses will be less congested.

However, unlike with antibiotics where symptoms start to diminish quickly, natural remedies typically take longer to work. So you should continue to do these remedies regularly for at least a week or two before determining if they are working.

How Can You Tell If You Have An Acute Sinus Infection

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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.

Theres usually no need to see an HCP if your symptoms improve after a few days. 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

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Sinus Infection: Signs & Symptoms + 10 Natural Remedies

By Annie Price, CHHC

About 35 million Americans suffer from a sinus infection or sinusitis every year. Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses that leads to an infection. It can result in mucus build-up and pain. If youve ever experienced a sinus infection, then you know just how unpleasant it can be much worse than a stuffy nose. While in most cases, a sinus infection will simply leave you running to find a decongestant, in the worst cases, it can lead to surgery to remove an abscess that has developed or the obstruction of the sinuses.

In the United States, sinusitis is the fifth most common medical diagnosis for which antibiotics are prescribed these days. The management of acute and chronic sinusitis is also costing this country over $11 billion every year. That doesnt even include the economic impact of lost work time due to illness.

While antibioticsfor sinus infection are a very common conventional treatment, the majority of sinus infections are actually the result of colds or viruses. They will get better as your nasal congestion improves.

Thankfully, there are a lot of natural ways to treat a sinus infection, including the foods you eat , saline nasal sprays, essential oils and supplements scientifically proven to be an effective sinus infection home remedy.

Is Fresh Air Good For Sinus Infection

When the air you breathe is too dry, the mucus in your nose and sinuses wont flow properly and your sinuses wont drain as well as they should. Congestion can then lead to sinus pain and sinusitis. Sinusitis experts agree that adding humidity to the air with a humidifier is generally good for sinus health.

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Sinus Surgery For Chronic Infections

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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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How Is Sinusitis Treated

Sinusitis is treated in several ways, each depending on how severe the case of sinusitis is.

A simple sinusitis infection is treated with:

  • Drinking fluids .

If symptoms of sinusitis don’t improve after 10 days, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Oral or topical decongestants.
  • Prescription intranasal steroid sprays. .

Long-term sinusitis may be treated by focusing on the underlying condition . This is usually treated with:

  • Intranasal steroid sprays.
  • Topical antihistamine sprays or oral pills.
  • Leukotriene antagonists to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms.
  • Rinsing the nose with saline solutions that might also contain other types of medication.

When sinusitis isn’t controlled by one of the above treatments, a CT scan is used to take a better look at your sinuses. Depending on the results, surgery may be needed to correct structural problems in your sinuses. This is most likely to happen if you have polyps and/or a fungal infection.

How Can I Avoid Future Sinus Infections

Once youve had a nasty sinus infection, you wont want to relive the experience. To help prevent them from occurring again, get your annual flu shot and steer clear of people with colds or the flu. Use your humidifier. Live as healthfully as you can get sufficient sleep, reduce stress and eat a wholesome diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and if you do smoke, take steps to quit. Last, but not least, always wash your hands.

Ultimately, sinusitis is a painful and revolting nuisance. But approaching them with these smart strategies could save you a world of hurt.

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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.

A Less Invasive Intervention For Chronic Sinusitis

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Sinusitis that occurs regularly and sticks around for three months or longer is called chronic sinusitis. While surgical repair of the sinuses may be necessary, it often isnt. Thats why the University of Maryland Medical System offers balloon sinuplasty in addition to sinus surgery.

During this procedure, the otolaryngologist inserts a thin flexible tube called a catheter into the nostril and leads it to the affected sinus. A tiny balloon is then expanded in the sinus through the catheter. This immediately opens blocked sinuses and grants relief from sinus infection.

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Balloon Sinuplasty: A Safe And Effective Sinusitis Treatment

Sinus surgery is not the only option for long-term sinus pressure relief. Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery that can be done from the comfort of the office and get you back to enjoying all that life has to offer. This safe and effective procedure does not involve cutting or removing bone or tissue. Imagine all the benefits of a real solution without discomfort, long recovery, or excessive bleeding.

Unlike sinus medications, sinuplasty addresses the root cause of your sinus pressure by cleaning out the sinus cavity and restoring normal flow. This procedure simply inserts a tiny balloon through the nose and into the sinus cavity. The sinus cavity will be open and clean, allowing you to breathe easily again. With balloon sinuplasty, you can enjoy smelling, tasting, sleeping, and avoiding sinus pressure and headaches.

We understand that when the pressure sets in, you canât enjoy all that life has to offer. You miss work, hobbies, and priceless time is taken away from friends and family. We work hard to restore your sinuses and help you avoid the risk of surgery and medications. Sinusitis relief is a top priority for the entire team at Capitol Breathe Free.

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.

  • Flush. Use a Neti pot, a therapy that uses a salt and water solution, to flush your nasal passages. Nasal irrigation using the Neti pot has been a tried-and-true sinus treatment method for centuries. I have patients who swear by Neti pots and use them daily or weekly to keep their sinuses flowing well. Remember to use distilled water only.
  • Spray. Use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray that contains salt water to help keep your nasal passages moist, unblock congestion and treat inflammation. Some sprays, like Afrin®, can only be used for a maximum of three days. If you exceed three days, you will get “rebound” or worse nasal congestion. Other nasal sprays, like fluticasone, are more effective the longer you use them.
  • Hydrate. Drink a lot of fluidswater and/or juiceto help thin your mucus. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can cause dehydration.
  • Rest. Get plenty of rest to help your body fight infection and speed up recovery. While you sleep, prop yourself up with a couple of pillows. Staying elevated can help you breathe more comfortably.
  • Steam. Breathe in steam from a pot or bowl of warm water or take a hot shower. You also can place a warm, wet towel on your face, followed by a cool towel. to help ease sinus pain and open your nasal passages.
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    How To Solve A Sinus Infection That Wont Go Away

    Sinus infection is a common problem that can affect any age group. It represents the fifth most common condition that requires an antibiotic prescription.

    Sinuses are four paired air-filled spaces in your skull and face bones surrounding your nose. Their main function is to produce mucus that forms a layer inside the sinuses to humidify inhaled air and keep the interior of your nose moisturized. This mucus layer can trap dust particles, other pollutants, or bad germs and brush them out through your nose. Each sinus drains into your nose through small openings to keep these passages clear of excess mucus and the trapped particles.

    However, sometimes, such as when the weather changes and you catch a cold, it can turn into a sinus infection. This causes inflammation of your sinuses, known as sinusitis. Usually, sinusitis should go away in a few days or a week. But sometimes that sinus infection can stick around for a long time.

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    Sinus Headache Or Migraine

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    About 80% of “sinus headaches” are actually migraines with nasal symptoms. If you get frequent headaches, consult your healthcare provider or a headache specialist, since there are medications and prevention strategies specifically for migraines.

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    When To Seek Medical Care

    See a doctor if you have:

    • Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
    • Symptoms that get worse after improving.
    • Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
    • Fever longer than 3-4 days.

    You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.

    This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.

    Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:

    • Seasonal allergies

    Sinus Pain Home Remedies

    There are a variety of home remedies that can help with the congestion to relieve sinus pain and pressure. Home remedies that you can try include:

    • Drinking water: Staying hydrated can help to thin nasal secretions. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important in your recovery from viral illnesses.
    • Neti pot: A neti pot is used to irrigate the nasal passageways and can help to control congestion and nasal secretions.
    • Saline nasal sprays:Saline nasal sprays are sold over-the-counter at most drug stores. They are used to loosen nasal secretions and thereby decrease congestion by allowing it to drain. They can be used many times per day.
    • Cool mist humidifier: The humidity loosens nasal secretions and the cold air can help to decrease inflammation. If you do not have access to a cool-mist humidifier, several hot, steamy showers per day can also help to loosen nasal secretions.
    • Warm compress: Use a warm rag or heating pad over your sinuses to ease the pain. Do this several times per day.

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    How To Overcome Chronic Or Recurrent Sinusitis With Effective Treatment

    If you are struggling with sinusitis, then you want sinus pressure relief. It is important to look at all your options to find out which solution works for you. Your options for treatment will depend on the type of sinusitis you suffer from and what form of treatment will best work with your body.

    Capitol Breathe Free helps sinusitis sufferers in Washington overcome chronic and recurrent sinus infections with appropriate and effective treatment. Treatment options may include the following:

    How To Ease Sinus Pain

    How to Relieve Sinus Pressure without Nasal Decongestants

    This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 5,337 times.

    If youre experiencing sinus pain, it probably feels like something incredibly heavy is pressing down on your face. You might be feeling pain around your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nose. Sinus pain occurs when your sinus cavities become inflamed and mucus clogs your nose. Staying hydrated, taking a hot shower, using a neti pot, and a range of other home remedies can help relieve mild sinus pain. If these home remedies dont offer you sufficient relief, decongestants and pain relievers may be the answer.

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    How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed

    Your healthcare provider will ask you a lot of questions in order to develop a detailed medical history and find out about your symptoms. They will also do a physical examination. During the exam, your care provider will check your ears, nose and throat for any swelling, draining or blockage. An endoscope may be used to look inside the nose. In some cases, you might be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. If you needed an imaging exam, your provider would order a computed tomography scan.

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