When To See A Doctor For Sinus Pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment. Allina Health has many convenient care options for care, from online visits to walk-in care, to help you get better fast.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat for your treatment options.
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.
Should You Visit A Specialist
If your sinus infection just wont go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:
- Youve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
- Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
- You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks
Living with a sinus infection is miserable and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.
Recommended Reading: Does Sinus Cause Ringing In The Ears
Home Remedies For Sinus Infections: How To Cure A Sinus Infection Naturally
If you are experiencing mild symptoms or if sinusitis is not a regular problem for you, then you may want to consider a sinus infection home remedy. One of the primary ways to help reduce symptoms and eliminate the infection in the sinus cavities is to promote natural drainage of the mucus that is trapped in the sinuses. Most natural remedies involve finding ways to reduce inflammation and increase drainage. These include:
- Increasing water intake: The body needs a minimum level of fluids in order to properly function. Dehydration can prevent the body from healing naturally.
- Vapor or mist: Various types of humidifiers can provide enough additional moisture to break up small blockages in the sinus passage. Once these blockages are clear, the sinuses may drain naturally.
- Sinus rinse or neti pot: These solutions have grown in popularity over the past few years. They work on the idea that a purified saline solution can break up the sinus blockage, clean the sinus cavity, and clear out the infection. When used as directed, they may provide real relief for some patients. Before considering the use of a sinus rinse, the utmost care should be taken to follow all directions. In the case of a severe infection or the misuse of a product, they can cause more damage and potentially increase the severity of an infection.
Include Potassium Vitamin C And Zinc Supplements
Zinc, vitamin C and potassium aid in drying of excessive mucus. Include vegetables and fruits rich in potassium and zinc in your diet. Grapefruits, oranges and lemons are laden with vitamin C and you must have them everyday for quick recovery. Consult your doctor before taking any medical supplements, fruits and vegetables containing potassium, vitamin C and zinc. This a safety measure because sudden increase in mineral levels inside the body might either give rise to health disorders or aggravate the condition of an existing disorder.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Pneumonia From A Sinus Infection
What Are The Different Types Of Sinuses Near The Nose And Eyes
The paranasal sinuses are located in your head near your nose and eyes. They are named after the bones that provide their structure.
- The ethmoidal sinuses are located between your eyes.
- The maxillary sinuses are located below your eyes.
- The sphenoidal sinuses are located behind your eyes.
- The frontal sinuses are located above your eyes.
The biggest sinus cavity is the maxillary cavity, and it is one of the cavities that most often becomes infected.
There are different types of sinusitis:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: This term refers to a sudden onset of cold symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and facial pain that does not go away after 10 days, or symptoms that seem to improve but then return and are worse than the initial symptoms . It responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.
- Chronic sinusitis: This term refers to a condition defined by nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and decreased sense of smell for at least 12 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms last four to twelve weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms come back four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.
Donât Miss: Best Things To Eat With Sinus Infection
How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
Many sinus infections go away on their own. You can try some of these treatments at home to help you manage your symptoms and feel more comfortable.
- Press a warm, moist towel to your face for 5-10 minutes every day. This can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Drink lots of water and other fluids. This can help thin your mucus and reduce congestion.
- Breathe in warm, humid air. Using a humidifier helps, or you can take a hot shower or bath.
- Try clearing your nasal passages with a saline solution . A saline wash helps clear your nasal packages and reduces congestion. You can buy saline drops at your local pharmacy or make your own saline solution at home.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol and Advil can help reduce pain and manage other symptoms, like a fever or headaches.
Donât Miss: Why Do I Get So Many Sinus Headaches
Also Check: Center For Sleep And Nasal Sinus Disorders
What The Treatment For Sinus Infections
In order to eradicate the infection, youll need an antibiotic.
Some people continue to experience a lingering sinus infection even after antibiotics. Sinuses are considered a closed cavity. Removing infection from a closed cavity can require more prolonged antibiotic usage compared to infections that occur in an open cavity .
A sinus infection might require 2-4 weeks of antibiotics plus additional methods to encourage drainage of the sinuses. For a sinus infection to clear completely, we often recommend saline sprays, topical steroid sprays , and decongestants in addition to an antibiotic.
Using Verified Home Remedies
Read Also: How To Use Saline Solution For Sinus
When Do I Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
- Oyewale Oyelami
Do I need antibiotics for sinus infection? Using antibiotics to treat a sinus infection depends on what caused the infection- a virus or a bacterium. Doctors wont prescribe an antibiotic if your sinus infection starts because of a virus. So lets dive into this a bit more.
Need help with Sinus Infection?
Get access to a licensed medical professional.
Recommended Reading: What Nasal Spray To Use For Sinus Infection
Doctor Says Dont Take Omicron Infections Lightly And Heres Why
With Omicron, some studies are finding the damage potentially to the lungs is less, said Dr. Tipirneni. I dont think that jury is fully out though on that. And I certainly dont think anybody should be taking Omicron infections lightly. And remember those folks again, that are still most vulnerable remain, most vulnerable are elderly, are immunocompromised those folks with chronic illnesses, lung disease. And dont forget, we still have almost three quarters of our children that are still not fully vaccinated. And certainly every child under the age of five is vulnerable. So this is still very important. Still very concerning. Nobody should be taking this lightly. But it is good news that it is less severe, but remember because of the increased number of cases, we are still overall, still seeing a large number of folks going to the hospital, being critically ill requiring hospitalization, and that is still draining our resources. And its still a big concern for all of our communities.
Recommended Reading: Eczema In Ear Causing Infection
Also Check: What Otc Medicine Is Good For Sinus Infection
How To Treat Sinus Infections With Surgery
When other treatment methods fail, the final resort for sinusitis is surgery. In many cases, the goal is to fix defects in the sinuses. Reasons to undergo surgical treatment for sinusitis include:
- Narrowing of the sinuses caused by other reasons
- Presence of nasal polyps growths that block the sinuses and increase the risk of infection
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Small sinus drainage openings from birth
Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.
The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Also Check: How To Relieve Sinus Pressure Forehead
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!
Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
Don’t Miss: Nasal And Sinus Center Of Austin
Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
You also may experience nasal congestion, facial pain, and an overall sense of pressure in your face and forehead. In some cases, you may even experience pain in your upper teeth.
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.
Recommended Reading: Maximum Strength Mucus Relief Cold And Sinus
What Is The Function Of The Sinuses
The human skull contains four major pairs of hollow air-filled cavities called sinuses. These are connected to the space between the nostrils and the nasal passage . Sinuses help insulate the skull, reduce its weight, and allow the voice to resonate within it. The four major pairs of sinuses are:
The sinuses contain defenses against viruses and bacteria . The sinuses are covered with a mucous layer and cells that contain tiny hairs on their surface that help trap and propel bacteria and pollutants outward.
Acute sinusitis typically lasts less than eight weeks or occurs no more than three times per year with each episode lasting no longer than 10 days. Medications are generally effective against acute sinusitis. Successful treatment counteracts damage done to the mucous lining of the sinuses and surrounding bone of the skull.
Chronic or recurring sinusitis lasts longer than eight weeks or occurs more than four times per year, with symptoms usually lasting more than 20 days.
Read Also: Get Rid Of Sinus Infection At Home
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Sinus Pressure
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.
What Is Sinus Infection
As the name suggests, sinus infection is infection of air-filled cavities in the skull called sinuses. The infection causes inflammation, which is starting point for other problems to occur.
There are several types of sinuses. The name of each type is named according to where its located.
These air-filled cavities are lined with mucus membranes. Mucus is produced to help protect your nasal passages and sinuses. It will naturally drain into the nose.
The inflammation of sinus can cause obstruction and prevent your mucus from draining as well as usual. As a result, there will be more buildups of mucus in your sinus cavity and this can worsen the problem.
Based on how long it lasts, it is classified into two main categories acute and chronic. Acute means it lasts less than a month . Chronic means it can last more than 3 months .
In some cases, the problem may last about 4-12 weeks. For such cases, it is called sub-acute. Additionally, there is a condition called recurrent sinusitis. It refers to a condition of when you have several acute sinusitis in 1 year.
What is the cause? This can vary, but viral infection is often to blame. Many people have sinus infection after a common cold event, for example. The infection can also be caused by bacteria or fungus. Sometimes environmental irritants and allergens can be also the trigger.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve A Sinus Migraine
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.