How Long Are You Contagious With A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection caused by a viral infection lasts about seven to 10 days, meaning you’ll be contagious with the virus for up to two weeks. If your symptoms last more than 10 days, or if they subside after a week then return again a few days later, you likely have a bacterial sinus infection that cannot be spread.
When Should You Talk To An Ent About A Sinus Infection
You should schedule a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat doctor if you are experiencing these sinus infection symptoms:
- An infection that lasts longer than 10 days
- Chronic, recurring sinus infections
- Sinus pain and pressure that is disrupting your daily activities
- At-home remedies dont work to relieve your symptoms
- Increase in pain
Family doctors or primary care physicians can help with basic sinus infection treatment by prescribing antibiotics and prescription-strength decongestants. But recurring sinus infections or chronic issues should be addressed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist also known as an otolaryngologist. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might need a referral from your primary care physician before visiting an ENT.
Ways To Clear Up Sinus Congestion
You dont have to keep living with the symptoms of a sinus infection. Here are eight smart tips from both experts and readers thatll help get you breathing easier in no time.
Sinus congestion may make you feel miserable, but managing it can be easy if you find the right treatment, that is. First, it helps to figure out whats triggering the congestion. You can treat the symptoms, but you are going to be chasing your tail if you dont know whats causing them, says Ian Alexander, MD, an otolaryngologist and founder of the National Sinus Institute, which has clinics in New Mexico and Texas. Common causes include allergies and infections, but your congestion could also be caused by structural problems with your nose and sinuses. Here are some short- and long-term solutions that can help ease congestion and relieve sinusitis symptoms.
Also Check: How Often Do You Take Advil Cold And Sinus
Treatments For Sinus Infections Other Than Antibiotics
#1: Saline Nasal Wash
Saline nasal wash can be a great way to thin out the mucous in the sinuses enough to clear out the blockage. I recommend starting this early on in the course of the illness to prevent the infection from worsening.
You can even make this at home using 2 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I would add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to prevent burning that can occur with use. There are also plenty of over the counter saline nasal sprays that you can purchase. You can use this 4-6 times per day.
Vaporizers are great because they can also thin out the mucous and make you feel a lot better. An easy home remedy, steam is probably the best way to use this treatment. Beware if you are an asthmatic as the steam could cause worsening of the asthma symptoms.
#3: Steroid Nasal Spray
Steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase have been my go to remedy recently and the great news is that they are now over the counter. The general recommendation is to use 1-2 sprays per nostril daily.
But I have found great relief using 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily. At these higher doses it is important to remember that you should use this short term, no more than 5-7 days.
These medications can significantly reduce inflammation allowing the congestion blockage to clear and significantly alleviate symptoms.
Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.
How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
Some of the home remedies used to treat sinus infections symptoms may help prevent sinusitis. These include rinsing your nose out with salt water and using medications that your provider might suggest, such as allergy medications or steroid nasal sprays.
You should avoid things you are allergic to, like dust, pollen or smoke, and try to avoid sick people. Wash your hands to reduce your chance of getting a cold or flu.
Also Check: Allergy Asthma And Sinus Center Hours
Home Remedies For Sinus Infection Treatment
Chop up a few garlic cloves and drop them into boiling water. Inhale the steam from this garlic water repeat a few times daily for a few minutes each. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent, the pungent smell of which will help open up your congested nose, and kill the bacteria in your nasal cavity. You can also eat two or three crushed garlic cloves daily.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
This common kitchen ingredient has several beneficial properties it also helps in making easy home remedies for sinus pressure. Make a mixture of hot water, honey, lemon juice and water, and add two or three tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar to it. You can also mix apple cider vinegar to tea and drink the liquid three times a day. It will help flush out mucus from your sinus cavities. If you feel you are coming down with a flu or cold, you can immediately consume apple cider vinegar to avoid sinus infection.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Take boiled water and add a pinch of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt to it. Or, mix a teaspoon of sea salt and half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in boiled water. Use either of these liquids as solutions for nasal irrigation. Use a bulb syringe and use it once a day it keeps the nasal cavity moist and clears out mucus.
4. Cayenne Pepper
6. Boost Your Immune System
7. Make a Super Smoothie
8. Oregano Oil
Treating Sinus Infection With High Blood Pressure
Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is usually mild and easy to treat. It rarely leads to serious complications! But if it has caused its complications, some could be serious.
The treatment usually starts with simple remedies, like nasal solution to help relieve the congestion more quickly. If the problem doesnt improve, it may progress to more advanced strategies .
If you have high blood pressure, your sinusitis treatment should not cause a spike in your blood pressure! And if you are taking your blood pressure medicine, make sure there is no risk for drug interaction !
Sinusitis is classified into several types by how long it lasts. It can be acute, sub-acute, chronic, and recurrent .
The good news, most cases of sinus infection are acute. Acute means the problem lasts less than 4 weeks. It is relatively easier to treat, and even it often gets better in time . Lifestyle measures such as keeping hydrated and adequate rest are usually enough to cope with. See also home remedies for sinusitis in this section!
However sometimes lifestyle measures alone are not enough. If you do need to take medication to help get rid of your sinusitis, there are some choices available. And to keep safe, the following are some easy checklists to remember for treating sinusitis with high blood pressure:
Dont Miss: What Medicine Is Good For Sinus Allergies
You May Like: How Often Can I Take Mucinex Sinus Max
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis emerges more insidiously than acute sinusitis. At times, however, the symptoms start suddenly and may resemble that of the common cold or acute sinusitis that just wont go away.
Chronic sinusitis is most likely if you have two or more of the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Mucus and pus-like discharge
- Facial pain, pressure around your eyes and nose, or fullness
- Partial or complete loss of your sense of smell
Chronic cough, sore throat, and fatigue may also be seen in a chronic sinus infection. That said, these symptoms are not required for the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis.
Get Your Antibiotics Fast
No one likes being sick, and having a sinus infection can be very uncomfortable. Getting antibiotics as fast as possible is crucial to healing, and is made possible with PlushCare. Our online doctors can diagnose your sinus infection, write a prescription, and send it to your local pharmacy in 15 minutes. PlushCare can help you effectively, quickly, and easily treat your sinus infection.
You May Like: How To Take Amoxicillin For Sinus Infection
Whats Happening In My Body
Most sinus infections come from colds that start in the nose.
A lot of sinus infections are caused by coronaviruses.
These viruses replicate in the nose. Your immune system then kicks off an inflammatory response to help kill the virus. This can cause swelling in the sinuses, leading to your symptoms.
Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections dont respond to antibiotics and usually just need to run their course. But you dont have to take it lying down!
How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
If youre feeling under the weather, a sinus infection likely is to blame. Sinus infections are prevalent and can be caused by various things such as allergies, a cold, or even the flu. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of them quickly and effectively.
Below, we listed a few tips for fast getting rid of a sinus infection. But before that, here are some things you need to know about sinus infection first:
Also Check: Best Meds For Sinus Pressure
When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Preventing Sinus Infections And Bronchitis
The best way to prevent both sinus infections and bronchitis is to wash your hands regularly and try to minimize your contact with someone who has a cold.
If you have allergies, try to manage those symptoms well and avoid allergens as much as possible. Both can reduce your risk of developing a sinus infection. This includes avoiding cigarette smoke and other air contaminants, which can irritate and inflame the lungs and nasal passages.
Finally, regular use of a humidifier adds moisture to the air and may help prevent sinusitis. It is critical, however, to regularly clean the humidifier to assure it is free of mold.
There is some evidence that an annual flu shot can reduce your chances of getting bronchitis, as flu viruses have been shown to be a significant cause of bronchitis. Additionally, avoiding cold and damp environments can reduce your risk of developing bronchitis.
At Columbia Allergy, we are experts in the treatment of asthma or allergies. Our providers are here to help with a patient-focused approach. Contact us at any of our convenient locations in California, Oregon, Idaho, or Washington to learn more about how we can help with your unique challenges and goals.
Also Check: Advil Cold And Sinus Liquid Gels Directions
Also Check: Sinus Infection Loss Of Smell And Taste
Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Sinus Allergies
Causes And Symptoms Of Sinusitis
Sinus infection is usually caused by a virus, but it can also occur due to fungi or bacteria. The risk of developing sinusitis increases if you have:
- Sinus problems, such as nasal polyps, tumors, and deviated nasal septum
- An allergic condition that affects the nasal passages
- An immune system disorder or medical condition
In most cases, a sinus infection can be treated with home remedies. However, sinusitis that does not go away after 12 weeks, even with medical and home treatments, is known as chronic sinusitis.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis may include:
- Thick yellow or green discharge from your nose or back of your throat
- Nasal congestion
- Swelling, tenderness, pain, and pressure around your nose, cheeks, eyes, or forehead
- A Headache, ear pressure, fatigue
- Reduced sense of taste and smell
- A Cough, bad breath
If your symptoms do not improve after a few days, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Recommended Reading: What Doctor Do You See For Sinus Problems
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
Get Your Allergies Under Control
Katie Stavert, 30, of Los Alamos, New Mexico, has already had two procedures to open up her sinuses, but she still needs to take allergy medications and saline solutions if she wants to keep her sinuses clear. Im allergic to everything, she says, but especially sagebrush and trees.
Allergies can definitely contribute to sinus congestion. Jeff Culp, MD, an allergist and assistant professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, tells people to figure out whats triggering their allergies, then plan appropriately either by taking allergy medication or avoiding the allergens altogether.
Also Check: What Is Best For Sinus Pain
When To See A Doctor For Sinus Infection Issues
Its time to see a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Your symptoms dont improve after a week of home treatment or if they get worse
- You have a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for more than three days
- You experience severe pain in your face, particularly around the eyes
- Your symptoms are interfering with your ability to carry out your daily activities
- You develop a skin rash or other allergic reaction to a medication prescribed for sinusitis
- You experience severe nausea and vomiting
- You have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or another condition
Getting Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
How can I get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics? Here are a few non-antibiotic treatment options you might consider:
If you find that these at-home sinus infections dont work, then it might be time to talk to a doctor for medical treatment.
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…
Is It Safe To Take Sinus Decongestants While Pregnant
It depends on the active ingredient. OTC pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine should only be used during pregnancy under your doctors supervision. They should not be used during the first trimester, only after, and even then, only with your doctors recommendation.
Talk with your doctor before using drugs containing these ingredients if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Research in animals has shown adverse effects on the fetus when the mother takes these drugs. There havent been enough studies with humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus. These drugs should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.
Also Check: Why Do I Have Sinus Pressure