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!
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!
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.
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Causes: Is It A Sinus Infection Or A Head Cold
Keep in mind that the first signs of a sinus infection are often similar to having a head cold. You might notice congestion or other symptoms in the nose, throat, and sinuses. If its only a cold, then the symptoms will subside within a week to 10 days. On the other hand, these symptoms intensify with time if you are dealing with a sinus infection.
In fact, a head cold or allergies might be the catalyst that leads to a secondary infection. When you are experiencing congestion or other sinus-related symptoms, it might create the perfect breeding environment for a sinus infection.
Other common causes can contribute to the development of a sinus infection:
- Exposure to fungus
As the symptoms intensify and last for longer than a week, it indicates that a basic head cold might have changed into a full-blown sinus infection requiring treatment. Reach out to a sinus doctor for medication and other treatment recommendations.
When To See A Doctor About A Sinus Infection
On the other hand, a secondary acute bacterial infection may develop, so it’s advised that you see a doctor if your symptoms last more than 10 days or if your symptoms initially improve but then worsen again within the first 7 days.
See a doctor immediately if you experience:
- A persistent fever higher than 102 degrees F
- Changes in vision, including double vision
- Symptoms that are not relieved with over-the-counter medicines
- Multiple infections within the past year
- Sudden, severe pain in the face or head
- Swelling or redness around the eyes
- Stiff neck
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Related Conditions And Causes Of Sinus Infections
Colds, allergies, and sinus infections can cause similar symptoms, including stuffiness and headache. What’s more, both colds and allergies can cause sinus inflammation. So how can you tell the difference between these illnesses?
The truth is, even doctors can sometimes have difficulty differentiating among colds, allergies, and sinus infections. But the illnesses do present differently.
A hallmark sign that you have a sinus infection is that the illness is, as you’d expect, severely affecting your sinuses. Both colds and allergies can cause congestion and runny nose, but sinus infections typically cause an aching sensation and pressure in the face, including in the ears and teeth.
Additionally, postnasal drop, reduced sense of smell, and halitosis are typically associated with sinus infections.
The mucus associated with a sinus infection is usually green or yellow, though color alone isn’t enough to determine the cause of your nasal distress, as there are many reasons your nasal discharge may not be clear.
Both allergies and colds can cause sneezing, a symptom not typically seen in sinus infections. Allergies never cause fever, which is seen in both colds and sinus infections.
And if your symptoms last more than 10 days, you most likely don’t have a cold.
What Causes Sinus Headaches
Sinus infections cause sinus headaches. Anything that makes mucus buildup in the sinuses can lead to a sinus infection, such as:
- The common cold is most often to blame.
- Seasonal allergies trigger mucus production.
- Nasal polyps, abnormal growths in the nose or sinuses. Nasal polyps can block mucus from draining.
- Deviated septum, which is when the line of cartilage and bone down the center of the nose isnt straight. A deviated septum can prevent mucus from properly draining.
Too much mucus gives germs an opportunity to grow. As germs build up, they irritate the sinuses. In response, sinus tissue swells, blocking the passage of mucus. Swollen, irritated sinuses filled with liquid make your face feel tender and achy.
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Prednisone For Sinus Infection: Does It Work
A sinus infection, commonly known as sinusitis, is when your sinuses get infected, causing them to become swollen or inflamed. These are mainly due to bacterial, fungal, or viral infection, as in the common cold. Sinuses are the hollow parts or cavities within your skull, which are found behind the nose, forehead, and cheeks. These cavities are lined with a protective layer of mucus, meant to fight against external irritants like dust.
When your sinuses get inflamed, this can cause an excessive amount of mucus to build-up within your cavities. In turn, this causes pain and discomfort, making your head feel extremely stuffy and heavy. Sinusitis is quite a common condition in the US, with about 30 million people being diagnosed with it each year. Prednisone is a prescription steroid intended to reduce inflammation within the body. As sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, does prednisone work in treating it? Lets find out.
Why Do We Sneeze A Sinus Infection Is More Than Just Clearing Out Dust From The Nose
Cats do it. Dogs do it. Humans do it, too, often two times in a row.
Naturally, were talking about sneezing. So, why exactly do we sneeze?
You probably believe that we sneeze so that our noses can get rid of irritants. While this is true, it is only part of a much more complicated story as Michael Aranda explains in the video. But first, you need to know the nose.
Our nostrils and accompanying nasal passages are separated by a wall called the septum. Behind the nose is a space called the nasal cavity, which connects to the back of our throats, and this is surrounded by sinuses, a system of air-filled pockets. The sinuses are lined with a thin layer of tissue that makes mucus, generally known as snot. Mucus prevents germs, dirt, and pollen from getting into our lungs. On the surface of the cells of the mucous membrane are microscopic hairs called cilia, which move all together like waves to clear mucus from the sinuses. All of these parts are necessary to filter the air we breathe into our lungs.
However, as Aranda explains, a University of Pennsylvania study investigated sneezing and discovered the nose is very much like a temperamental computer, requiring a reboot from time to time. Watch his SciShow Quick Questions video here.
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When You Rinse Your Sinuses The Water Rinses Out Those Cavities That You Cant Always Clear Out Just By Blowing Your Nose
Simply fill the rinsing bottle with the water and saline solution.
Hold your head over the sink or bathtub and keep your mouth open.
After youve used all of the water, gently blow your nose to remove loosened mucus. Its a nasty process but oh my goodness the relief you get from this is amazing!
Ive tried different rinsing things and nothing compares to the NeilMed rinse.
Ive tried netipots and, although they work, I found they werent nearly as effective.
I think is has something to do with the fact that the sinus rinse bottle has a little more pressure behind it than the netipot does.
Ive used saline nose sprays, mainly before I felt comfortable using a sinus rinse bottle. They do help to soothe dry, irritated sinuses or loosen mucus.
However, if Ive got a stopped up nose, the first thing that Im reaching for is my sinus rinse bottle.
Im telling you, if you havent used one, you need to try it. Youll never look back!
Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist
Nasal saline is a solid day-to-day way to clear out your sinuses and can be used as often as five to six times per day when you’re feeling the brunt of sinus pain and congestion, says Dr. Zalvan.
This is portable, preservative-free, sterile, and most importantly, aerosolized, allowing for deeper access to the sinuses, he says.
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How Do I Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
To get rid of a sinus headache, you have to treat the underlying cause. But you can take steps to ease sinus pressure and pain at home:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
- Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
- Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
- Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.
Viruses, bacteria and sometimes fungi cause sinus infections. Viral infections often go away on their own. But if your infection is bacterial or fungal, you need antibiotics or antifungal medications. Your healthcare provider may also recommend other medications to ease discomfort, such as:
- Antihistamines to prevent allergy symptoms.
- Pain relievers to ease headache pain.
- Steroids to reduce inflammation.
Migraines with sinus symptoms
Sinus headaches that are actually migraines need a different type of treatment. The first step is to relieve your pain. You should know that frequently using over-the-counter medications when you have a headache can cause even more headaches .
Your provider may recommend prescription medication for migraine pain. You may also need a preventive medication that helps you have fewer migraine attacks.
How Is Acute Sinusitis Diagnosed
Your doctor can usually diagnose acute sinusitis from listening to your typical symptoms. They may also check to see if you have a temperature or if you have tenderness over your sinuses. They may examine your nose, as often the lining of the nose is swollen in acute sinusitis. Investigations are not usually needed to diagnose acute sinusitis. Occasionally, blood tests, X-rays or scans are advised if the diagnosis is not clear.
How Long Do Antibiotics Take To Work On Sinus Infections
Often, sinus infections are treated with antibiotics. However, your doctor will determine the best treatment based on the root cause of your sinus infection. If antibiotics are prescribed, you may want to know how long it will be before you start to experience relief from symptoms.
Read on to find out how sinus infections are diagnosed, when your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, and how long it will take antibiotics to take effect.
Identifying The Earliest Signs Of Sinus Infections
If youve had sinus infections in the past, you might notice the earliest signs showing up when a new infection is starting. Watch for these symptoms so you can take a proactive approach with treatment, helping to minimize severe symptoms from a developing infection.
Here are some of the most common signs that you have an infection in the sinuses:
- Increasing pressure behind the eyes and cheeks
- Running, stuffy nose lasting for more than a week
- Bad breath due to post-nasal drip
- Headache, focusing specifically on the forehead
- Thick drainage coming from the nose
- Nose discharge is yellow or green in color
Pay attention to how your head pressure or pain increases depending on your body position. For example, its common to be more comfortable when your head is propped up. If the symptoms worsen when you are lying flat, try adding an extra pillow to see if that brings relief.
Also, a good sign that you are dealing with a sinus infection is if the pressure and pain increase when you bend over. If you lean down to pick something off the floor and experience intense pain in the sinus areas, then theres a good chance that you are dealing with an infection.
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Managing Sinus Pressure And Pain At Home
Below are the top methods for the at-home treatment and management of sinus pain and inflammation. These tips can also aid in recovering from a sinus infection more quickly.
If the sinus infection symptoms do not improve using the above at-home treatments, or in the event the symptoms are lasting for more than seven to 10 days, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor. In addition, patients who experience frequent or reoccurring sinus infections should follow up with an ear, nose and throat doctor to discuss possible long-term treatment options.
Can You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Many sinus infections are caused by a virus like the common cold and do not require antibiotics for treatment. If you have mild symptoms, OTC medications may help relieve your symptoms until you feel better. However, consult your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days, or if at any time you have intense/severe pain or pressure, or a high fever.
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Will The Antibiotic Z
Mitchell Cohen, M.D.
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When To See A Doctor
Remember, acute sinusitis can last for several weeks. Give your body a chance to fight it off, using self-care techniques and getting plenty of rest.
If your symptoms start to improveeven if it seems to take a whilethen let it be. Be patient. Your body is slowly, but surely, doing what it needs to do to fight the infection.
However, if your sinusitis symptoms get worse despite proper self-care if theyre accompanied by high fever, a lot of facial swelling, and green or foul-smelling nasal discharge and if these progressively worsening symptoms persist for longer than 10 days, its time to see your doctor.
In these cases, an antibiotic may be warranted because the infection has gotten out of control.
On a final note, be sure to take probiotic supplements while on antibiotics. While important and often lifesaving, antibiotics have a downsidethey also kill beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic.
Probiotics help ensure you continue to have friendly bugs in your system. Take your probiotics several hours apart from your antibiotics, as the antibiotics could negate their effects.Take good care.
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What Are The Common Home Remedies To Treat Sinus Infection
The nine common home remedies to treat sinus infection include:
- At-home vaporizer or humidifier: It may help relieve sinus symptoms. Sometimes a hot shower may also relieve sinus symptoms.
- Use of lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus oil while breathing steam may relieve nasal pressure.
- A warm compress over the nose and forehead helps relieve sinus pressure.
- Use of a syringe or a neti pot to stream a solution of non-iodized salt, baking soda, and lukewarm distilled water through the nostrils to help keep nasal passages clean. Also, a patient may choose a product from a pharmacy that is already prepared and ready to mix from packets.
- Drink warm water to stay hydrated.
- Drinking warm ginger tea with turmeric may help relieve nasal congestion.
- Drinking warm water with apple cider vinegar may help in fighting a sinus infection. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, and magnesium which aids in treating sinus infection. It works by loosening up the mucous and clearing nasal passages.
- Eat a balanced diet that also includes spices, and a diet rich in vitamin C and minerals help build immunity to fight infection.
- Sleep with the head elevated at night or keeping a humidifier running at home to avoid an arid environment may help relieve sinus pressure.