Can I Prevent Sinusitis
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
- Donât smoke, and avoid other people’s smoke.
- Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season, and try not to touch your face.
- Stay away from things you know youâre allergic to. Talk to your doctor to see if you need prescription medicines, allergy shots, or other forms of immunotherapy.
If your sinus problems keep coming back, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery to clean and drain the sinuses.
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.
Can Sinusitis Be Prevented
Simple changes in your lifestyle or home environment can help lower the risk of sinusitis. For example, during the winter, use a humidifier to keep home humidity at 45%50%. This will stop dry air from irritating the sinuses and make them less of a target for infection. Clean your humidifier often to prevent mold growth.
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Looking After Yourself At Home
If your symptoms are mild and have lasted less than a week or so, you can usually take care of yourself without seeing your GP.
The following tips may help you feel better until you recover:
- Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve a high temperature and pain check the leaflet that comes with your medication first to check it’s suitable, and never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
- Use over-the-counter nasal sprays or drops to help unblock your nose and allow you to breathe more easily these shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time.
- Apply warm packs to your face to soothe your pain and help mucus drain from your sinuses.
- Regularly clean the inside of your nose with a salt water solution to help unblock your nose and reduce nasal discharge.
How To Relieve A Head Cold And Sinus Congestion
Though there are some differences between head congestion and sinus congestion, the following tips can help provide relief from your symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Drink plenty of water: Water can help thin mucus, which is more likely to drain.
- Make a wrap: Applying a warm towel to your head to ease swollen tissues and relieve pressure.
- Get steamy: Inhaling steam helps keep nasal passages moist and assists with drainage.
- Find relief with SUDAFED®: SUDAFED PE® Head Congestion + Pain can help relievethe pain and pressure associated with head congestion while SUDAFED PE® Sinus Pressure + Pain with acetaminophen can help provide relief from sinus pain and pressure.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Sinus Infection Cold Or Nasal Allergy
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold, allergies, and a sinus infection. The common cold typically builds, peaks, and slowly disappears. It lasts a few days to a week. A cold can transform into a sinus infection. Nasal allergy is inflammation of the nose due to irritating particles . Symptoms of a nasal allergy can include sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, congestion, runny nose, and post nasal drip . Sinusitis and allergy symptoms can happen at the same time as a common cold.
If you are fighting off a cold and develop symptoms of a sinus infection or nasal allergy, see your healthcare provider. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and medical history.
Cleaning Inside Your Nose
You can clean the inside of your nose using either a home-made salt water solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy.
To make the solution at home, mix a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of boiled water that has been left to cool. To rinse your nose:
- wash and dry your hands
- stand over a sink, cup the palm of one hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it
- sniff the water into one nostril at a time
Repeat these steps until your nose feels more comfortable . You should make a fresh solution each day. Don’t re-use a solution made the day before.
Special devices you can use instead of your hand are also available for pharmacies. If you choose to use one of these, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions about using and cleaning it.
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How Do Doctors Treat Sinus Infections
One the diagnosis is made, the typical treatment for sinus infection is antibiotics to clear up the bacteria causing the sinus infection. Although, the overuse of antibiotics is a cause for concern, so many doctors will prescribe these medications if your symptoms extend beyond seven to 10 days.
Your doctor may also prescribe a topical nasal corticosteroid to reverse the swelling in the sinuses. Finally, over-the-counter medications to help you cope with the daily symptoms of a sinus infection while the medications begin to do their work.
Some of the typical over-the-counter symptom relievers include:
- Antihistamines can block the inflammation that swells your sinus passages
- Nasal decongestant sprays can be used on a limited basis
- Nasal saline washes can clear out heavy mucus
- Topical nasal corticosteroids
Sinus infections can last for several weeks, or if they are chronic, for even longer. If youre feeling ill, its a good idea to reach out to your doctor for treatment. Your clinical team can diagnose, and treat your illness to make you more comfortable and help you heal.Oviedo Medical Research specializes in Phase II through IV clinical trials designed to yield the medications and vaccines that doctors depend on. If youre interested in joining us for a clinical trial, contact us.
What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
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Is It Covid Or A Sinus Infection
The COVID pandemic has killed more than one million people around the globe. With the fall ushering in traditional influenza season, medical professionals express concern that the outbreaks will continue for the foreseeable future. Protecting yourself is of the utmost importance. One way to do this is to understand the differences between COVID-19 and the common sinus infection.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the symptoms for COVID-19 appear two to 14-days after youve been exposed to the virus. The symptoms could be mild or severe depending on factors that were still trying to understand. They may include:
Craig P. Chase, M.D., a partner of Oviedo Medical Research, says, For sinus infections versus COVID-19, sinus infections are usually something that youve had for a while. It could start with allergies, it could start with a cold, and then kind of evolve into a sinus infection.
Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
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Nasal Polyp Causes And Risk Factors
Nobody really knows what causes nasal polyps, or why they happen in some people, but donât happen in others. Some experts believe it may have something to do with the immune system or the chemical makeup in the lining of your nose and sinuses. But we need more research.
Anyone can get nasal polyps, but theyâre most common in adults over age 40 and are twice as likely to affect men as women. Children under age 10 rarely get them. If they do, a doctor will check for signs of cystic fibrosis.
Nasal polyps are linked to allergic rhinitis, asthma, aspirin allergy, sinus infections, acute and chronic infections, something stuck in the nose, and cystic fibrosis. But many times, the cause is unknown. Sometimes, people get them before they develop asthma or sinusitis.
Some experts think that symptoms of allergiesâ including a runny nose, sneezing, and itching â make some people more likely to get nasal polyps. But the allergy connection is controversial. Other researchers think that sinus infections are to blame.
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Common Signs Of Sinus Infection And When To See A Doctor
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common infections that a person can have. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 35 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with a sinus infection in the year 2017. And many others may have suffered from sinus infections without ever seeing a doctor. Despite sinus infections being so common, they are still one of the most uncomfortable infections experienced and require adequate care and attention, whether being treated at home or by a doctor.
A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses, which are cavities located in the front of the face around the eyes and behind the nose, become blocked or too much mucus builds up causing inflammation and swelling. When sinuses are functioning normally, they lighten the weight of the skull, and also help filter and moisten the air you breathe. When sinuses are blocked, your head can feel heavy or full, your voice may become raspy, and you can even experience tooth pain, among other aggravating symptoms.
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How To Distinguish Between Viral And Bacterial Sinusitis
Viral and bacterial sinus infections may be very similar symptomatically, and a sinus infection that begins as viral can develop into bacterial sinusitis. Much of the time, you can determine if a sinus infection is bacterial, by answering the below questions:
Has the sinus infection lasted for 10 or more days, without any improvement?
For the first three to four days of the infection, did you experience postnasal drip, face tenderness, and a high fever ?
After a cold which lasts five to six days and seems to get better, do symptoms start to get worse, with new face pain or headache, fever, and worsening postnasal drip or stuffiness?
If the answer is yes to one or more of these questionsyour sinus infection may be bacterial.
Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
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When Is Sinus Surgery Needed
If the thought of surgery makes you more miserable, dont worry its only needed for more chronic or complex cases. If prescription treatments dont work, your doctor will refer you to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose and throat doctor. They can try other approaches to take care of your infection, including sinus surgery. There, they can remove swollen tissue, polyps, growths, fluid or other blockages that make it difficult for your sinuses to drain and heal. Again, there are plenty of medications and treatments that doctors can use before surgery is considered.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider if:
- Your symptoms last longer than 10 to 14 days or you have a cold that gets worse after 7 days.
- You have a severe headache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medicine.
- You have a fever.
- You still have symptoms after taking all of your antibiotics properly.
- You have any changes in your vision during a sinus infection.
A green or yellow discharge does not mean that you definitely have a sinus infection or need antibiotics. Many people with this symptom recover fully without taking antibiotics.
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Sinus Infection Definition And Facts
- Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
- Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
- The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection can include medications, home remedies, alternative therapies, and surgery.
- Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
- Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
- Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
Sinusitis : When Should I Call The Doctor
- a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
- a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
- symptoms of allergies that don’t clear with the usual allergy medicine
Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:
- pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
- swelling around the eye
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Preventing A Sinus Infection
To prevent sinus infections altogether, borrow strategies from your cold-prevention playbook. Most notably, practicing hand hygiene is the easiest way to prevent a sinus infection, Iloreta says. Sinus infections come from chronic allergies, or chronic inflammation in the nose, so by treating your allergies taking antihistamines, avoiding pollen exposure youll also help prevent subsequent sinus infections.
Kimberly Goad is a New Yorkbased journalist who has covered health for some of the nations top consumer publications. Her work has appeared in Womens Health, Mens Health and Readers Digest.
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When Do Symptoms First Appear
The symptoms of a sinus infection often come on suddenly. COVID-19 symptoms can develop more gradually 2 to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
A sinus infection can often happen after youve had a common viral illness, such as a cold or the flu. If your symptoms develop after youve already been sick, you may have a sinus infection.
Viruses that cause a cold or flu tend to circulate in the fall and winter months. COVID-19 can occur any time of the year. While a sinus infection could develop following COVID-19, this hasnt yet been reported by research.
A sinus infection can also occur after exposure to allergens or irritants, such as pollen, pet dander, and cigarette smoke. If you have allergies or were recently around an irritant, you may be at risk for a sinus infection.
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Sinus Infection Vs Cold: How To Tell The Difference
Dr. Menachof, MD, has specialized in conditions around the head, throat, ear, nose, neck and face for over 20 years, and was the first to bring sublingual allergy drops to Colorado in 2005. He has been recognized as a Fellow by multiple academies, named one of Americas Top Facial Plastic Surgeons continually since 2003 and is featured in multiple national publications.
When youre feeling sick, it can be tough to tell whether you are struggling with a sinus infection or simply have the common cold. The symptoms of these conditions can be very similar, but there are important differences between the two and they must be treated differently in order for you to find relief.
How Long A Sinus Infection Lasts
While the symptoms youre experiencing wont necessarily help you determine the cause of your infection, the duration of the sinusitis can provide some clues. Often, viral infections dont last that long. If your sinus infection lasts for about a week, its usually due to a virus.
Bacterial sinus infections, on the other hand, can persist for some time. They usually last for 10 days or longer. While viral infections usually start to get better after a few days, bacterial infections tend to get worse over time. Bacteria are usually responsible for cases of chronic sinusitis.
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What Is Fungal Sinusitis
Fungal sinusitis is a sinus infection that results from a fungus. Several types of fungal sinus infections cause similar symptoms. These may include nasal congestion and sinus pain .
Providers treat most cases of fungal sinusitis with sinus surgery, and extreme forms may require additional anti-fungal treatment. But people with healthy immune systems may not need treatment. Some fungal sinus infections clear up without intervention.
People who have conditions that weaken the immune system are much more likely to get fungal sinusitis. They also have a higher risk of complications. Some types of fungal sinusitis can destroy the lining of the nose, spread to the brain and lead to death.