Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
How Long Does Sinusitis Last
There are a few types of sinusitis, and doctors can classify them by how long they last. These classifications can include:
Acute sinus infections with a four-week duration or less
Subacute infections that last for roughly four to 12 weeks
Chronic conditions that fall over 12 weeks
Recurrent infections that recur many times throughout the year
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.
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Cold Or Sinus Infection: How To Tell The Difference
When temperatures start to drop, many patients begin to feel cold weather sinus pain but are unsure if its simply the common cold or a sinus infection. Because they have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell which you are dealing with. However, knowing how to identify the symptoms can help you know how to treat the virus or infection and may even provide guidance on when to seek medical advice.
Not sure how to tell the difference between a cold or sinus infection? The experts at Kaplan Sinus Relief are here to help you tell the difference.
Loss Of Smell And Taste
A side effect of nasal congestion is that you will find it challenging to smell or taste. Again, the swelling is to blame since the scents and aromas you are used to cant reach the top of the nose.
Sometimes, the inflammation presses down on the nervous system, impacting the signal that triggers taste and smell. Allergies and a cold can also cause these symptoms, which is why its vital to speak to a professional ENT doctor if youre concerned.
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What Happens If Your Cpap Humidity Is Too High
Very high humidity causes rainout, which is defined as a buildup of moisture in the mask and tubing that splashes onto your face, waking you up. Too much humidity can also lead to water accumulation that promotes microbial growth and increases your chance of developing sinus and respiratory infections.
I Use The Quadrupedal Position
If my facial pain or pressure is intense, I sometimes put my head towards the floor while on my hands and knees, Dr. Kamat says. This is whats called a quadrupedal position .
The position of the cheek sinus opening is high along the nasal wall and known to be poor for natural or passive drainage due to gravity, Dr. Kamat says. In this position, the opening is better able to drain, and has been shown to reduce the duration of a sinus infection.
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A More In Depth Explanation Of Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.
With acute sinusitis, it might be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face might feel swollen, and you might have throbbing facial pain or a headache.
Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a week to 10 days.
In most cases, home remedies are all thatâs needed to treat acute sinusitis. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis.
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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.
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Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS is another approach your doctor may recommend to treat chronic sinusitis.
An ear, nose, and throat surgeon will use a special tool with a lighted camera on the end to visualize the inside of your nose.
They will then use small instruments to remove excess tissue, nasal polyps, or nasal cysts to widen your sinuses.
Your ENT surgeon will perform the procedure under anesthesia. They may use general anesthesia or conscious sedation .
What Your Doctor Needs To Know
To find out if youâve got more than a bad cold, you need to learn the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor can help you figure out whether you have sinusitis or something else.
Tell your doctor how long youâve had sinus symptoms, and whether theyâve gotten worse or stayed the same. If youâve had them for less than 10 days and theyâre not getting worse, you probably have a viral infection. It will likely go away on its own.
Over-the-counter treatments like saline sprays, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may help ease symptoms along the way. might reduce the swelling and inflammation temporarily. If you use them, read the directions carefully and only use as directed. Using nasal decongestant sprays for more than a few days could make the congestion worse.
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How Can You Treat Nasal Discharge
Your recommended treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of your nasal discharge. In many cases, you can take steps to relieve your symptoms using simple home remedies. In some cases, your doctor may recommend medications or other treatments.
If a cold or flu is causing your nasal discharge, your treatment options may be limited. In most cases, your body will recover on its own. You should be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Over-the-counter medications may help relieve some of your symptoms. If your flu symptoms are severe, your doctor might prescribe you an antiviral medication. This may reduce the time it takes for you to heal.
Is My Sinus Pain An Allergy Cold Or Sinus Infection
By Christie Barnes, MD, Ear, nose and throat specialist Published March 27, 2018
Sinus problems are one of the most common reasons people go to a doctor. With tree pollen allergy season starting soon, it can be difficult to tell if you are developing a sinus infection or suffering from a cold or allergies. Chronic allergies can lead to inflammation that can predispose you to getting sinus infections as can colds. If you also have a deviated septum, these conditions can really block up your nose.
So how do you know if its a cold, allergies or sinus infection? If its related to allergies, you will more likely have sneezing, itchy eyes, throat or ears. Additionally, your nasal drainage will tend to be clear. You might also have symptoms of fatigue and fogginess.
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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.
How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
A pharmacist can advise you about medicines that can help, such as:
- salt water nasal sprays or solutions to rinse out the inside of your nose
You can buy nasal sprays without a prescription, but decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than a week.
Some decongestant tablets also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. Be careful when taking painkillers and a decongestant. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
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Medications For A Sinus Infection
Sometimes, your sinus infection wont go away without care from your primary care doctor or otolaryngologists . Most bacterial sinus infections can be cured with the help of antibiotic medicines a type of medicine that kills bacteria. Antibiotics will help you feel better after a couple days, but its important to finish the entire amount that your doctor prescribed.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
So if youâve ever had a sinus infection before, you know they feel pretty miserable: The more common symptoms are nasal congestion, discolored mucous from the nose, post nasal drainage, facial pain, facial pressure, decreased smell and taste, says Dr. Duyka. Some patients also experience ear pain, upper tooth pain, sore throat, bad breath, and/or cough.
But hereâs some quick advice: That whole thing about the color of your snot telling you whether or not you have a bacterial or viral infection? Thatâs a myth, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. âThe green-yellow color of mucus that can develop is a byproduct of our own white blood cells, which we use to fight any kind of infection, viral or bacterial, so we cant tell the cause from the color of the mucus,â she says. When mucus is thick and dark it usually suggests some mild dehydration, and you should increase fluid intake and use lots of saline spray to keep the mucus thin.
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Whether Its A Cold Or Sinus Infection Kaplan Sinus Relief Can Provide Long
Because they have similar symptoms with different severities, its important to know when to spot a cold or a sinus infection. If you find yourself dealing with chronic sinus infections or other sinus troubles, Dr. Kaplan from Kaplan Sinus Relief helps patients learn how to treat chronic sinusitis so they can breathe better and live happier.
Call 713-766-1818 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kaplan today!
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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.
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Can A Cold Or Sinus Infection Go Away On Its Own
Symptoms of a sinus infection and a cold can usually go away on their own. However, if you are dealing with a sinus infection caused by bacteria, its likely you will need antibiotics or other medications to erase the symptoms completely. The common cold is much easier to handle with at-home care and generally will not require medical intervention.
If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, or a sinus infection lasting longer than 12 weeks, it would be beneficial to speak to an expert who can provide you with long-term solutions for a lifetime of relief.
Why Do I Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
You should use antibiotics for a sinus infection when it is clear that its been caused by bacteria.
Its probably a bacterial infection if you notice the following:
- Symptoms persist for seven days or more, especially if they seem to get better and then worsen.
- Your mucus is yellow or green and thick.
- Your facial or sinus tenderness is severe, mainly if one side of your face is worse.
- Pain in your upper teeth area is worse on one side.
Contact your physician if the infection becomes severe, comes back, or isnt getting better on its own.
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What Are The Six Types Of Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on its duration and the type of inflammation . The term rhinosinusitis is used to imply that both the nose and sinuses are involved and is becoming the preferred term over sinusitis.
- Acute sinus infection usually lasts less than 3-5 days.
- Subacute sinus infection lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinus infection is greater than three months. Chronic sinusitis may be further sub-classified into chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps, or allergic fungal sinusitis.
- Recurrent sinusitis has several sinusitis attacks every year.
There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.
- Infected sinusitis usually is caused by an uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of a sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
- Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general timeline for acute, subacute, and chronic as infectious sinusitis.
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
If your sinus problems keep coming back, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery to clean and drain the sinuses.
What Kind Of Infections Can You Get From A Cpap Machine
While CPAP machines do not cause infections in and of themselves, using dirty equipment can enhance the risk of developing an illness. Water and mucus buildup in the mask and tube promotes microbial growth that could lead to sinus infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, respiratory infections, and allergic reactions like coughing and sneezing.
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Can Cpap Cause Sinus Infections
CPAP therapy, without humidification, inherently dries the airway and delivers filtered air from your environment into your respiratory system. While there is potential for bacteria buildup when a CPAP machine is not properly maintained, CPAP therapy in and of itself is not correlated with an increased risk for sinus infections.
Research from 2012 shows that nasal inflammation and sinus infections are common occurrences in OSA patients an additional 2016 study further adds to this claim, stating that those with OSA were 3.18 times as likely as those without OSA to develop chronic rhinosinusitis.
More significantly, however, it also showed that those who regularly used their CPAP machines actually had more tolerance to bacterial infiltration of their disease-fighting white blood cells. This same tolerance was not found in those who were not undergoing CPAP therapy, allowing us to conclude that regular CPAP therapy actually has a more protective effect rather than a detrimental one when it comes to sinus infections.
A 2017 study further revealed that those undergoing CPAP therapy did not experience a higher frequency of sinus infections than those who were not on CPAP therapy. It also found that your choice of mask, machine, and humidifier does not significantly impact the occurrence of sinus infections, either.