What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis
The most prominent symptom is usually a blocked nose . One or more of the following may also occur:
- A runny nose. The discharge may be green/yellow.
- A reduced sense of smell.
- Pain over the affected sinus. However, pain is often not a main feature of chronic sinusitis . In many cases, it is more of a feeling of facial fullness or mild discomfort rather than pain.
The severity of your symptoms may wax and wane. They may be worst during an initial acute sinusitis. They may then ease off and not be as severe, leaving a background level of symptoms. You may then develop another episode of acute sinusitis making symptoms worse again. For a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis, symptoms must have been present for longer than 12 weeks.
All other symptoms are shared with acute sinusitis – please see our Acute Sinusitis leaflet for details.
How To Treat Sinus Pain
If you experience sinus pain, there are over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and lifestyle strategies that may be helpful.
If your symptoms last more than a week or keep recurring, see a healthcare provider. It could be a bacterial sinus infection, also called sinusitis, that requires a course of antibiotics or it might be migraines or another condition that requires medical intervention.
Fungal sinus infections can also occur and require surgery and/or antifungal medications.
How Are Sinus Headaches Prevented
If you have reoccurring sinus headaches as a symptom of sinusitis or seasonal allergies, you may need to consider prescription medication to manage the condition.
Lifestyle changes to reduce congestion, such as avoiding allergens and incorporating aerobic exercise into your routine, might decrease how many headaches you get.
In cases of chronic sinusitis, a nasal surgery such as a balloon sinuplasty might be the only way to stop getting more sinus headaches.
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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.
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
The fastest way to get rid of a sinus headache is to determine the cause and begin proper treatment. Medication and home remedies are the fastest way to get rid of sinus headaches.
If your sinus headache is caused by a virus, it will go away on its own, usually within 7 to 10 days. If your sinus headache is caused by bacteria or fungus, you may need to be prescribed antibiotics to help fight the infection. This requires a consultation with a medical doctor, so that they can decide which antibiotic and steroid to prescribe for you.
If your sinus headache is caused by seasonal allergies or the common cold, you may need to take some over-the-counter medications and begin home remedies. You can also begin taking vitamin C supplements before allergy season to stave off severity.
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Inhale Diffused Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has a strong odor that often helps patients find instant relief from sinusitis. Research has found that cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, helps people recover from sinus infections more quickly than those who dont use eucalyptus oil. You can inhale eucalyptus oil through a diffuser, or rub some on your temples and chest to open your breathing passages. You can even use food-grade eucalyptus oil and place a drop on the roof of your mouth.
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How Can I Tell If Im Infected With Omicron Or Another Variant
When you take most standard COVID-19 tests, youll only get a positive or negative result if youre infected, it wont tell you which strain is the culprit. You may never know unless health authorities send your sample out for genetic sequencing . Symptoms offer clues, but even two people exposed to the virus at the same time could feel differently.
If youre sick enough to need hospitalization, doctors might want to know which strain infected you, because certain therapies dont work as well against Omicron as other versions of COVID-19, Sterling says. But if you have a mild case, dont spend too much energy trying to figure out which variant you caught. Youll need to rest and isolate yourself from others until symptoms subside, no matter what.
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Your Sinusitis Wont Go Away Heres What You Need To Know
Sinusitis also known as a sinus infection is, for the most part, a bacterial infection caused by inflammation of the sinuses. Chronic and recurring long-lasting sinusitis can render you incapacitated and quickly eat up your sick days.
But when your sinusitis wont go away, what options do you have? This guide walks you through how to identify a sinus infection, what happens if you ignore it, how to treat your chronic sinusitis, and more.
How Do Sinus Infections Start
Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinus or nasal cavity becomes inflamed. What can start as inflammation in your sinuses from a respiratory infection, allergies or environmental pollutants can spark a sinus infection when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen, causing mucus to become trapped and germs to grow.
“Once you have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection, that virus can then settle into the sinuses and cause inflammation as well,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, an otolaryngologist and chair of Houston Methodist ENT Specialists. “About 95% of sinusitis is caused by a virus making it much more common than bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is also much more infectious as well.”
Certain conditions, such as having allergies, asthma or a respiratory infection, can make people more susceptible to getting chronic sinus infections, and it is important that these patients be evaluated to address the cause and not just the sinusitis symptoms.
“There are many causes of chronic sinusitis. “Patients with a weakened immune system are more prone to getting recurrent acute sinusitis,” explains Dr. Takashima. “Sometimes, however, the issue may be anatomy, such as a deviated septum , scarring from previous sinus surgery, or nasal polyps, which result from chronic inflammation in the nose. Once the polyps get to a certain size, they rarely regress on their own and they narrow the sinus drainage pathways.”
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What Are The Causes And Triggers Of Sinus Headaches
Sinus headaches are most often a symptom of sinusitis, in which the sinus becomes inflamed from allergies or other triggers like an infection. Sinus headaches may also result from seasonal allergies that last an extended period of time. This is called rhinitis, or hay fever. Sinus infections and sinus blockages can also trigger sinus headaches.
Are Most People Experiencing Mild Symptoms From Omicron
Data from early Omicron hotspots including South Africa, the U.K. and New York City suggest that the variant causes milder disease than its older cousins. A U.K. report from late December 2021 found that, compared to people infected by the Delta variant, people with Omicron-related infections were about half as likely to seek care in an emergency department or require hospitalization.
But even a mild case of COVID-19 can still make you feel quite sick and potentially lead to lasting complications like Long COVID. Its also not entirely clear whether Omicron is itself milder than other versions of COVID-19, or whether population-level immunity from vaccinations and previous exposures is mitigating some of its worst outcomes, Sterling says. Its still a good idea to keep up precautions, particularly if youre not fully vaccinated or are otherwise vulnerable.
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Irrigate To Relieve Sinus Pressure
“Salt water irrigation is the best way to cleanse the nose and sinuses this can help prevent or relieve sinus pain. You can use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray, but I recommend using a sinus rinse bottle, neti pot, or bulb syringe irrigation kit that you can get at the drugstore,” advises Das.
Try this commonly-used, easy-to-make nasal irrigation solution with your own sinus irrigation kit: Fill a clean 8-ounce glass with distilled or sterilized lukewarm water. Do not use tap water unless it has been boiled for at least 1 minute . Add 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda. And be sure to clean all equipment and make a fresh batch of solution each time you use your kit.
Why Do Omicron Symptoms Differ From Those Of Other Variants
Researchers are still trying to answer that question, but the key obviously lies in those multiple genetic changes that weve seen in this variant compared to old ones, Sterling says.
Early data suggest Omicron mostly accumulates in the upper airways, as opposed to penetrating the lungs. This could help explain both its reduced lethality and, potentially, why it often causes upper respiratory symptoms, like runny nose and sore throat. But the variant is still new and research is ongoing.
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How Is Acute Sinusitis Diagnosed
Acute sinusitis is usually diagnosed by discussing all of your symptoms and medical history with your doctor. In a physical exam, your doctor will look at the ears, nose, and throat to check for any blockage, swelling, and drainage. If allergies are suspected, your doctor will can have an allergy test performed to determine what allergens might be the cause of your sinusitis.
What Do They Do
Your sinuses are designed to prepare air for delivery to your lungs. They act as a humidifier, warming and moistening the air. They also remove debris and act as a first-line of defense against unfriendly microbes. Most importantly they must be ventilated by a constant flow of air up your nose.
For this to happen you must breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Unless you breathe constantly through your nose, especially at night, your sinuses will stagnate and eventually become infected.
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What Is Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis is a long-standing inflammation of your sinuses that lasts for 12 weeks or longer at a time. Sinusitis is also known as rhinosinusitis . So, we use the two terms interchangeably. When inflamed, nasal passages and sinuses become swollen and blocked. Chronic sinusitis interferes with the normal drainage of the mucus. Too much mucus builds up in your nose and sinuses, making them stuffy.
How Is Acute Sinusitis Treated
Acute sinusitis is typically a short-term condition that is not too severe. For many people, little or no treatment is needed. Most people get better on their own after seven to 10 days.
Antibiotics are only helpful for bacterial infections. Most sinusitis is due to viruses or other causes that are not cured by antibiotics.
Other treatment options include ways to manage your symptoms. You can:
- Try nasal sprays and decongestants. You should not use over-the-counter medicated nose sprays longer than three days unless your healthcare provider says you should.
- Get extra rest and drink extra fluids.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you have significant pain.
- Irrigate your nasal passages with saline solution. Since this is just salt and sterile water applied to the nose for cleaning, you can continue longer than five days.
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What Causes Sinus Pain
Sinuses are hollow spaces in your facial bones that are lined with membranes that secrete mucus. Sinus pain is often a result of inflammation that blocks mucus from draining and leads to pain.
Sinus swelling can follow viral illnesses, including the common cold, or it can be due to mucus production from allergies or breathing in polluted air that leads to irritation. It can also happen if there are nasal blockages due to abnormal growths called nasal polyps or structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum, that make you prone to congestion.
How Do You Get Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis means that a sinusitis becomes persistent and lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis is uncommon. Most cases of chronic sinusitis develop following an acute sinusitis infection. Most cases of acute sinusitis go away within 2-3 weeks, often much sooner. In some cases the symptoms do not go and become persistent . The following are causes of acute sinusitis that may progress into a chronic sinusitis:
- Cold or flu-like illnesses – in most cases, acute sinusitis develops from a cold or flu-like illness. Colds and flu are caused by germs called viruses which may spread to the sinuses. The infection may remain viral before clearing, causing a viral sinus infection. In a small number of cases, germs called bacteria add on to an infection that started with a virus. This can cause a bacterial sinus infection which can make the infection worse, can last longer and may cause more damage or changes to the lining of the sinus.
- Dental infections – in some cases, infection spreads to a cheekbone sinus from an infected tooth.
- Other risk factors for sinus infection – in a few people, one or more factors are present that may cause their sinuses to be more prone to infection. Acute sinusitis may be more likely to progress into chronic sinusitis as there is an underlying problem. Risk factors for sinus infection are dealt with in detail in our separate leaflet called Acute Sinusitis.
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Omicron Cases Often Start With A Sore Throat Headache And Congestion
Dr. Jorge Moreno said he’s seen an influx of COVID-19 cases lately at his outpatient clinic in Connecticut. Most of those patients were vaccinated, he said, so their symptoms tended to be milder and relatively short-lived.
Many patients started out with a dry, scratchy throat that caused sharp pain when they swallowed.
“It’s a very prominent symptom,” said Moreno, an assistant professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “It’s not like a little tickle in the throat. If they’re reporting it, they’re saying that their throat feels raw.”
Sore throats were often coupled with sinus congestion and headache, he added, followed by a cough a day or so later. At a , Ryan Noach, the CEO of Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest private health insurer, said Omicron patients commonly reported a scratchy throat first, followed by nasal congestion, dry cough, and body aches.
“Cough is still part of the symptoms,” Moreno said. He added, “It’s not as bad as it was.” Vaccinated people, he continued, “don’t have those respiratory symptoms as much.”
Loss of smell was also relatively rare among Omicron patients.
“I’ve seen a lot more people reporting fatigue as one of their main symptoms,” he said. “They’re young people that typically can push through things. They need rest. They need to sleep. They’re napping more.”
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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Home Remedies To Treat Sinus Pain
Some kinds of sinus pain range from a mild headache to extreme full-body agony, often accompanied by toothaches, earaches or breathing problems. Regardless of the underlying cause, sinus pain may occur due to inflammation and congestion in the sinus cavities.
The headache and sinus pressure brought up by congestive attacks can be very uncomfortable, which is why we are going to discuss the best ways to minimize congestion in your head.
There are a variety of over-the-counter treatments, home remedies, and lifestyle modifications that can help prevent or reduce sinus pressure and pain.
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
- Postnasal drip
- 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.
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