Natural Remedies For Chronic Sinus Infections
Natural remedies for sinus infections may not fully cure your symptoms, but they can work to reduce them. Examples of these approaches include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids.Fluids help to thin out mucus, which makes it easier to pass through your sinus passages. You know youre drinking enough when your urine is pale yellow.
- Applying warm compresses. Create a warm compress using a soft washcloth and warm water. These compresses help to open your sinus passages and soothe swollen facial tissues to make breathing easier.
- Using a neti pot. A neti pot is an alternative to saline nose sprays. You can buy these at most drugstores and online. They look like a small tea pot with an elongated spout. You fill the pot with sterile water, insert it into one nostril, and pour in the water so it comes out the other nostril. Here are step-by-step instructions.
In addition to these measures, its important to get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep at night enables your body time to heal and maintain a healthy immune system.
Taking steps to keep your nasal passages draining well can help you avoid sinus infections. Examples of healthy habits to practice include:
You can also ask your doctor for additional prevention recommendations that target the cause of your sinus infection.
Types Of Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can appear in four different ways. Each way is based on the timeframe of the infection and how persistent it is. The four types of sinus infection are:
- Acute sinusitis comes on suddenly and lasts less than four weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis comes on like acute sinusitis but resolves within 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis happens when your symptoms persist longer than 12 weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis is when you have four or more acute sinus infections lasting seven days each, in a one-year span.
If your sinus infection lasts for long periods of time without any relief, even with the use of over-the-counter medicine, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
How To Tell When Your Cold Has Become A Sinus Infection
As the temperatures drop here in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, the common cold is on the rise. The symptoms are no mystery: congestion and runny nose, cough, headache and perhaps a sore throat and mild fever. But sometimes that cold can lead to a less common condition that shares many of the same symptoms: a sinus infection.While treatment with antibiotics will do nothing to improve a cold, it could be necessary to clear up a sinus infection. Thats why its important to know how to tell the difference so you can seek care when its needed.Heres what you need to know
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Sinus Surgery For Chronic Infections
If medical therapies dont clear up chronic sinusitis, your doctor will usually recommend surgery.
Several surgical approaches can enlarge the sinus cavities to make breathing and drainage easier. In the past, sinus surgeries required bone and tissue removal. Recent advancements mean this isnt the case.
How To Prevent A Sinus Infection
Prevention is really the key, she said. Staying healthy by drinking plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, decreasing stress and washing your hands are all good preventive steps.
Make sure you get recommended vaccines such as the flu vaccine. Also, dont smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. And avoid close contract with others who have colds or other upper respiratory infections, Melinda said.
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Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
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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Treatment And Medication Options For Sinus Infection
Up to 70 percent of people with acute sinusitis recover without prescribed medications, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology .
Treatment for acute sinus infections focus on relieving symptoms, such as by:
- Drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of rest
- Flushing out the sinuses with a saline nasal wash like a Neti Pot or a saline nasal spray
- Inhaling steam several times a day
- Using a humidifier
- Resting a warmed, moist washcloth or a warm compress over your nose and cheeks
Signs Of A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is something you want to deal with right away to prevent it from escalating. However, its not easy to discern between the different symptoms and what they mean. After all, an infection manifests itself in a similar way to the flu or a cold, so you cant always act decisively.
With that in mind, here are some signs you have a sinus infection and should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.
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Schedule An Appointment With Independence Ear Nose & Throat
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Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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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.
Diagnosis Of Sinus Infection
To diagnose if you have a sinus infection, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and their timeframe, and give you a physical exam.
This exam may include looking in the nose for signs of polyps, conducting a transillumination test to identify inflammation, and tapping the sinus area to detect infections.
If you have a chronic sinus infection, your doctor may conduct additional tests, including:
- Rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy to inspect your sinuses and see if your membranes are inflamed
- Mucus cultures to determine what is specifically causing your infection
- Allergy tests to determine what allergens may be triggering your chronic or recurrent infections
- CT scan to identify sinus abnormalities, such as polyps or a deviated septum
- MRI scan to see if you have a nasal tumor or fungal infection
If you have a serious fungal sinus infection, your doctor may order a bone biopsy to see if the infection has penetrated your bones.
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Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
Sinus infection or sinusitis is common. Many times it is mild and rarely causes complications. Even sometimes it will get better in time with nothing more than enough rest and fluid. However if its complications have occurred, some could be dangerous or even life-threatening. Thats why its also important to understand the warning signs and when to seek immediate medical help!
Steroid Or Corticosteroid Sprays
These sprays shrink swelling in the nasal passages. Some steroid sprays are available over the counter. Others require a prescription from a doctor.
In some people, steroid sprays can slightly improve congestion but are not effective for everyone. Steroid sprays can also cause side effects, such as headaches and nosebleeds.
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Nasal Discharge: Cause Treatments And Prevention
What is nasal discharge?
Mucus isnt just a slimy material in your nose it actually has a useful purpose. It traps bacteria, other germs, and debris, and prevents them from entering your lungs.
In some cases, such as when you have a cold or allergies, mucus may flow out of your nose or down your throat. When mucus comes out of your nose, its called nasal discharge. It can also be called post-nasal drip or rhinorrhea.
Although its annoying, nasal discharge is common and usually goes away on its own. But in some cases, its a sign of an underlying health problem that might require medical attention.
There are many potential causes of nasal discharge. Some of the most common include infections and allergies.
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.
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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How Is A Sinus Infection Diagnosed And Treated
Your doctor may prescribe medication. They may recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days. , antihistamines, and other drugs help lessen the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.
Steam and hot showers can help you loosen mucus. Your doctor may also suggest nasal saline to wash mucus from your nose.
In rare cases, when a sinus infection doesn’t go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.
Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and you’re very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
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About Author: Lisa Coon
Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
When you have a sinus infection, you often have to go through your day in pain and in a fog. Sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses, is incredibly common, but many people suffer through it rather than get it treated. At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, McMinnville, or Beaver, OR, we use a variety of sinus management treatments to reduce the inflammation and immune response that are likely behind your sinus problems. Check out on how to get rid of sinusitis.
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What Are Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
If acute sinus infection is caused by viral infection, it is usually easy to treat or even will relieve on its own . Typically, it lasts a few days, 7-10 days, and then will get better. But if it is caused by bacterial infection, it is relatively more difficult to cope and usually will take one or some of the following paths:
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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Sinus Infection Signs And Symptoms You Need To Know
Sinus infection symptoms overlap so much with allergy, cold, and flu symptoms that it can be hard to differentiate between them all. A runny and itchy nose, congestion, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, fever, and phlegm are pretty standard across the board. But there are some unique symptoms that can help you determine if youve got a sinus infectiona bacterial infection that usually needs to be treated with antibiotics.
A sinus infection usually starts as a virus, like the cold or flu. The virus then makes your mucous so thick that it doesnt cycle through your system like it normally would. Bacteria then overgrows in that mucous. Thats how a virus turns into a bacterial infection, Erich Voigt, M.D., director of the division of general otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF.
Since the initial virus wont respond to antibiotics, doctors want to make sure youre actually experiencing a bacterial infection before they give you meds. Theyll usually want to confirm your symptoms have lasted long enough and may also take a culture of your sinus mucous to check for bacteria.
So how can you tell when youve got a sinus infection? Here are the sinus infection symptoms to look out for.
Your symptoms will also become more sinus-focused when a sinus infection develops. The congestion and stuffiness may get worse, and mucous coming out of the nose may be more productive and discolored, Voigt says.
Those symptoms include these, from the Mayo Clinic: