Allergies And Sinus Headaches
Ever heard that allergies cause sinus headaches? ItÃÂ¢s not quite that simple.
Allergies can cause sinus congestion, which can make your head hurt. Treatment for your allergies can ease that congestion, but it wonÃÂ¢t relieve your headache pain. You usually have to treat the two conditions separately. See your doctor to make sure you get the right help.
What Can I Do To Prevent A Sinus Infection
If youre prone to allergies or hay fever, avoid things that trigger allergic reactions, such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, and cockroaches. Prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines and prescription nasal sprays can reduce chronic inflammation in the sinuses and nasal lining.
Nasal corticosteroids can be particularly helpful if you have seasonal allergies and use them just as the allergy symptoms begin. Thats because when the season first starts, you need a lot of the allergen to cause symptoms. But as symptoms progress, lower amounts of allergen produce more symptoms. By starting the medication early, you might be able to diminish this effect and reduce your symptoms before they bring on a sinus infection.
It is important to note that is extremely necessary to cure a sinus infection. If left untreated, a sinus infection can spread to other organs and in some cases cause life-threatening conditions.
Allergies Vs Sinus Infection
Allergies can develop at any point in your life. While allergies tend to come up during childhood, its possible to develop allergies to new substances as an adult.
This type of reaction is caused by a negative response to a substance. Your immune system responds by releasing a chemical called histamine, which can then cause symptoms such as headache, sneezing, and congestion. Its also possible to feel foggy and develop a skin rash.
Severe allergies can lead to a cold-like condition called allergic rhinitis. With allergic rhinitis, you can have the above symptoms as well as itchy eyes. This itchiness is one of the key distinguishing factors between allergies and sinusitis.
A sinus infection, on the other hand, occurs when your nasal passages become inflamed. Sinusitis is most often caused by viruses. When the nasal cavity gets inflamed, mucus builds up and gets stuck, further compounding the problem.
Along with nasal congestion and headache, sinusitis causes pain around your cheeks and eyes. Sinus infections also cause thick, discolored mucus, and bad breath.
Compare the following symptoms to see if you have allergies or a possible sinus infection. Its also possible to have both conditions at the same time.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, is a condition where the tissues lining the nasal passages become inflamed. Sinus infections are very common, affecting nearly 30 million people in the U.S. each year, and a large percentage of these infections resolve on their own. Common sinusitis symptoms include nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, and facial pain.
Simply explained, a sinus infection occurs when there is an infection in the sinuses, a connected system of air-filled spaces in the skull. Under normal conditions, mucus drains out so that air can pass through sinus cavities. When fluid builds up in the sinuses, germs grow and an infection can occur.
Sinus infections can cause facial discomfort because of nasal congestion. You may experience a headache, pain behind the eyes, and facial tenderness or swelling. Other sinus infection symptoms are similar to having a bad cold or intense allergies including nasal discharge, postnasal drip, fatigue, sinus pressure, loss of sense of smell, throat irritation, and even a fever.
Typically triggered by allergies or a cold, a sinus infection can take many forms. Acute sinusitis may cause mild symptoms and go away quickly without antibiotics. These cases are often caused by a viral infection like the common cold and do not require anything more than symptomatic treatment for your comfort.
Reduce Pain And Pressure
Taking an over the counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and aching that stem from a cold or sinus infection. Rest is also one of the best ways to allow healing in the body, but change positions frequently enough to avoid the body becoming stiff . If you are suffering from a severe headache or headache lasting more than 5 days, see a doctor as soon as possible.
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What Is Sinusitis In Pregnancy
Sinusitis is the medical term for an infection of the sinuses, which are air-filled pockets around your nose. Theyre lined with a membrane that produces mucus, which, under normal circumstances, efficiently drains away. But when your sinuses are inflamed and swollen, that drainage slows down, the fluid builds up and you end up feeling as if you have a bad cold.
While you might be more susceptible to a sinus infection in pregnancy, the condition manifests itself the same way it would for anyone, pregnant or not, says Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, an otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Can Sinus Pressure Cause Neck Pain Heres How To Treat It
It wont surprise anyone that patients seek chiropractors to treat neck pain. Recently weve been exploring the link between neck pain and a range of other painful conditions and how a chiropractor can help. In this article, were looking at the connection between a sore neck and other prevalent complaints sinus pain and a stuffy nose. Well dive into the well-established medicine, demonstrating how a misaligned neck can cause sinus problems. Well also look at how sinus pressure can cause secondary neck pain. If you regularly experience sinusitis and a stiff neck, this is the article for you.
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Bacterial Sinus Infections: When To Suspect
- Yellow or green nasal discharge is seen with both viral and bacterial sinus infections. Suspect a bacterial infection if the discharge becomes thick . But, it also needs one or more of these symptoms:
- Sinus Pain, not just normal sinus congestion. Pain occurs mainly behind the cheekbone or eye or
- Swelling or redness of the skin over any sinus or
- Fever lasts more than 3 days or
- Fever returns after itâs been gone for over 24 hours or
- Nasal discharge and post-nasal drip lasts over 14 days without improvement
Here Are Seven Effective Home Remedies For Sinus That Can Help You Tackle The Problem Naturally
1.Stay HydratedDrinking water, tea or juices without sugar are good ways to keep your system hydrated. These fluids help in thinning out the mucus and bring relief to the irritated sinuses. One should avoid alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which lead to dehydration.
Drinking water, tea or juices without sugar are good ways to keep your system hydrated
2. Pungent SpicesSpices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help in breaking up and draining out congested mucus. Similarly, horseradish can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a mucus dissolving elixir. As an alternative, 1/4 teaspoon of the freshly grated horseradish root can be held in the mouth for a few minutes, once the taste has evaporated, it can be swallowed.
Spices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
3.SteamThis one works like magic and doctors prescribe it too. Add 3 drops of pine or rosemary oil with 3 drops of peppermint, and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to a steaming hot bowl of water or add 3 drops of rosemary with 1 drop of thyme and peppermint oil. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam, this will help in clearing a blocked nasal passage.
Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in IndiaApple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with many health benefits
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Warning Signs Of A Sinus Infection Becoming Serious
Sinus infections, or sinusitis, are an inflammatory condition that causes a lot of irritating pain in the sinus area. It can be either a viral or bacterial infection. Many people who have experienced a sinus infection described it as an uncomfortable, annoying feeling within their nasal passages. While most sinus infections can go away on their own, there are some cases of them becoming serious. Here are some warning signs that you must take note of.
Consult With Dr Arjuna Kuperan
If you think you may have a sinus infection and are considering surgery as treatment, seek the expertise of a Rhinologist like Dr. Kuperan who specializes in the treatment of sinus, nasal, and skull base disorders and a board certified Otolaryngologist . Dr. Kuperan will make sure you get a tailored procedure designed to get you feeling great again with minimal recovery time. To schedule a consultation please visit Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus or call us at 713-791-0700.
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Allergic Rhinitis Vs Sinus How To Tell The Difference
A stuffy nose can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating, especially if it happens often. To make matters worse, the two most common culprits behind nazal congestionallergic rhinitis and sinusitis are more alike than they are different in terms of their symptoms.
Fortunately, there are still ways to tell the two apart, though few know about them. Heres how you can better identify your symptoms whenever you have a stuffy nose, and pursue the correct course of action with regards to treatment and management.
From Cold And Cough To Hemorrhoid And Nausea We Break Down Safe Otc Medications To Take While Pregnant
Its the dead of winter and you cant sleep, because youre 7 months pregnant and your baby has decided to be nocturnal. You know you need sleep, because lack of good rest inhibits your immune system. This stresses you out, because your spouse has a nasty cold, and youd rather avoid it.
Your spouse is resting peacefully in the guest room because he has a plethora of over-the-counter medications at his disposal.
But not you. Youre pregnant, and your OTC medicine choices are extremely limited. So, you hope to stay healthy amid the stress and discomfort of pregnancy. Not to mention its cold and flu season.
Then, you realize. Your nose is running. Your sinuses feel clogged. Youre getting sick.
Your first instinct is to want to grab those great medications your spouse is taking. But you know you have to be careful.
In no time, youre miserable with symptoms of the common cold. Youre desperate for relief, but you know the safety of your baby is paramount.
Advanced Womens Healthcare is here to help with a comprehensive list of safe over-the-counter medications to take during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor for the best personalized choices for you.
Pregnant women: Dont forget to get your flu shot at AWH Dallas!
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How To Diagnose Your Cold Vs Sinus Infection
When symptoms become bad enough or last long enough that you want to seek medical advice, an experienced ENT specialist can diagnose what is causing your discomfort. A cold can often be diagnosed with a standard physical exam, and some viruses can be confirmed with blood testing if necessary.
If the doctor suspects a sinus infection, they may perform a rhinoscopy or endoscopy to view the inside of your sinus cavities with a thin endoscope device. Once it is confirmed that a sinus infection is the source of your symptoms the doctor can then work to determine the root cause of the infection, be it allergies, nasal polyps, or another underlying source. If allergies are suspected as the cause, testing can be completed to diagnose which allergies are at play. The best form of treatment for your infection will depend on the diagnosed source of the issue.
Stop Sniffling With Sinus Relief
There is no need to live with low grade and constant sinus pain and irritation. Sinusitis can be treated or relieved regardless of the cause, but only once we find the true cause of the problem. Schedule an appointment with Mile High Spine & Pain Center as soon as possible if the swelling hasnt gone down in a week, or if other troublesome symptoms like burning and discharge are disrupting your daily routine.
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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.
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Sinus Infection While Pregnant
Pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges that can make dealing with a sinus infection much harder than normal. For one, you are more likely to get sick, as pregnancy suppresses the immune system.
These natural changes in immunity exist to strike a balance between the mothers health and to protect the baby from disease. Additionally, certain parts of the immune system are suppressed to prevent the body from rejecting the fetus as something foreign.
While these are all natural functions, they unfortunately make sinusitis a pervasive threat, particularly for those who have been susceptible to infections in the past. Additionally, several conventional sinusitis treatments are unsafe for pregnant women, so it is important to know what you can and cannot use to treat your sinus infection while pregnant.
The good news is that, despite these challenges, a sinus infection will most likely not affect your unborn child. The first step is to determine whether or not you have sinusitis.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Chronic Sinusitis
Does it feel like your sinus infection just wont quit? If you experience at least two of the following for 12 weeks or more even though youve been treated it may be chronic sinusitis:
- Discharge of mucus or postnasal drip
- Pain or pressure in your face
- Problems with smell
Chronic sinus infections can be triggered by colds but are typically caused by long-term inflammation. Sometimes, when treatments to control that inflammation fail, people with chronic sinusitis need surgery to drain their mucus.
Ready To See A Doctor About Your Sinus Infection
Being aware of complications associated with a sinus infection, symptoms of chronic sinusitis, and identifying the type of infection you have are vital to knowing the serious signs of a sinus infection. If youâve been experiencing an infection that will not let up, please contact one of our ENT Doctors by phone or via their website to make an appointment.
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Treatment For Sinus Infection
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.
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Medications For Sinus Disorders
Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections. They’re useful for treating bacterial sinus infections but will not help a cold caused by a virus. Many bacteria that were once treatable by common antibiotics have become resistant, so doctors in the UPMC Sino-Nasal and Allergy Center are careful when prescribing antibiotics for sinus problems. A culture of the bacteria found in the sinuses will provide guidelines to the best sinus antibiotic to use.
While taking an antibiotic, it may help to restore the good bacteria in your system by taking probiotics or acidophilus tablets. You can also eat foods that contain large amounts of benign bacteria, such as yogurt or kefir.
The body releases histamine during an allergy attack. Histamine causes sneezing, itching, and welting. Antihistamines block the histamine receptors that cause allergic reactions.
Newer antihistamines like Zyrtec , Clarinex , Allegra , and Claritin have a very low rate of causing side effects, compared to older antihistamines. They do not cause drowsiness, except for Zyrtec. Zyrtec may impair performance or cause sedation, but much less often than the older antihistamines.
Sudafed is now a behind-the-counter decongestant. Phenylephrine is less effective than pseudoephedrine. All oral decongestants can cause side effects such as urinary retention, insomnia, and jitteriness.
Leukotrienes are potent agents of broncho constriction.
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When To See A Doctor
You dont necessarily have to see your doctor for your allergies. The exception is if youve never been diagnosed with allergies before or if your allergies seem to be getting worse.
You should also see your doctor if your OTC antihistamines arent working. They might recommend prescription medications instead. If your allergies have you particularly congested, they might also prescribe a .
Since sinus infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics dont generally help. However, if your symptoms worsen or last longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor for some relief.
When Should You Consult An Allergist
There are many different instances where consulting an allergist is appropriate. Consider seeing an allergist if you have:
- Prolonged or severe allergy symptoms
- Recurring sinus infections
Depending on what type of insurance you have, you may be required to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see an allergist.
Concerned About Your Symptoms?
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