Fast Facts On Cold And Sinusitis Symptoms
- Sinusitis is an infection of the spaces behind the nose.
- Sinusitis symptoms can last for 4 weeks or longer, whereas a cold will generally resolve far more quickly.
- Medicinal or surgical treatment may be required to cure sinusitis, but a cold cannot be treated.
- a headache
- swelling around the eyes
If a child is still sick after 14 days, or if the temperature rises further or continues for more than 3 days despite treatment with acetaminophen, they should see a pediatrician.
A child might have chronic sinusitis if symptoms continue for longer than months. Children with chronic sinusitis should visit a pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctor to find out about other treatment options.
Often, a sinus infection will get better without treatment. The following treatments can help people feel better while their body recovers.
Two Types Of Sinus Infections
Determining how long your sinus infection will last is dependent on what type you are experiencing. Acute sinusitis lasts for less than four weeks. Chronic sinusitis can last for more than 12 weeks.
The majority of sinus infection sufferers will see their symptoms start to resolve after about 10 days. While one to two infections a year is considering normal, more than four requires medical attention.
If you are experiencing chronic sinusitis with a single infection lasting three months at a time, there may be other factors to consider. Environmental factors such as smoking or allergies are common causes of developing chronic sinusitis.
What The Treatment For Sinus Infections
In order to eradicate the infection, youll need an antibiotic.
Some people continue to experience a lingering sinus infection even after antibiotics. Sinuses are considered a closed cavity. Removing infection from a closed cavity can require more prolonged antibiotic usage compared to infections that occur in an open cavity .
A sinus infection might require 2-4 weeks of antibiotics plus additional methods to encourage drainage of the sinuses. For a sinus infection to clear completely, we often recommend saline sprays, topical steroid sprays , and decongestants in addition to an antibiotic.
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How Do I Treat Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is much more difficult to treat than acute bacterial sinusitis. You may have been sick for months and may have received several courses of antibiotics. Over time, the bacteria become immune to the antibiotics, and you may become allergic to certain antibiotics. Steroids tend to be the most helpful medicine for chronic sinusitis, as they reduce the swelling that causes nasal and sinus blockage. Despite aggressive medical management, many patients with chronic sinusitis require surgical cleaning of their sinuses. New techniques such as balloon sinus dilation make it possible to wash out the sinuses under local anesthesia in the office. Most patients have very little pain and return to work the day after balloon dilation.
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What Causes Chronic Sinusitis
Although an episode of acute bacterial sinusitis can linger into a chronic condition, other causes of chronic sinusitis include nasal obstructions, allergies, bacterial biofilms, fungi, and immunologic abnormalities. Anatomic variation and allergic swelling can contribute to sinus blockage. Blockage of sinus openings allows stagnant mucous to accumulate, and create a place for bacteria and fungi to grow. The use of antibiotics selects for resistant strains of bacteria and fungi. Bacteria also have the capacity to organize into multicellular colonies called biofilms, which function much like a microscopic coral reef slowly growing and building a protective structure that protects the bacteria while supplying nutrients. The presence of bacteria and fungi can stimulate immunologic reactions that cause further swelling and damage to the sinus membranes.
Read more on the following causes of chronic sinusitis:
- Immunologic Disorders coming soon
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
So if you’ve 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 here’s some quick advice: That whole thing about the color of your snot telling you whether or not you have a bacterial or viral infection? That’s a myth, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. “The 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 can’t tell the cause from the color of the mucus,” she says. “When the 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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Constant Sinus Infections: What Do I Do
Millions of people around the world may find themselves asking this question over and over again. You have a sinus infection and use nasal sprays or other medication to relieve your symptoms until it subsides, only to be disappointed when it comes right back after just a week or two of relief. This painful pattern can turn your everyday life into absolute misery and make even the simplest of things feel difficult and tiring.
Sinus pressure and pain leads to headaches, congestion that makes it difficult to breathe, and sleepless nights. These are just a few of the painful outcomes that recurring sinus infections may bring to its most severe sufferers. Not only does sinus pain make you feel terrible, reduce productivity, and make you miss out on lifeâs biggest moments, it can also contribute to other serious health problems. Sinus pain should not come and go as it pleases, it’s time to take back control from your sinuses.
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Excessive Inflammation Of The Nasal Passages
Contrary to what most people think, the sinuses consist of far more space than just the nasal passages and behind the cheekbones. There are four sets of sinuses located in the head, and all of these drain mucus through the nasal passages, which act as one of the bodys sinus exit points. Your throat also acts as a drain for the sinuses. This is why people with sinusitis often experience discomfort in the throat, resulting from post-nasal drip.
If the nasal passages become inflamed, they get stopped up and the body has a hard time draining all of that backed up, infected, and often thickened mucus. This exacerbates the sinus infection, causing it to settle in even more.
There are several things you can do to relieve and reverse swollen and sensitive sinus passages:
Dr. Hester may prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray or even an oral steroid to provide more immediate and dramatic inflammation relief. These meds should be used as directed. NEVER use corticosteroid nasal sprays or oral steroids for longer than advised. You can wind up doing more harm than good. If the sinus symptoms persist, contact your doctor to schedule a follow-up appointment.
Your Sinusitis Keeps Coming Back Because You Dont Have An Accurate Diagnosis
If the infection lasts longer than a couple of weeks or the pain is becoming unbearable, seek medical treatment immediately. Accurate diagnosis is key to treating sinusitis, especially when the infections return over and over again. You can treat allergies all you want, but a polyp, deviated septum, or other anatomical abnormalities in the nasal passages wont disappear without more expert treatment.
A comprehensive examination of the nose and sinus passages by a specialist is necessary to evaluate the correct diagnosis and cause of your symptoms. In some cases, what has been previously diagnosed as a sinus issue has, in fact, been caused by another issue. Identifying the correct diagnosis is the first step to feeling better.
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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.
What Happens When A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated
Although it may seem like it, your sinuses are not just contributing to your infections. They have many other functions like regulating air temperature, producing mucus to fight infections, and assist in communication. The sinuses are very important to your overall health and contribute to many different bodily functions.
Many sufferers are able to let their body clear up the infection on its own. They can suffer through their symptoms for a few days or even a week with only over-the-counter medication and feel better fairly soon. When sinus infections wonât seem to go away or continue to return, there may be a more serious problem going on. These particularly painful infections are known as chronic sinusitis and they need more attention and care than just over-the-counter medications.
Frequent sinus infections have been known to take a toll on all aspects of sufferersâ lives. When headaches, congestion, fatigue, facial pain, bad breath and much more continue, it can contribute to other serious issues such as:
- Relationship problems
- And much more
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Why Sinusitis Keeps Coming Back
Sinus infections can be incredibly painful, and they can become debilitating if when they are not diagnosed and treated properly. The relief of a cured sinus infection quickly evaporates when the telltale symptoms of an infection return and patients are left wondering why sinusitis wont stay away. In addition to causing discomfort and/or missed days of work, untreated and recurrent sinus infections can lead to more permanent damage in the sinus cavities and nasal passages.
While the very occasional, acute sinus infection is relatively normal, recurrent or chronic sinus infections are not. If a sinus infection returns again after youve finished a round of antibiotics and/or have followed your physicians at-home treatment instructions to the letter, please schedule another appointment ASAP.
You may need a referral to an ENT specialist to determine why the sinus infection continues to come back, and whether anatomical corrections may be necessary to fix the problem once and for all.
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.
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You Have Nasal Allergies That Are Causing Your Nasal Tissue To Swell
Millions of Americans deal with nasal allergies each year. Ordon said that allergens can cause nasal tissue to swell, causing sinus infections. He recommended talking to your doctor about how to manage your allergies and keep sinus inflammation at bay.
According to Daneshrad, treatment can be as simple as avoidance of the offending allergen, such as avoiding cats, taking allergy pills or nasal sprays, or it may require allergy testing and allergy immunotherapy .
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.
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How Is Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms of a sinus infection have continued for more than 12 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may use an endoscope .
In very few cases, your provider might order a biopsy to see if the infection has spread. Biopsies involve taking tissue or bone samples to example under the microscope.
When To Go To A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
An untreated sinus infection can turn into a chronic infection, so its important to see the doctor if your symptoms arent improving on their own. We recommend making an appointment with your doctor if:
- Your symptoms havent improved after two days of at-home treatment
- You have cold symptoms that last for 10 days
- You have a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Youre experiencing severe pain in the upper part of your face or your teeth
- You have facial pain from the bridge of your nose to your lower eyelid
- You notice thick and discolored mucus
- You have mild face pain for a month or longer
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
When a sinus infection results from blocked sinuses, symptoms may include:
- Thick white, yellow, or greenish mucus from your nose or drainage down the back of your throat
- Bad breath from postnasal drip
- Blocked or stuffy nose
These symptoms may be similar to some respiratory viral infections. They may require different treatments.
Will Sinus Infections Resolve If Left Untreated
Lingering sinus infections should be treated before they escalate into a more serious issue. If a sinus infection is untreated, it may begin to impact the surrounding areas: the eyes and brain.
Untreated sinus infections can result in orbital and intracranial complications. Orbital refers to an infection that moves from the sinus into the eye. It can even result in an abscess in the eye area, which threatens vision.
Intracranial infections refer to infection in the brain. These can ultimately progress to become a brain abscess or meningitis if left untreated.
Because the sinuses are located close to the eye and brain, the most serious complications of an untreated sinus infection affect these important structures.
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How To Solve A Sinus Infection That Wont Go Away
Sinus infection is a common problem that can affect any age group. It represents the fifth most common condition that requires an antibiotic prescription.
Sinuses are four paired air-filled spaces in your skull and face bones surrounding your nose. Their main function is to produce mucus that forms a layer inside the sinuses to humidify inhaled air and keep the interior of your nose moisturized. This mucus layer can trap dust particles, other pollutants, or bad germs and brush them out through your nose. Each sinus drains into your nose through small openings to keep these passages clear of excess mucus and the trapped particles.
However, sometimes, such as when the weather changes and you catch a cold, it can turn into a sinus infection. This causes inflammation of your sinuses, known as sinusitis. Usually, sinusitis should go away in a few days or a week. But sometimes that sinus infection can stick around for a long time.
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Scar Tissue In The Sinus Cavities
Previous injuries, anatomic defects from birth, or previous sinus injections can all cause scar tissue to build up in the sinuses. This blocks the cavities from functioning and draining properly, which can trap irritants in the cavity. Recurrent sinus infections can continue causing more scar tissue, further compounding the problem.
If Dr. Hester notices that scar tissue is impacting sinus function, he may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery to clear the tissue away.
End Your Suffering And Begin Enjoying Your Life Free Of Sinus Infections With Pittsburgh Sinus Centers
However bad your symptoms are, Dr. Sam Mathur and the team at Pittsburgh Sinus Centers are here to guide you through it. We have helped thousands of patients find solutions to their issues. Weâre ready to guide you away from pain and towards relief.
Do you really want to delay relief? If youâre ready to overcome your sinus issues, schedule your appointment today.
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