What Are The Possible Treatments For A Sinus Infection
In most cases, you probably wont need to see a doctor to treat your sinus infection. Sinus infections typically clear up on their own, although there are times when you may need a doctors help to recover.
At-home remedies that relieve symptoms include:
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen
- Rinsing your nasal cavities with a neti pot or saline nasal spray
- Taking over-the-counter decongestants to improve the flow of mucus
- Using a nasal spray like Flonase that will reduce nasal inflammation
If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, then you should probably see a doctor to get prescription medications that will help you recover from your sinus infection. Your doctor may prescribe decongestants that you cant get over the counter.
Most doctors try to avoid using antibiotics to treat sinus infections. Since the majority of sinus infections clear up without antibiotics, it makes sense for doctors to avoid the prescription. If your sinus infection lasts an unusually long time, though, your doctor may give you antibiotics. Make sure you take all of the prescribed pills to prevent your symptoms from returning.
Treating A Viral Or Bacterial Sinus Infection
How you treat a sinus infection depends on whether bacteria or a virus is to blame. In the case of a viral infection, your surgeon or doctor is likely to recommend a wait and see approach, since there is no type of medicine that will kill the virus and speed up healing.
While you do have to wait for a virus to clear up on its own, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable in the meantime. Your surgeon might recommend using a saline rinse in your nostrils to help clear away mucus and debris. Pain relievers can also reduce any discomfort youre experiencing due to headaches or facial pain. A pain reliever can also help lower a fever.
Medicine is available to treat a bacterial sinus infection. If your surgeon determines that bacteria is the source of your infection, he might prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria and speed up healing. Depending on the type of bacteria thats causing the infection, you might need to take antibiotics for just a few days or for a few weeks.
Theres one thing thats important to understand about antibiotics: They wont help viral infections at all. In fact, they might make things worse. While they wont exacerbate the infection, antibiotics can cause some unpleasant side effects. They can also lead to antibiotic resistance, making future bacterial infections more difficult to treat. Its important only to take antibiotics if your doctor prescribes them.
What Your Urgent Care Doctor Can Do For A Sinus Infection
When you visit your urgent care doctor with sinus infection symptoms, your doctor will conduct a physical exam. Theyll especially want to look at your ears, nose, and throat, and theyll be looking for signs of inflammation and infection.
Your urgent care doctor may do blood work to determine whether your sinus infection is caused by bacteria or a virus. If your sinus infection is bacterial, your urgent care doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If your sinus infection is viral, your doctor will recommend some supportive treatments for you to try at home. Viral sinus infections wont respond to antibiotic treatment.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection to help you feel better.
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Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections
Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 5)
Doctors Say It’s Ok To Wait Before Treating Kids’ Sinus Infections
Sinusitis gets diagnosed 30 million times a year, and with the infections accounting for 20 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions, the ENTs see this as a chance to reduce overprescribing.
They’re going further than their previous guidelines in saying that even if you’re really sick, it’s OK to wait on the meds. And they’re breaking ranks with their fellow physicians in infectious disease and internal medicine, who say everyone with a bacterial infection should get an antibiotic.
“We’re not saying you’re wrong to do it,” Rosenfeld says. “We’re saying, you know, there’s a good chance you’re going to get better on your own.”
So then what to do while you’re feeling like your head is going to explode?
Saline nose washes get a big thumbs up from the ENTs, as do as over-the-counter pain medications. The saline washes out mucus and reduces stuffiness, and also improves the health of membranes, Rosenfeld says.
Steroid nose sprays may help with inflammation, the guidelines say, especially for people with chronic sinusitis, which lasts more than three months.
Chronic sinusitis shouldn’t be diagnosed just on symptoms, the guidelines say a doctor needs to document there’s inflammation of the nose and sinuses, something that can be done by looking up the nose with various scopes.
“You can diagnose acute sinusitis from your armchair at home,” Rosenfeld says. “But you can’t diagnose chronic sinusitis.” For that, at least, you need that doctor.
Clarification April 2, 2015
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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.
What Are The Causes Of Sinusitis
Most sinus infections are caused by the common cold. Since the viral infection can cause your nasal cavities to swell, it prevents the normal flow of mucus. This situation can lead to a sinus infection.
Other causes of sinus infections include:
- Allergic reactions that affect your sinuses
- Medical conditions like cystic fibrosis or HIV that prevent your body from fighting infections
- Abnormalities in your nasal passage, such as a deviated septum or polyps
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How Do Providers Treat Fungal Sinusitis
Fungal sinusitis treatments vary. People with healthy immune systems may not need treatment for some types of fungal sinus infections. Invasive fungal sinus infections require immediate treatment.
- Antifungal medications: Some types of infection require medications to kill the fungus. Providers usually prescribe these drugs along with surgery.
- Corticosteroid medications: Your provider may prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation and relieve sinus pressure.
- Nasal wash: To treat saprophytic fungal sinusitis, providers remove crusts of mucus and wash out the sinuses. They usually use a saline solution to cleanse the sinus cavities.
- Surgery: Depending on the type of infection, your provider may do traditional surgery or minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. They insert a long, flexible tube with a camera into your nose and use tiny tools to remove the fungus, fungal ball and any damaged tissue.
Timely Treatment For Sinus Infections
Sinus infections can be painful and take time to heal. At MedExpress, we understand that you want to get better, fast. Thats why our centers are open 8 – 8 every day with no appointments necessary. Our caring, friendly medical team can help determine whether or not you have a sinus infection and recommend the proper treatment so you can start feeling better.
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What Causes A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are more common in people who suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma. If you have a structural blockage in the nose, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps, you may have more frequent sinus infections. If you have a weakened immune system, you may be more prone to infections of all kinds, including sinusitis.
While the common cold and flu are caused by the influenza virus, and COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus, a sinus infection can stem from a viral or bacterial infection. Either way, its a painful condition that can make you feel lousy for weeks.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, those air-filled pockets that exist in your face:
- Behind the bridge of your nose
- Directly in front of your brain
- In the bony structures of your cheeks
- On both sides of the bridge of your nose
Normally, your sinuses are lined with a light layer of mucus that trap germs, dust, and other particles that we breathe. There are tiny hairs in your nose that sweep whatever is captured into the back of your throat and into your stomach. This is a normal cyclic procedure that happens without your awareness. That is, until something goes wrong with the process.
A sinus infection inflames the lining of the sinuses and blocks the flow of mucus to the back of the throat. The swelling stops up this efficient elimination system leading potentially to an infection.
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.
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Which Types Of Doctors Treat Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
- Many sinus infections can be treated by your primary care physician or an Internal Medicine doctor.
- However, it is not unusual to consult an ENT specialist,
- Infectious disease specialist,
- Allergist or Immunologist.
What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.
Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives. Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever. Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose. About 30 million adults have “sinusitis.” Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.
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Best For Chest Congestion: Nasacort Nasal Spray For Sinus Infection
The Nasacort Nasal Spray For Sinus Infection is capable of outshining several other sprays featured in this list in overall features for the price point. The nasacort nasal spray for sinus infection is fragrance free and it is highly recommend. Please consult with your doctor before taking nasacort with any other medication. Also, the spray works for itchy eyes, matches the product description and it is perfect for night time.
The spray works for other ingredients and it is safe to use. Finally, the nasacort nasal sprayfor sinus infection is alcohol free and it is great for nasal allergies.
Almost all customers quickly discovered that the spray is when required a prescription and not an OTC drug. Moreover, they strongly agree that the spray is good for allergy relief but not cold symptoms. In addition, a few strongly agree that this nasal spray really does last 24 hours like the company claims. In conclusion, buyers found this to be one of the best sprays for daily purposes.
Top Customer Quotes:
- I used to need benadryl every day but never need it now.
- This can be used as directed with blood pressure medication.
- Take nasacort nasal allergy spray day or night.
- You can buy multiple packs, which makes it more affordable.
Chronic Sinus Infection Treatment
Chronic sinus infections typically have a more mysterious cause than acute infections people with chronic sinus infections often require life-long treatment to keep symptoms at bay.
In addition to the options above, treatment for chronic sinus infections may include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and changing home or work conditions to reduce exposure to environmental toxins and allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, or cockroaches
- Oral steroids
- Leukotriene modifiers, which reduce inflammation through a different mechanism than steroids
- Surgery to reopen sinuses affected by issues like nasal polyps and deviated septum
Recent research suggests other treatment options may also exist for chronic sinus infections, including:
- Nasal probiotics of the beneficial bacteria lactobacilli
- The drug dupilumab, derived from a human antibody, which the Food and Drug Administration approved to treat chronic sinus infections with nasal polyps in 2019
- A regime combining oral and intranasal corticosteroid irrigations
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Diagnostic Tests For Sinus Infections Leave Much To Be Desired Study Says
- University of Georgia
- Many patients who see physicians for sinus infections expect to be prescribed an antibiotic, but for the majority of them, that course of treatment wont be effective. Unfortunately, there arent great tools to determine which patients will or wont benefit from antibiotics.
Many patients who see physicians for sinus infections expect to be prescribed an antibiotic, but for the majority of them, that course of treatment won’t be effective because their infections aren’t caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, there aren’t great tools to determine which patients will or won’t benefit from antibiotics, and the University of Georgia’s Dr. Mark Ebell is determined to change that.
Ebell, a professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health, led a team of researchers in analyzing 30 studies of outpatients with a respiratory tract infection to see which diagnostic criteria, if any, were most accurate for diagnosing sinus infection.
Understandably, many patients aren’t keen on having a needle pierce their faces, Ebell said.
“It’s always been a challenge with sinusitis research that the best reference standard is often impractical, and you end up doing studies that use a tarnished gold standard, as we call it,” he said.
The study was published in the September issue of the British Journal of General Practice.
What You Can Do For A Sinus Infection
If you have a sinus infection, there are plenty of things you can do to help relieve your symptoms.
- Use a saline nasal spray or a Neti Pot to rinse your sinuses
- Use a humidifier to moisturize your sinuses
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
- Try over-the-counter decongestants
- Drink plenty of fluids increase your water intake to 10-12 glasses of water a day.
Your sinus pain and pressure may be a sinus infection. Get relief today by visiting a MedHelp urgent care clinic near you. Walk-ins are welcome.
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How To Clear A Sinus Infection
There are many remedies to relieve symptoms of a sinus infection. Depending on what is causing the symptoms, you may be able to treat mild sinusitis at home.
Try inhaling steam several times a day. Place a towel over your head while breathing in the steam from a bowl of hot water. You can also use a vaporizer, neti pot, or take a hot, steamy shower.
If you try these sinus infection remedies, but continue to struggle with sinusitis, visit your local FastMed. No appointment is necessary. We can prescribe the appropriate antibiotics, steroid nasal sprays, or other treatments that will soothe your headache and get you back on your feetusually far faster and at less expense than the typical emergency room.
When Does A Sinus Infection Require Visiting An Urgent Care
Sinuses are cavities or spaces in the head that are interconnected by channels. Sinuses produce mucus, which keeps the nose clean and free of bacteria. However, the sinuses can become infected, and instead of pockets of just air, they become clogged with thick mucus.
A mild case of sinus infection can be treated at home. If what you have is a severe sinus infection, leave it to a medical professional to effectively treat it.
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