How Can You Prevent Sinusitis
There’s no sure-fire way of preventing sinusitis. But there are some things you can do to lower your risk:
- Use regular steroid sprays to prevent sinus inflammation. This is particularly important if you’ve had recurrent or chronic sinusitis.
- Avoid allergens and irritants, if you have allergies.
- Take your asthma medication as recommended. Keeping your asthma symptoms under control can reduce your risks of developing serious sinusitis.
Can Postnasal Drip Trigger Asthma
Postnasal drip is a lay term that refers to the sensation of nasal mucus that builds up or drains into the back of the throat. Your glands in the nose and throat produce mucus continuously , that helps to cleanse the nasal membranes, helps warm the air you breathe, and traps inhaled foreign matter. Mucus also helps to fight infection.
In normal situations, the throat is moistened by the secretions from the nasal and throat mucous glands. This is part of the mucous-nasal cilia system that defends us from disease. When the amount of mucus secreted by the nose and sinus is increased or thickened, our bodies naturally try to get rid of it by causing us to cough and clear our throats.
Sometimes, postnasal drip syndrome is associated with asthma, as the thick mucus secretions drain from the back of the nose to the back of the throat, causing throat clearing, cough, and bronchial constriction.
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The Best Decongestants For Asthmatics
Decongestants work by reducing nasal congestion which can lead to stuffiness, pain, and infections. These are often used to help treat acute illnesses, such as colds, but may also be used as long-term treatments for sinusitis and allergies.
If you have sinusitis and allergic asthma, a doctor may recommend starting with an over-the-counter decongestant first. A prescription formula may be recommended if your symptoms arent getting better with an OTC decongestant.
Oral decongestants typically contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine that work by reducing blood vessel swelling in your nasal passages.
Decongestants may also come in the form of nasal sprays that contain oxymetazoline. However, you shouldnt use these for more than 3 days at a time, as these are associated with rebound congestion.
If youre currently taking any other medication for allergies, asthma, or another condition, its important to talk with a doctor before trying decongestants as these may interact with each other. Also ask your doctor before taking decongestants if you have high blood pressure, as there could be complications.
How Are Allergies And Sinus Infections Related
Both allergies and sinus infections have similar symptoms however, itchy watery eyes are one main difference that only occurs in allergies. If you have allergies, allergens can cause your nasal passages to swell. Sinus infection also involved swelling of your nasal passages but also includes swelling of your sinuses. If allergies are causing inflammation in your nasal passages and developing a cold or other infection, then if left untreated, it can lead to a sinus infection.
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Dr Sudhir Sekhsaria Md Faaaai Facaai
Dr. Sekhsaria has been in practice since 1992. He is board certified in Allergy & Immunology, and has been certified in Diagnostic and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Sekhsaria completed his fellowship in Allergy & Immunology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, after completing a pediatric residency at Howard University Hospital. He has published many scientific articles in asthma, allergy and immunology. He Specializes in optimal treatment and management of severe asthma, Chronic Sinusitis, Food Allergies, Hives, Eczema, Drug and Bee Sting Allergy, Immune deficiencies, Aspirin desensitization, metal allergy for orthopedic implants He is actively involved in teaching physicians-in-training about asthma, allergic disease and immune problems. Dr. Sekhsaria has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and Fellow of American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the specialtys premier organizations.
How Are Sinus Infections Treated
There are several different approaches to treating sinus infections. Antibiotics are often effective in many patients, but the type of antibiotic used may depend on what other antibiotics have been taken recently. Many patients will also benefit from prescription nasal sprays and other medications. Allergy Shots can help with allergic triggers.
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Are Sinus Infections Common
Yes. Sinus infections are common, affecting 31 million people in the United States. There are two main forms of sinus infections, acute and chronic either can be viral or bacterial infections. An acute sinus infection can last from 10 days to eight weeks. Chronic infection often referred to as chronic sinusitis, can last even longer and continue for months.
Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
If youre experiencing chronic sinus infections, meaning they last longer than 4 weeks or have recurred three or more times in a year, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about sinus surgery.
Your doctor can determine if you have nasal polyps or some other structural issue like a deviated septum that would cause recurring infections. If you do, sinus surgery can correct any structural issues and significantly improve your quality of life.
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How Is Sinusitis Prevented
Taking care of your sinuses will help eliminate sinus infections that can cause symptoms and asthma flares. You can prevent most sinus problems by avoiding illnesses and allergies that cause sinus inflammation, keeping nasal mucus thin and cilia moving and washing your nasal passages regularly.
To prevent sinus issues:
- Wash hands often and keep them out of your mouth and eyes.
- Get an annual flu shot.
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Allergies And Sinus Infections
Similar to allergies, a sinus infection can interfere with your daily life and your overall quality of life. A sinus infection can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or in some cases, a fungus in your sinuses. Many people with allergies have inflamed nasal passages, leading to a sinus infection if left untreated.
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Learn Aboutallergies & Asthma
We feel that educating our patients on their conditions is an important part of treatment. Our knowledge and resources are made available to our patients so that they too can understand the why of their health issues as well as the treatment we recommend. Our team can offer you many options for treatments and give you the power to choose what you feel suits your needs.
Complementary And Alternative Medicines
Given the popularity of complementary and alternative medicines in the general population, it is reasonable for physicians to ask patients about their use of CAM in a nonjudgmental manner. Given the limited number of well-designed clinical trials examining the efficacy of CAM in allergic rhinitis, it is difficult for clinicians to evaluate these therapies and provide guidance. Nonetheless, since there will be patients who wish to pursue CAM for the management of allergic rhinitis, it is advisable to provide some information about these therapies including a discussion of the lack of high-quality studies evaluating some of these therapies.
Various CAM have been used for the management of allergic rhinitis, including traditional Chinese medicines, acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal therapies . In a number of studies, acupuncture has been shown to provide modest benefits for patients with allergic rhinitis . However, acupuncture is time consuming.
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How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
Experts dont know a lot about how to prevent sinusitis. But the following tips may help:
- Avoid contact with allergens or irritants that trigger your nasal allergies.
- Keep your nose as free and clear as possible by taking your allergy medicines including topical nasal steroid sprays and using a nasal saline rinse.
- Avoid infections by washing your hands often during common cold season. Also avoid touching your face.
- Talk with your doctor about lifestyle changes that may help you prevent repeated sinus infections. These may include changes to your diet, maintaining good hydration, performing regular exercise, and reducing stress.
Medical Review: April 2021 by Sarah Goff, MD, PhD, and August 2022 by John James, MD
How Does The Doctor Diagnose A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are not always easy to diagnose, especially in their early stages. The doctor will take a comprehensive medical history from the patient so that he or she can look for patterns that may aid in the diagnosis. To definitively make a sinusitis diagnosis, the doctor may examine the inner nose with a flexible camera to get a clear view of the blockage, or order a CT scan of the sinuses.
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Dr. Sanjay Khiani and his staff are committed to providing the highest quailty, personalized care, and the most up-to-date allergy, food allergy, asthma and sinus services for the whole family in and around Charlotte, North Carolina.
If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We strive to make your experience at Family Allergy Asthma & Sinus Care a pleasant one.
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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.
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Whats The Difference Between Allergies And A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections plague 31 million Americans every year. More than 50 million have some type of allergy. The symptoms of both are similar, so it can be hard to know if youre sneezing and have a headache from an infection or an allergic response. How can you tell the difference between allergies and a sinus infection?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. today. Indoor and outdoor allergies cause sinus swelling, itching, runny nose, and a host of other symptoms caused from:
- Tree, grass, or weed pollen
An allergic response is triggered when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance. It could be something youve consumed, touched, or just breathed in. Youll experience a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing, and, if the reaction is severe, asthma, rashes, low blood pressure, and even death. There is no cure for allergies but they can be treated by your doctor.
Rhinosinusitis , or a sinus infection, happens when your sinuses become swollen, inflamed, and infected. A virus is the usual culprit, although bacteria or fungus can sometimes be the cause. However, common allergies can even lead to a sinus infection.
Both illnesses can make you feel awful, but they arent the same thing, and shouldnt be treated in the same way.
What Are The Types Of Sinusitis
There are two types of sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis is a temporary swelling of the sinuses. The mucous membranes inside your nose, sinuses, and throat swell. This could happen when you have a cold or allergies. The swelling blocks the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus from draining. This causes mucus and pressure to build up.
Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms become more frequent or worse. Sinus infections may cause long-term sinus inflammation and symptoms. If you have more than three sinus infections in a year or have symptoms longer than 12 weeks, you could have chronic sinusitis.
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The Link Between Sinusitis And Asthma Or Allergies
According the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there is a link between chronic sinusitis and asthma in some people. Both asthma and sinusitis may be triggered by inflammation to an allergen or irritant. In addition, postnasal drip caused by sinusitis may trigger coughing arising from the throat which can aggravate asthma symptoms.
Additionally sinusitis has been associated with more severe cases of asthma. So having asthma increases the odds of getting a sinus infection, and a sinus infection can make your asthma harder to control.
Chronic sinusitis can sometimes be associated with allergic conditions such as hay fever. An allergic response can cause drainage channels to become blocked and result in an infection or inflammation in the sinuses.
Can I Prevent The Allergies That Lead To A Sinus Infection
While you cant fully prevent allergies, you may be able to avoid what is causing the allergic reaction. For example, if you have seasonal allergies and the pollen count is high, stay indoors and keep the windows shut and air conditioning on. Knowing what causes the allergic response, and then mapping out a strategy of medications and avoidance techniques is something that your doctor can help you with.
However, prevention is possible with sinus infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Its always a good idea to get plenty of rest and exercise regularly to keep your immune system functioning. Some of the other preventative techniques to head off a sinus infection are similar to what youd do to stave off colds and flu, including staying hydrated and taking vitamin C to boost your immunity. Frequent handwashing was always important well before the COVID-19 pandemic reminded us to improve our hygiene. You should also avoid nasal irritants like smoke or other pollution. Keeping the nose hydrated with a saline spray will help the sinuses work more effectively.
Despite your best efforts, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a sinus infection, its important to see your doctor to diagnose whats going on and help you get better fast.
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Link Between Upper And Lower Airway
Nasal challenge may increase lower airway inflammation, this has been shown in adults. Marucci et al found that exhaled nitric oxide was increased following dust mite nasal challenge during the winter in allergic asthmatic children and children with allergic rhinitis. Previous studies have shown that allergen challenge in asthmatics can lead to the release of eosinophil precursors from the bone marrow, nasal challenge in a mouse model of allergic rhinitis leads to the release of eosinophil precursors from the bone marrow suggesting that rhinitis and asthma could be separate anatomic compartments affected by one systemic disease.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is an infection and/or inflammation of the sinuses that persists longer than three weeks. It can be caused by allergies or may be caused by an infection. This inflammation of the sinuses can occur suddenly or follow after a respiratory infection like a common cold.
If your sinus infection is chronic, our physicians can help identify a cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatments for chronic sinusitis may include:
- Nasal steroid sprays
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Let Us Help You Find Lasting Relief In Metro Atlanta
At theCenter for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, our highly experiencedteam specializes in treating not only asthma, allergies, and other pulmonary conditions, but also in treating sinus conditions. Sinus conditions are often caused by an allergic reaction or a recent upper respiratory illness, and typically produce symptoms similar to the common cold.
Our highly trained specialists at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia work closely with patients to determine the underlying cause of their sinus conditions, and develop a treatment plan that suits their needs. In our Metro Atlanta offices, we treat many sinus conditions, including:
- SinusitisWe treat severe infections caused by inflammation of the sinus and nasal cavities, and determine the cause of sinusitis.
- Sinus HeadachesWe offer relief from excessive pressure in the sinus and nasal cavities, which causes extreme sinus headaches.
- Chronic Sinus InfectionsOur board-certified doctors determine underlying causes for chronic sinus infections, and offer individualized treatment plans.
Learn more about sinus condition treatment in Metro Atlanta and how we can help! Find anoffice near you or call orcontact us online today!
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