Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Should I See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection

Mild Vs Severe Case Of Sinus Infection

Ask Dr. Mike: What is a sinus infection and how do I treat it?

You can tell the difference between a mild case and a bad case of sinus infection. Mild cases respond well to home remedies, while severe cases do not improve with various self-care methods such as resting, drinking water, eating soup, giving yourself a steam treatment, and performing nasal irrigation with a saline solution.

Symptoms of a sinus infection include ear pain, headaches, facial pain and tenderness, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, fever, and fatigue. If these symptoms persist or become intolerable despite treatment, or if they improve only to return, its time to seek medical assistance. Doctors usually recommend observing the symptoms for 10 days to see how they are progressing. If they persist for more than 10 days, the underlying cause of the sinus infection will need to be treated for symptom relief.

It is very likely that the infection-causing bacteria will need to be treated with antibiotics. However, a sinus infection could be a result of a viral infection such as a cold or respiratory illness, in which case antibiotics will not work. In addition, it could also be caused by allergies or anatomical defects. There are several possible causes of a sinus infection and a series of tests will need to be done to make a definitive diagnosis. Although very rare, an untreated sinus infection can spread to the brain and surrounding area, and cause abscesses or blood clots.

When Should You See A Doctor About A Sinus Infection

If youve ever wondered whether you should wait out a sinus infection or see your doctor, youre not alone. Its certainly tempting to skip the office visit when you feel terrible and dont think that youll be told to do more than get some rest and take an over-the-counter medication. However, there are times when skipping that visit to the doctor can actually make things worse.

At-home treatments like humidifiers, increased fluid intake, sleeping with your head elevated, over-the-counter medications, and nasal rinses are all generally effective treatments. However, in some cases of sinus infections, they simply arent enough.

While some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own, there are definitely times where you should see your doctor. If a week has gone by and you havent noticed any improvement you should get an appointment with your doctor. This is also true if the sinus infection keeps coming back. If your symptoms get worse and include the following, seek medical care as soon as possible:

  • Pain that is not relieved by over the counter medications
  • Increased or spreading pain
  • Increased nasal discharge

Once you see your doctor, they will assess whether your sinus infection is caused by a virus or bacteria. If its a bacterial infection, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic. Other prescriptions might also be prescribed, depending on your symptoms.

Is Your Sinus Infection Acute Or Chronic

A short-term sinus infection is often referred to as acute sinusitis. Most cases of acute sinusitis last about a week, but this type of short-term sinus infection can last up to four weeks. If you suffer from a sinus infection that lasts longer than 12 weeks despite treatment from your doctor, its considered chronic sinusitis.

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When To Worry About Your Lingering Sinus Infection

Philip Scolaro, MD

Sinus infections have a way of making time stand still in a bad way. When youre constantly congested, battling headaches, and feeling sinus pressure, even a short duration of sickness can feel like its never going to end.

What if it doesnt? If your lingering sinus infection becomes chronic, it may be time for more aggressive treatment.

Heres what you need to know about sinus infections and when its time to take the next step in treatment.

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Diagnosis Of Sinus Infection

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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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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.

When To Visit The Doctor

Many colds go away without medical intervention. However, if you have facial or eye pain, and thick yellow or green nasal discharge for longer than a week, visit your doctor. If you have a prolonged fever or severe symptoms that do not improve with over-the-counter treatments, its time to call the doctor.

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Common Signs Of Sinus Infection And When To See A Doctor

A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common infections that a person can have. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 35 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with a sinus infection in the year 2017. And many others may have suffered from sinus infections without ever seeing a doctor. Despite sinus infections being so common, they are still one of the most uncomfortable infections experienced and require adequate care and attention, whether being treated at home or by a doctor.

A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses, which are cavities located in the front of the face around the eyes and behind the nose, become blocked or too much mucus builds up causing inflammation and swelling. When sinuses are functioning normally, they lighten the weight of the skull, and also help filter and moisten the air you breathe. When sinuses are blocked, your head can feel heavy or full, your voice may become raspy, and you can even experience tooth pain, among other aggravating symptoms.

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Sinus Infection

If you have experienced sinus problems in the past, you already know that various symptoms can reveal the emergence of a new issue. If you are dealing with a stuffy nose, this can be an indication that you are experiencing some type of a sinus condition. This is also the case for a runny nose, along with a general feeling of sluggishness or fatigue.

This trio of symptoms stuffy nose, runny nose, and fatigue are also signs that a sinus infection has developed. However, these symptoms are also indications that you might be experiencing a cold.

Sinus infections are also referred to as sinusitis, and it will be beneficial to discuss sinusitis in greater detail in order to provide a better understanding of what constitutes sinus infections. This includes the challenge of determining whether you are dealing with a sinus infection or a cold.

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Home Remedies For Sinus Infection:

Uncomplicated acute sinus infection can be treated at home. Or home remedies can also be used along with conventional medical therapy.

Rest Take adequate rest as your body is already working enough to fight infection. Another reason to get good rest is so that you dont spread the infection at your workplace, school or institution.

Water Drink plenty to water to not just stay hydrated but water also helps to flush out toxins from the body making recovery easier.

Steam Inhaling steam decongests your air passages allowing the sinuses to drain easily.

Essential Oil Menthol is a well-known essential oil for blocked sinuses. It can be used along with steam to inhale.

Kitchen Herbs Our kitchen itself can provide the best of natural remedies to fight infections. You can use natural anti-infective and anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric, ginger, and garlic.

How Do Sinus Infections Start

Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinus or nasal cavity becomes inflamed. What can start as inflammation in your sinuses from a respiratory infection, allergies or environmental pollutants can spark a sinus infection when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen, causing mucus to become trapped and germs to grow.

“Once you have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection, that virus can then settle into the sinuses and cause inflammation as well,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, an otolaryngologist and chair of Houston Methodist ENT Specialists. “About 95% of sinusitis is caused by a virus making it much more common than bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is also much more infectious as well.”

Certain conditions, such as having allergies, asthma or a respiratory infection, can make people more susceptible to getting chronic sinus infections, and it is important that these patients be evaluated to address the cause and not just the sinusitis symptoms.

“There are many causes of chronic sinusitis. “Patients with a weakened immune system are more prone to getting recurrent acute sinusitis,” explains Dr. Takashima. “Sometimes, however, the issue may be anatomy, such as a deviated septum , scarring from previous sinus surgery, or nasal polyps, which result from chronic inflammation in the nose. Once the polyps get to a certain size, they rarely regress on their own and they narrow the sinus drainage pathways.”

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How Can I Prevent A Sinus Infection

One of the best ways to prevent chronic sinusitis is to avoid the initial infection. Follow these tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds, especially when coming into contact with commonly used surfaces. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid anyone with a cold, flu or other respiratory illness.
  • Stop smoking or avoid secondhand smoke.

If you have a sinus infection, stay home, if you can. Remember to practice the following safety measure so that you avoid making others sick:

Structure Of The Middle Ear

Sinus Infection Home Remedy

outer ear or auditory canalmiddle ear eardrum

A narrow passage called the eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and nose. The eustachian tube functions to control the airflow and pressure inside the middle ear. It lies closed and opens with the swallowing movement allowing air to enter the middle ear. This mechanism maintains a constant pressure gradient and replaces the oxygen that has been absorbed by the lining of the middle ear. Sometimes the pressure is not equalized with the environment outside. This can be felt on an airplane or at high altitudes and may cause some discomfort.

The tympanic cavity also plays an important role in hearing. Three small bones called ossicles are found in the middle ear. These bones form a chain and conduct sound vibrations from the eardrum to the fluid-filled inner ear. Sounds are then converted into nerve impulses and carried to the brain by the auditory nerve.

Extending from the air space of the middle ear is the mastoid bone. It is made of small, connected air spaces and resembles a honeycomb. The structures that are responsible for facial expressions and balance are found in this part of the inner ear. While the exact function of this bone is not clear, it is known to be involved in chronic ear infections.

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When To See A Specialist For Recurrent Sinus Infection

Posted on by Ryan Stern MDin Sinus

The symptoms of a sinus infection are known to many of us. Headaches and having pressure and pain behind our cheekbones and around our eyes are but a few of them. Most of the time these sinus infections go away with proper home care. When they dont go away or keep coming back, here is the recommendation for when to see a specialist for recurrent sinus infections.

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Rare Cases Can Turn Serious

Antibiotics also can help ward off rare but potentially dangerous complications that arise when a sinus infection spreads to the eyes or brain, Dr. Sindwani says.

Complications around the eyes are the more common of the two. These complications can cause redness, swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, and even lead to blindness in a severe form known as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Serious cases are immediately treated with IV antibiotics. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for a CT scan to see if fluid needs to be drained, Dr. Sindwani says.

Also in rare cases, sinus infections in the rear center of ones head can spread into the brain. This can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis or brain abscess, Dr. Sindwani says.

Before antibiotics, people would die from sinusitis, he says. But he emphasizes that such complications are unlikely. In most cases, the bacterial infection goes away, especially if you dont have underlying medical problems.

Its important to monitor your symptoms if you suspect a sinus infection. If the condition lingers or worsens, call your doctor.

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Urgent Care Clinic In Rochester And Le Roy Ny

At Cornerstone Urgent Care Center, our friendly and professional healthcare providers will get to the root cause of your sinus infection through a review of your medical history, a physical exam, as well as diagnostic testing. Our goal is to give you immediate relief from symptoms and coordinate your care with your primary care physician.

You dont have to go to the emergency room to treat your sinus infection. We treat sinus infections and a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions that seem to occur during non-business hours or on weekends.

Visit Cornerstone Urgent Care Center at 2968 Chili Avenue without making an appointment. We are open Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm. You may check in online to let us know you are coming. We look forward to providing you with prompt medical care!

What Is A Sinus Infection

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A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.

Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.

Other conditions such as allergies, nasal polyps, and tooth infections can also contribute to sinus pain and symptoms.

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How Severe Are The Symptoms

Most sinus infections go away on their own without severe symptoms or complications. If a sinus infection is caused by bacteria, you may need antibiotics.

Many cases of COVID-19 may be mild or moderate. The World Health Organization estimates that

Heres what to do next whether you think that you have a sinus infection or COVID-19.

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Why Are Internal Medicine Physicians The Best Choice For Sinus Infection Treatment

Our physicians concentrate on the entire body, paying careful attention to how its systems interact. This gives our internists a deeply focused perspective on not only alleviating symptoms, but prescribing a form of treatment to help relieve your chronic allergies.

Often, treatment begins with determining if your chronic sinus problems are caused by allergies and if so, what substance is causing the irritation. In this case, allergy testing can provide vital information.

Not sure if an allergy test is right for you? We created a blog with a list of three questions you should consider in order to get the answer.

Allergies can be treated with prescription or over-the-counter medication. However, if you have chronic problems, you should consider immunotherapy, which is sometimes referred to as allergy shots.

This process allows your body to decrease its sensitivity to certain allergens, providing long-lasting relief. The benefits of immunotherapy continue long after the treatment has ended.

If you want to know more, check out our earlier blog, What Is Immunotherapy for Allergy Treatment?

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Sinusitis Wont Go Away Consider Balloon Sinuplasty

Whether this is your first bout with sinusitis that wont go away or you experience sinus infections on a regular basis, you should know that getting rid of sinusitis is well within reach.

At Sinus Solutions of South Florida, Dr. Napoleon G. Bequer has provided hundreds of patients with relief from chronic sinusitis using the balloon sinuplasty procedure. So if you have sinusitis that wont go away, contact us online, call us at 561-790-7744, or take our sinus quiz today to see if youre a viable candidate for balloon sinuplasty.

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Related Conditions And Causes Of Sinus Infections

When Should I See Doctor For Possible Sinus Infection

Colds, allergies, and sinus infections can cause similar symptoms, including stuffiness and headache. What’s more, both colds and allergies can cause sinus inflammation. So how can you tell the difference between these illnesses?

The truth is, even doctors can sometimes have difficulty differentiating among colds, allergies, and sinus infections. But the illnesses do present differently.

A hallmark sign that you have a sinus infection is that the illness is, as you’d expect, severely affecting your sinuses. Both colds and allergies can cause congestion and runny nose, but sinus infections typically cause an aching sensation and pressure in the face, including in the ears and teeth.

Additionally, postnasal drop, reduced sense of smell, and halitosis are typically associated with sinus infections.

The mucus associated with a sinus infection is usually green or yellow, though color alone isn’t enough to determine the cause of your nasal distress, as there are many reasons your nasal discharge may not be clear.

Both allergies and colds can cause sneezing, a symptom not typically seen in sinus infections. Allergies never cause fever, which is seen in both colds and sinus infections.

And if your symptoms last more than 10 days, you most likely don’t have a cold.

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