Should You Visit A Specialist
If your sinus infection just wont go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:
- Youve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
- Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
- You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks
Living with a sinus infection is miserable and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.
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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Is It A Cold Or A Bacterial Sinus Infection
A good way to identify a sinus infection becoming serious is to find out what type of sinus infection you have. A sinus infection could be viral or bacterial. Swabbing inside of the nose and growing culture is recommended to test which type it is. Viral sinus infections can normally be treated with liquids, rest, and an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. However, bacterial infections are considered to be more lingering and will need to be treated by your doctor.
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Understanding The Complications Of A Serious Sinus Infection
These situations are very rare, but some people have experienced health complications associated with a serious sinus infection. Some of these complications have involved sinus infections spreading to the eyes and even the brain. Infection spreading to the eyes is the most common complication. This could cause redness, swelling, and even blindness in a severe state called cavernous sinus thrombosis. Sinus infections can also spread to the rear center of one’s head causing life-threatening ailments such as brain abscesses. When this happens, it is best to see your doctor immediately for additional treatment options. Some of these options include:
These are normally to ease the patient’s discomfort level in the nasal area. Most doctors like to prescribe antibiotics like amoxicillin with potassium clavulanate.
Steroid drugs are great for reducing inflammation and healing the body. However, because of their side effects, it may be good to consult a doctor before taking these.
Saline sprays that can flush sinuses with water are also good for clearing out infections.
There are many reasons for needing sinus surgery such as recurring sinus infections, obstruction of the airway, chronic sinusitis, sinus tumors or polyps, and structural abnormalities of the nose or sinuses.
Will Steroid Shot Help Sinus Infection
Steroid shots are often used to treat sinus infections. The steroid is injected into the sinuses, where it helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
Steroid shots can be helpful in treating sinus infections because they quickly bring down the swelling and pain caused by a flare-up. Theyre also relatively inexpensive and dont require any follow-up care.
However, steroid shots arent right for everyone. They can cause side effects like headaches and soreness, and they may not work as well in people with severe or chronic sinusitis . In these cases, another treatment such as antibiotics may be better.
Steroids are a type of medication that can be used to treat some types of sinus infections. Steroids are often used to relieve inflammation, which is the swelling, irritation and redness associated with infections like sinusitis.
Steroid shots can be used to treat many different types of medical conditions, including asthma and allergies. The injection is usually given in the upper arm or thigh muscle and can last anywhere from one month to several months depending on the type of steroid being used.
The most common type of steroid shot is called a depot steroid injection because it stays in your body for a long period of time. A few days after receiving this shot, you may notice improved breathing and less congestion from your sinus infection symptoms.
Steroids are one of the most effective medicines for treating sinusitis, which is why they are often the first line of treatment.
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Are Sinus Infections Contagious
It depends. If its caused by a virus, definitely. If youre in the early stages of sinusitis, and it hasnt been checked out by a doctor, its safe to assume that its viral. That means you can easily spread it to someone else when you sneeze or cough, releasing droplets of moisture through the air. To keep your sinus infection to yourself, take the usual precautions and cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands frequently.
If your doctor finds that your sinus infection is caused by bacteria or fungus, then its not contagious. While that doesnt mean that youll spread it to friends and family, its not a free pass to sneeze openly in the air. Keep covering your mouth and washing your hands.
Over The Counter Medications For Sinus Infections
Over the counter sinus medication comes in a variety of forms. Some of them are more effective than others. The most common form involves a stuffy nose and a headache. Other forms involve the feeling that a 900-pound weight is sitting on your head. Whatever the case, the best sinus medicine is easily accessible at your local drugstore. Lets take a look at a few different kinds of over-the-counter drugs and what each can do.
Over-the-counter medications for sinus infections are usually made up of several types of medicines. They may contain a combination of antibiotics and decongestants. These should only be used if recommended by a healthcare professional. Some may contain antihistamines, which are used to treat inflammation caused by an allergic reaction. Other types of OTC drugs are formulated to thicken mucus and relieve pain.
Another type of over-the-counter sinus medication is an advil, a cough suppressant, and a decongestant. These are all designed to treat a specific ailment. If these do not work for you, your doctor may recommend a prescription for you. These over-the-counter medications are an excellent choice for treating your sinus infection. However, you should make sure youre getting the right dosage for your specific needs and symptoms.
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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.
Should You Treat A Sinus Infection With Antibiotics
Over the past few months Ive seen patient after patient drag themselves to the clinic with coughing, sneezing, headaches and green or yellow nasal discharge, sometimes accompanied by ear and tooth pain. Some people with infection may experience fevers, chills or night sweats signs that the body is fighting a virus or bacteria. These are symptoms I expect as a primary care doctor especially during the spring seasons. They are the telltale signs of sinusitis. But if that sums up symptoms you have, do you need antibiotics? The question may be more complicated than you think.
Each year, more than 30 million Americans endure sinusitis an inflammation of sinus spaces surrounding the nose that makes it difficult to drain fluid that normally flows through the sinuses. Much like a detective weighing clues, us health providers use symptom severity and duration to determine the cause of a patients sickness.
The World Health Organization has called antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health, saying misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
At a health professionals discretion, antibiotics can be prescribed if a person appears very sick or has any underlying chronic disease that may make them prone to becoming sicker.
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How The Sinuses Play A Role In Postnasal Drip
The sinuses are air-filled cavities within the head, with four pairs that have right and left sides. If the sinuses are infected or inflamed, it can cause various symptoms, one of which is an increase in mucus production. When this occurs, you will notice more postnasal drip as explained above.
One common problem that occurs with chronic sinus infections is that the nonstop postnasal drainage results in a chronic cough. As the thickened mucus drains down the back of the throat, it causes a tickle to be felt, triggering a coughing reaction.
You can clear your throat and blow your nose, but the irritated sinuses will continue producing more mucus causing the throat tickle to never go away. The more you cough or clear your throat, the further irritated the voice box becomes, a vicious cycle.
Pay attention to how your upper respiratory system responds when you lay down to sleep at night. For example, when the sinus drainage causes a lot of postnasal drip, then it may cause you to cough at night. When you get up in the morning, your voice might sound hoarse and the coughing symptoms increase as the body is working to clear the mucus.
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What You Should Do
Dr. Sedaghat recommends that you treat colds symptomatically. âI tell my patients do whatever makes them feel better. Pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help. Home remedies that can improve nasal symptoms include saltwater rinses for the nose,â Dr. Sedaghat suggests. He also points out that maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your energy levels up.
Sinus infections are treated the same way as a cold. If bacteria cause the infection, antibiotics are an option. But many bacterial sinus infections get better on their own.
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Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.
The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
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Ingredients In Sinuvil Sinus Formula
Sinuvil Sinus Formula contains natural ingredients from plants, trees or herbs.Sinuvil’s gentle herbal formula helps stimulate the immune system and activate natural killer cells enabling the body’s own defense mechanism.*
|PELARGONIUM SIDOIDES is a medical plant native to Africa. Clinical studies show that it’s effective for supporting the respiratory tract..* .|
|N-ACETYLCYSTEINE is a special form of amino acid cysteine found in egg whites, red pepper or garlic. NAC is widely used in Europe for sinus and lung support. Several clinical studies have found that NAC is highly effective \ . It thins out mucus, draining it out of sinuses and the lungs . NAC protects your cells through its antioxidant activity .*|
|QUERCETIN is a flavonoid present in apples, citrus fruits and strawberries. It is the secret behind the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Quercetin has amazing anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting effects. All these activities are caused by the strong antioxidant action of quercetin. Studies have shown improved respiratory function for people who consume plenty of apples . . It not only reduces inflammation ,but also helps compensate for the negative effects of pollution. *|
|BUTTERBUR is a plant that grows in northern parts of Europe and Russia. For many centuries, it has been used as an herbal remedy for respiratory health maintenance. A clinical study showed that Butterbur helps improve lung ventilation . *|
What Is The Function Of The Sinuses
The human skull contains four major pairs of hollow air-filled cavities called sinuses. These are connected to the space between the nostrils and the nasal passage . Sinuses help insulate the skull, reduce its weight, and allow the voice to resonate within it. The four major pairs of sinuses are:
The sinuses contain defenses against viruses and bacteria . The sinuses are covered with a mucous layer and cells that contain tiny hairs on their surface that help trap and propel bacteria and pollutants outward.
Acute sinusitis typically lasts less than eight weeks or occurs no more than three times per year with each episode lasting no longer than 10 days. Medications are generally effective against acute sinusitis. Successful treatment counteracts damage done to the mucous lining of the sinuses and surrounding bone of the skull.
Chronic or recurring sinusitis lasts longer than eight weeks or occurs more than four times per year, with symptoms usually lasting more than 20 days.
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How Is A Sinus Infection Diagnosed And Treated
Your doctor will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. You might get a CT scan of your sinuses.
Your doctor may prescribe medication. They may recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days. , antihistamines, and other drugs help lessen the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.
Steam and hot showers can help you loosen mucus. Your doctor may also suggest nasal saline to wash mucus from your nose.
In rare cases, when a sinus infection doesnt go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.
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Is It A Sinus Infection Or Cold
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a sinus infection and a cold as the symptoms can be very similar. Sinus infections often develop after a cold.
Sinusitis tends to last longer than a cold. Cold symptoms tend to get steadily worse, peaking at 3â5 days, then gradually get better. Sinus infections may last 10 days or more.
Some symptoms are more likely to be caused by sinusitis than a cold, including:
- swelling of the tissue in the nose
- green discharge from the nose
- a swollen or tender face
Unlike a cold, sinusitis can become chronic, which means it lasts longer than eight weeks. Chronic sinusitis causes swelling and irritation in the sinuses and usually develops after a person has had acute sinusitis. Sometimes the symptoms go away and then come back again.
Ongoing sinus symptoms â even if they get better and then come back â may indicate chronic sinusitis.
Sinus infections often go away on their own without medical treatment. There are, however, some things a person can do at home to relieve the bothersome symptoms.
To treat sinusitis symptoms with home remedies , try:
Avoid using decongestants on a long-term basis without talking to a doctor first because they can make congestion worse if used for too long.
- symptoms last longer than 10 days with no improvement
- fever lasts longer than 3-4 days
- the pain is very intense
- a person with a suspected sinus infection has a drugs that suppress the immune system, or organ failure
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