When To See A Doctor
Usually, ear problems related to a sinus issue arenât severe and donât last long. Most of the time, they go away on their own. See your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- You have head, face, or ear pain, or swelling that doesnât get better with non-prescription medication.
- Your symptoms last for more than a week or keep coming back.
American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery: âSinusitis â âDizziness and Motion Sickness â and âSinus Pain: Can Over-the-Counter Medications Help?â
Divers Alert Network: âEars and Sinuses — Instructions for Equalizing Ears and Sinuses.â
Harvard Medical School, Womenâs Health Watch: âWhat to Do About Sinusitis.â
Tampa Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates: âSinusitis.â
Lindsey, H. ENT Today, July 2009.
Ear Tube Surgery In Fort Worth Tx
Surgery may be needed to drain the fluid behind the eardrum if you or your child have a chronic ear infection or if you develop multiple ear infections in a short amount of time.
Surgery to insert ear tubes is a common procedure to drain the fluid and equalize pressure on the eardrums. A small cut is made in the eardrum and excess fluid may be removed. A small tube is then placed through the cut so fluid can continue to flow out of the middle ear and reduce the chance of another ear infection. The eardrum usually sheds the tube naturally after two to three years.
Depending on the cause of your ear infection, your doctor may also recommend removal of the adenoids or tonsils as well as other treatments.
Schedule an appointment at Fort Worth Ear and Sinus to discuss your best treatment option for a chronic ear infection.
Nosebleeds can happen for a variety of reasons, from a dry climate to picking your nose. But for some people, nosebleeds are a recurring problem. If you have a history of frequent nosebleeds, its important to understand the causes and
Ménières disease is a chronic inner ear disorder that causes episodes of vertigo, and fluctuating hearing loss. Although it cannot be cured, Ménières disease can be managed to improve your quality of life. Ménières Disease Symptoms The main symptom of
Seasonal Allergies And Hay Fever
Seasonal allergies can even become the primary cause of sinus inflammation. Allergies can cause blockage of drainage containing the regular sinus aspect and also predispose any person to the development of sinus infections.
Any person can experience sinus irritation or congestion during the hay fever season. The pollen count can jump even high during the season, and the exposure to allergens is even high, like the mould or animal dander.
It is necessary to see the doctor for treatments to alleviate symptoms.
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Saline Spray And Sinus Rinses
Using a saline solution, rinse your nose and sinuses with a neti pot or other irrigation system.
You can buy saline solution over the counter or make your own at home with distilled water and saline packets. Saline spray also comes in small bottles that you can spray directly into your nose.
Sinus rinses like these work by flushing mucus out of the nose and sinuses to keep things flowing freely.
Saline also has a natural decongesting effect, meaning it shrinks your swollen nasal tissues and makes it easier for you to breathe through your nose!
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Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
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When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
Tips To Prevent Sinus Infections
In order to avoid ear pain and temporary hearing loss due to clogged ears as a result of sinus infections one must prevent sinus infections. Here are some tips to help you prevent sinus infections and avoid the complications associated with it.
- Control your allergies.
- Keep hydrated, which keeps mucus thin.
- Reduce alcohol consumption, which can worsen mucus.
- Minimize exposure to people with cold or flu.
- Always wash your hands and avoid germs.
- Avoid chlorinated swimming pools.
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About Author: Laura Nightengale
Laura Nightengale was a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. When shes not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.
Looking After Yourself At Home
If your symptoms are mild and have lasted less than a week or so, you can usually take care of yourself without seeing your GP.
The following tips may help you feel better until you recover:
- Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve a high temperature and pain check the leaflet that comes with your medication first to check it’s suitable, and never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
- Use over-the-counter nasal sprays or drops to help unblock your nose and allow you to breathe more easily these shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time.
- Apply warm packs to your face to soothe your pain and help mucus drain from your sinuses.
- Regularly clean the inside of your nose with a salt water solution to help unblock your nose and reduce nasal discharge.
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Types Of Ear Infections
There are two main types of ear infection, depending on whether the infection is in the inner ear or outer ear.
An inner ear infection happens when fluid and inflammation build up in the middle ear, behind the ear drum.
An outer ear infection happens when the ear canal and outer ear become infected. Outer ear infections are sometimes called swimmers ear.
How Can A Sinus Infection Cause An Ear Infection
Does a sinus infection cause an ear infection? Or is it the other way around? Actually, sinus and ear infections stem from the same root causes: viral infections and bacterial infections. Once an infection takes root in the sinuses, its easy for it to spread to the middle ear and cause an ear infection. Having these two infections at the same time means youve signed up for all the symptoms of a sinus infection, plus the additional symptoms of ear pain and/or clogged ears.
While these common causes can make diagnosing your ailment more difficult, they also make treating one infection akin to treating the other. Awareness of the common causes of sinus infections and ear infections, then, can make you less susceptible to getting both infections at once. Lets examine these causes now.
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Inhale Diffused Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has a strong odor that often helps patients find instant relief from sinusitis. Research has found that cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, helps people recover from sinus infections more quickly than those who dont use eucalyptus oil. You can inhale eucalyptus oil through a diffuser, or rub some on your temples and chest to open your breathing passages. You can even use food-grade eucalyptus oil and place a drop on the roof of your mouth.
Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
You also may experience nasal congestion , facial pain, and an overall sense of pressure in your face and forehead. In some cases, you may even experience pain in your upper teeth.
Symptoms of sinusitis may also resemble those of allergies or asthma. Those who suffer from allergy and asthma symptoms may also be especially susceptible to sinus infections, so it’s important to get an assessment from your ENT.
How Is Sinusitis Treated
Sinusitis is treated in several ways, each depending on how severe the case of sinusitis is.
A simple sinusitis infection is treated with:
- Drinking fluids .
If symptoms of sinusitis don’t improve after 10 days, your doctor may prescribe:
- Oral or topical decongestants.
- Prescription intranasal steroid sprays. .
Long-term sinusitis may be treated by focusing on the underlying condition . This is usually treated with:
- Intranasal steroid sprays.
- Topical antihistamine sprays or oral pills.
- Leukotriene antagonists to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms.
- Rinsing the nose with saline solutions that might also contain other types of medication.
When sinusitis isn’t controlled by one of the above treatments, a CT scan is used to take a better look at your sinuses. Depending on the results, surgery may be needed to correct structural problems in your sinuses. This is most likely to happen if you have polyps and/or a fungal infection.
Natural Remedies For Chronic Sinus Infections
Natural remedies for sinus infections may not fully cure your symptoms, but they can work to reduce them. Examples of these approaches include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids.Fluids help to thin out mucus, which makes it easier to pass through your sinus passages. You know youre drinking enough when your urine is pale yellow.
- Applying warm compresses. Create a warm compress using a soft washcloth and warm water. These compresses help to open your sinus passages and soothe swollen facial tissues to make breathing easier.
- Using a neti pot. A neti pot is an alternative to saline nose sprays. You can buy these at most drugstores and online. They look like a small tea pot with an elongated spout. You fill the pot with sterile water, insert it into one nostril, and pour in the water so it comes out the other nostril. Here are step-by-step instructions.
In addition to these measures, its important to get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep at night enables your body time to heal and maintain a healthy immune system.
Taking steps to keep your nasal passages draining well can help you avoid sinus infections. Examples of healthy habits to practice include:
You can also ask your doctor for additional prevention recommendations that target the cause of your sinus infection.
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How Long Do Symptoms Last
Typically, a sinus infection clears up within 2 to 3 weeks. COVID-19 lasts for about a week or two depending on its severity and your overall health.
A 2020 study surveyed 270 outpatients with COVID-19. Among them, 175 people reported returning to their usual level of health about 7 days after a positive COVID-19 test.
Some symptoms like cough and loss of smell or taste may linger temporarily after COVID-19. Some people may experience long-haul COVID-19, a group of symptoms that persist in the weeks and months following an infection.
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When To See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
If you have a sinus infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have severe symptoms like a severe headache or facial pain, such as nausea, your doctor may recommend antibiotics. It is best to see a doctor if you begin to have more severe symptoms after taking antibiotics, but then start to worsen again after taking antibiotics. If you have symptoms for more than 10 days, or if they progress after improvement, you should see a doctor. If you have a viral infection, taking ibuprofen and testing it out is the best option. If you have a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be required however, the infection may not be completely resolved in a short period of time.
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Postnasal Drip Treatment Options
Treatment options for postnasal drip depend on the underlying symptoms for each individual. For mild cases of postnasal drip there are a variety of natural and home remedies that can help the condition from gargling with salt water to nasal irrigation. For more severe or chronic cases of postnasal drip, there are OTC and prescription medications options. We will discuss all viable treatment options in the sections that follow.
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Adults Can Get Ear Infections Too
Ear infections are incredibly common. Most people will have one at some point during their lifetime usually in early childhood.
And while its much less common, its possible for adults to get ear infections, too.
Kristin Downs, APRN, explains the types of ear infections, as well as their symptoms and treatments. Kristin often treats common ailments like ear infections in her role at OSF OnCall Urgent Care.
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.
Treatment Of Acute Otitis Media In Children
Sometimes, acute ear infections resolve without medical treatment. Home care methods such as placing a warm, moist cloth over the infected ear and using over the counter eardrops and pain relievers can help. Often, however, medication is needed. Your childs doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics, which are extremely effective in fighting ear infections. Typically these mediations are taken for 7-10 days along with Ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain. If the ear infection does not respond to antibiotics or if more episodes of acute otitis media occur, surgery may be recommended. Your childs doctor may recommend removing the adenoids if they are enlarged or infected. Your childs doctor may also suggest myringotomy and ear tubes, which are tiny tubes surgically inserted into the ear to allow for better airflow and function of the eustachian tubes.
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How Does Lakeside Allergy Ent Treat Ear Infections
Lakeside Allergy ENT in Rockwall, Forney, and Wylie is home to the top otolaryngologists in Texas who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all ear, nose, and throat disorders, including middle ear infections and swimmers ear. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you may have an ear infection. Our board-certified otolaryngologists will first diagnose your condition and then suggest treatment options, which include antibiotics, ear drops, and surgery in severe cases.
Request an appointment today using the form on this page, or learn more about ear infections and our treatment options below.
Seek Help For Clogged Ears
Although weve covered four of the most common reasons you ears may feel clogged, its always wise to seek the advice of a hearing healthcare professional whenever you are having trouble hearing. Unclogging your ears at home using home remedies such as ear candling or a cotton swab is never a good idea.
Heres a tip: Find a doctor, hearing specialist or audiologist near you and have your hearing evaluated before trouble starts. The baseline information the initial test provides will be a good benchmark for your medical team to use in an emergency situation and to monitor your hearing health.
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My Favorite Home Remedy For Ear Pain Warm Compresses
When I was a little girl, I remember having an ear infection accompanied by one very sore ear. To help me feel better, my mom took a small throw pillow and warmed it up in the oven. She left it in a bit too long, though, and it started to singe. She put the fire out, and I rested my head on one slightly charred pillow and the pain went away.
Nowadays most houses have microwaves, which make it easier to heat up a warm compress for earache treatment. You can buy or make a compress.
We recommend hot packs from Core Products, a small business located in western Wisconsin. They make soft covered hot/cold packs that we use as foot warmers at night and for treating headaches and earaches.
To make a simple warm compress for ear pain relief, place popcorn or rice into an old sock or small pouch. Seal the end and heat in short bursts until warm. Hot water bottles are a great option if you dont have a microwave just make sure you dont get the water too hot.
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