How Do You Stop A Sinus Infection
If your sinus infection and post nasal drip with cough lasts between 7-10 days, you should be okay handling things at home on your own. To relieve post nasal drip and your cough, you can use antihistamines, nasal saline washes, and natural home remedies .
Be very careful with nasal sprays and certain decongestants, though. These treatment methods can end up thickening your mucus and could potentially make your post-nasal drip and cough worse.
That said, if you have a cough after sinus infection, this also shouldnt automatically trigger a doctors appointment. It can sometimes take up to a couple of weeks for a sinus infection cough to go away completely. As long as you notice your other symptoms clearing up , then you should be good to go.
Are Sinusitis And Sinus Infection The Same
Are you wondering what the difference between sinusitis and sinus infection is? While both produce similar symptoms, there is a slight difference knowing this difference is key to treating the condition effectively.
Sinusitis vs Sinus Infection
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses. This inflammation occurs when mucus is overproduced and the lining of the nasal cavity swells, resulting in congestion.
Mucus is a thin biochemical substance produced by the body with the purpose of trapping bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust and other airborne irritants in an attempt to keep them out of the respiratory tract and prevent infection. Sometimes, due to low immunity, the mucus does not succeed. It becomes thicker and less effective, comprising the nasal lining and progressing into more complicated symptoms.
In the case of bacteria and viruses, a full-blown infection may occur. This is when we refer to the condition as a sinus infection.
Sinus infections are usually short-term but a long-term condition affecting the sinuses may also lead to an infection. Conditions such as hay fever or a simple dust mite allergy may lead to infection if the mucus does not drain away, thus leaving the sinuses more susceptible to infection.
But what can be done in either case?
An Ayurvedic practitioner can assist you with a personalised, side effect and drug-free treatment plan, but you can also implement some home remedies yourself.
Using the Neti Pot
How Migraines Are Different
Migraines are much more common than sinus headaches, affecting about 15 percent of adults in America. The reason migraines are often mistaken for sinus headaches is that both can cause facial pain and a runny nose. The difference? With migraines, nasal discharge is thin and clear instead of thick and discolored.
Aside from different kinds of nasal discharge, a big difference between migraines and sinus headaches is that a migraine pain can happen in many areas. While sinus headaches are primarily felt in the face, migraines can cause pain around the temples, high in the forehead or in the back of your head. They often occur on only one side of the head, while sinus headaches are usually felt on both sides of the face.
Another distinguishing characteristic of migraines is that they frequently cause a throbbing or pulsing pain, as opposed to the pressure of sinus headaches.
You May Like: Advil Sinus Congestion And Pain Walgreens
Get The Right Treatment
The result is the same: Your head hurts. Does it really matter why? Yes, because the diagnosis directs the treatment.
For a sinus headache, the focus is on draining the fluid from the mucus-filled spaces behind your cheeks to relieve the pressure and pain, as well as cooling the inflammation. Typically, you’ll take , antihistamines, or antibiotics, or a combination of these medicines. This wouldn’t help, and may even be harmful, for someone with a migraine.
Itâs also possible to relieve sinus pain and pressure using a bioelectric device that emits micro-current waveforms. Sold over-the-counter device, the device targets blood vessels and nerves to get relief.
Scientists think migraines happen because of a series of changes in your brain stem, nerve cells, and brain chemicals. No one knows exactly why they start, but they can be triggered by certain foods, activities, or other conditions.
Treatment for migraine can include over-the-counter pain relievers as well as prescription drugs that are also used to treat seizure disorders, depression, and heart conditions. Other remedies might come as pills, shots, and nasal sprays.
Still Wondering If Its A Cold Or Sinus Infection See A Doctor
Colds and sinus infections can both heal on their own, but when your symptoms become intense or linger for weeks you should seek help from an Ear, Nose and Throat expert. An experienced doctor will be able to review your symptoms and timeline, examine your sinuses to determine the root cause, and provide you with a treatment plan to help you heal quickly. If youre sick and wondering if you have a cold or sinus infection, stop suffering through symptoms and consult with an ENT expert today.
You May Like: Mucinex And Advil Cold And Sinus
Also Check: How To Treat Sinus Allergies At Home
What Is A Sinus Headache
A headache can be one of the symptoms of sinusitis, or inflammation and swelling of the sinuses, possibly caused by an infection or allergy. Sinusitis symptoms can also include facial pain and pressure, nasal drainage, nasal or facial congestion, postnasal drip, cough, and sore throat, according to Dr. Weber.
Some people do actually have true sinus headache, typically caused by nasal septal deviation causing contact or pressure on the nasal walls and headache. This is also called a rhinogenic headache or a contact point headache. Typically, this headache worsens with sinus congestion and improves with relief of congestion, he says.
RELATED: What Is Sinus Infection?
Are Sinus Infections Viral
Sinusitis can occur due to a viral infection. If excess mucus develops and cannot exit the body due to a blockage or nasal inflammation, it can cause a sinus infection. You may start with a viral cold that doesnt clear up and then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies can also lead to sinus infections, as can a deviated septum. When bacteria grows in the sinuses, it is a bacterial infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, sinusitis is typically caused by a virus, and less commonly caused by bacteria.
Dont Miss: Does Flonase Help Sinus Pressure
Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Sinus Migraines
What Is A Sinus Infection
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.
Is It Sinus Congestion Or A Sinus Infection
And when should antibiotics be avoided?
A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in clinic visits were unnecessary, and this country needs more superfluous antibiotic prescribing like we need another hole in our heads.
Seven of the holes already in our heads are the sinuses in our facial bones: the frontal sinuses just above the nose, the maxillary sinuses in our cheek bones, and the sphenoid sinuses and the ethmoid sinus in the back of the nose.
The JAMA article found that sinusitis was the leading indication for an antibiotic prescription in the doctors office, possibly because all of us doctors included have a hard time telling the difference between sinus congestion and a sinus infection.
Recommended Reading: Sinus Infection Tooth Pain Relief
How Is A Sinus Headache Different From A Migraine Attack
Whereas a sinus headache is a result of pressure on the nasal walls, migraine attacks originate in the brain, says Rajneesh. Theres often a clear association in a person who has a history of allergies, and then their allergies flare up, which then leads to headaches, and the headache is usually frontal, he says.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, people with allergic rhinitis are more than 10 times more likely to have migraine.
Although both migraine and a sinus headache can come with a runny nose, with migraine the discharge is usually clear, whereas in a headache that comes with sinusitis, it can be colored or foul smelling, says Rajneesh.
Migraine attacks are often associated with other symptoms besides a headache, which can include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity, according to Weber. Some migraine patients have an aura, typically visual, with spots, lights, or colors prior to the onset of a migraine attack, he says.
How a Migraine Attack Unfolds
Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Getting Sinus Headaches
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.
How Does A Doctor Know Whether Its Sinus Or Migraine
Migraine is a clinical diagnosis, says Weber. That means that the doctor will ask you about your family history of migraine, allergies, and any other symptoms to determine if you have migraine or sinus headache.
To help your doctor make the correct diagnosis, it can be really helpful to track what youre experiencing, says Lauren Doyle Strauss, DO, a headache specialist and assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Write down your symptoms, says Strauss. Where is the pain located? Are you tired or dizzy? Are you sensitive to light or sound? Do you have an upset stomach or vomiting?
In addition to considering your symptoms, there can be tests used to identify sinus problems. A headache caused by a sinus infection is typically diagnosed with a CT scan of the sinuses, says Weber.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Sinus Pressure While Pregnant
What Is A Sinus Infection And How Is It Different Than A Cold
Each year, about 31 million people experience sinus infectionsalso called sinusitiswhich are usually caused by germs growing in the sinuses, the hollow cavities found behind the nose, eyes, brows, and cheekbones.
Most often, viruses cause sinus infections, but bacterial infections can cause sinusitis too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Typically, a bacterial or viral infection causes mucous membranes in the sinuses to swell and block the tiny openings into the sinuses, which interferes with their ability to drain. The trapped mucus allows bacteria to breed, causing pain and pressure in the head and face.
While colds, which are also caused by viruses, can lead to a sinus infection, a cold is not due to a buildup of germs in the sinus cavities. Its also important to note that while antibiotics can be helpful for those with sinus infections, they are useless when it comes to fighting cold viruses.
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.
Also Check: What Antibiotic Is Best To Treat Sinus Infection
Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
When Do Symptoms First Appear
The symptoms of a sinus infection often come on suddenly. COVID-19 symptoms can develop more gradually 2 to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
Viruses that cause a cold or flu tend to circulate in the fall and winter months. COVID-19 can occur any time of the year. While a sinus infection could develop following COVID-19, this hasnt yet been reported by research.
A sinus infection can also occur after exposure to allergens or irritants, such as pollen, pet dander, and cigarette smoke. If you have allergies or were recently around an irritant, you may be at risk for a sinus infection.
Also Check: Tylenol Cold And Sinus Nighttime
Symptoms To Look Out For
The symptoms of both conditions are fairly similar and include nasal congestion, facial pain, and pressure. With a sinus headache, the pain typically occurs above the eyes, over the bridge of your nose, and/or around the area of your cheeks. Your face may appear red, swollen, and feel tender to touch. Those who experience these symptoms will find them to worsen when bent over or coughing.
A migraine is a condition that comes often and repeatedly, with or without warning. The pain can be gradual or instant and range from moderate to severe. Location of pain varies from the front, top, or back of the head and can sometimes be felt down into the neck area. Those with a migraine have difficulty completing everyday tasks, feel nauseous, and experience sensitivity to light and noise. Typically, if you can relate to two out of the three symptoms listed above, you most likely have a migraine and not a sinus headache.
Why Do We Misdiagnose Migraine As Sinus Headache
Research studies show common sinus symptoms occur with migraine. In one study, 45% of migraine patients had at least one symptom of either nasal congestion or watery eyes. Migraine is also underdiagnosed and undertreated, meaning that a self-diagnosis of migraine is less likely.
A study involving almost 3,000 patients was important in evaluating the frequent complaint of sinus headache. In this study, the participants had at least six sinus headaches in the six months prior to entrance into the study. They had neither a migraine diagnosis nor treatment with a migraine-specific medication. What were the results? Eighty-eight percent of the participants had migraine and not sinus headaches.
Another study, called the American Migraine Study II, showed that many people who were diagnosed with migraine thought they had sinus headache. Significantly, there were almost 30,000 study participantsonly about 50% who were diagnosed with migraine knew they had migraine before the study. The most common misdiagnosis was sinus headache.
Don’t Miss: Cvs Cold And Sinus Relief
How Do You Diagnose Sinus Headaches Caused By Migraines
Sinus headaches are most likely due to migraines or tension headaches. Migraines are diagnosed by symptoms, including the frequency and severity of symptoms, family history, and by physical exam. Migraines can also include nausea and vomiting. These episodes may be triggered by hormonal changes, lack of sleep, certain foods or alcohol or caffeine, stress, or environmental changes like weather, altitude changes, or allergens. Many patients with migraines have family members who also experience migraine headaches.
If you have unusual or severe symptoms, additional tests such as an MRI of the brain may be ordered to rule out more serious conditions that can cause headache pain, such as tumors or bleeding around the brain. If you have repeated episodes of sinus pain and pressure, a nasal endoscopy or imaging such as an MRI or CT scan can determine if sinus pain or pressure is due to a sinus infection or other sinus pathology. A normal sinus CT scan while you have symptoms could help rule out sinusitis, and determine if migraines, headaches, or other causes of facial pain and pressure are causing the sinus symptoms.
Other causes of facial pain and pressure can include temporomandibular joint syndrome, clenching or grinding your teeth, trigeminal nerve pain, temporal arteritis , dental infection, or other neurologic causes of facial pain.