Irrigate Your Sinuses To Help Ease Symptoms And Prevent Sinus Infections
Nasal irrigation is basically a method of using a saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucus residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash, nasal douche, or lavage. Some people refer to it by one of the popular devices used to get the water in, a neti pot.
A small number of studies has found irrigation can improve symptoms, including one review published in September 2016 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Experts caution that it is important to use distilled or sterile water to avoid the rare possibility of introducing a parasite into your sinus passageways.
What Are The Common Home Remedies To Treat Sinus Infection
The nine common home remedies to treat sinus infection include:
- At-home vaporizer or humidifier: It may help relieve sinus symptoms. Sometimes a hot shower may also relieve sinus symptoms.
- Use of lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus oil while breathing steam may relieve nasal pressure.
- A warm compress over the nose and forehead helps relieve sinus pressure.
- Use of a syringe or a neti pot to stream a solution of non-iodized salt, baking soda, and lukewarm distilled water through the nostrils to help keep nasal passages clean. Also, a patient may choose a product from a pharmacy that is already prepared and ready to mix from packets.
- Drink warm water to stay hydrated.
- Drinking warm ginger tea with turmeric may help relieve nasal congestion.
- Drinking warm water with apple cider vinegar may help in fighting a sinus infection. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, and magnesium which aids in treating sinus infection. It works by loosening up the mucous and clearing nasal passages.
- Eat a balanced diet that also includes spices, and a diet rich in vitamin C and minerals help build immunity to fight infection.
- Sleep with the head elevated at night or keeping a humidifier running at home to avoid an arid environment may help relieve sinus pressure.
Can You Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
Whether it is allergies, a cold, or the flu, most of us have experienced the unique discomfort of extreme sinus congestion. While there are many things that can make it feel like someone has stuffed an entire pillow inside your face, the sinus infection is a unique form of misery that is worse than a simple common cold or seasonal allergies.
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Timely Treatment For Sinus Infections
Sinus infections can be painful and take time to heal. At MedExpress, we understand that you want to get better, fast. Thats why our centers are open 8 – 8 every day with no appointments necessary. Our caring, friendly medical team can help determine whether or not you have a sinus infection and recommend the proper treatment so you can start feeling better.
Iv Therapy In Providence Ri
Vitality IV is your premier location for effective, intravenous solutions. Our USP 797-compliant facility ensures your safety with quality ingredients in a sterile environment. So, if youre ready to kick a sinus infection to the curb, then schedule your IV therapy consultation today. Call our team at 401-443-4007 or send us a message online here.
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Rinse With Salt Water
The irritants from dust, pollution, and fragrances can make their way into your sinuses and cause congestion. To get rid of these irritants, use a saltwater saline rinse either an over-the-counter saline nasal spray or a saline rinse from a neti pot, which is designed to pour saline water through your sinuses, says Dr. Kern.
As Phillip Tanner, 44, of San Francisco, California, says, âI use very warm water and a super-saturated hypertonic salt solution. Itâs definitely an odd experience, even once you get used to doing it, but I find that it really does help my symptoms.â
Nasal Discharge: Cause Treatments And Prevention
What is nasal discharge?
Mucus isnt just a slimy material in your nose it actually has a useful purpose. It traps bacteria, other germs, and debris, and prevents them from entering your lungs.
In some cases, such as when you have a cold or allergies, mucus may flow out of your nose or down your throat. When mucus comes out of your nose, its called nasal discharge. It can also be called post-nasal drip or rhinorrhea.
Although its annoying, nasal discharge is common and usually goes away on its own. But in some cases, its a sign of an underlying health problem that might require medical attention.
There are many potential causes of nasal discharge. Some of the most common include infections and allergies.
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Get Your Antibiotics Fast
No one likes being sick, and having a sinus infection can be very uncomfortable. Getting antibiotics as fast as possible is crucial to healing, and is made possible with PlushCare. Our online doctors can diagnose your sinus infection, write a prescription, and send it to your local pharmacy in 15 minutes. PlushCare can help you effectively, quickly, and easily treat your sinus infection.
When Antibiotics Dont Work
Some patients suffer from recurring sinus infections. If your sinus infection does not improve within five to seven days after you finish the whole course of antibiotics, or if you experience another sinus infection within a few weeks, you may be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for treatment.
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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.
Sinus Infections Most Clear Up Without Antibiotics
ROCHESTER, Minn. Sinus congestion and the common cold go hand in hand. Usually, congestion goes away within a week or so as the body fights off the illness. But sinus congestion and a feeling of sickness can linger and worsen, which may indicate a bacterial infection.
The October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers sinus problems, including symptoms of a bacterial infection and when antibiotic treatment may help clear out the stuffiness.
Sinus inflammation often begins with a cold, caused by a virus. When the sinuses become irritated and inflamed, sinus tissues swell. Expansion of these tissues can close off the ostia, the small openings that allow mucus to drain out of the sinus cavities. That blockage creates a feeling of stuffiness. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and typically arent recommended within the first week of developing a cold.
The stagnant, moist environment of a blocked sinus cavity gives bacteria a place to grow and thrive. If bacterial infection develops, antibiotics may have a role in treatment. Its tricky to determine whether sinusitis is caused by a virus or bacteria. The symptoms congestion, facial pain, drainage of mucus, cough, headache and feeling unwell can occur with both types of infections.
The likelihood of bacterial infection increases when:
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A More In Depth Explanation Of Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.
With acute sinusitis, it might be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face might feel swollen, and you might have throbbing facial pain or a headache.
Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a week to 10 days.
In most cases, home remedies are all that’s needed to treat acute sinusitis. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis.
How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Bad Breath
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.
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Common Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Antibiotics may be prescribed when symptoms of a sinus infection warrant such treatment. Common antibiotics for sinus infection include:
- Levaquin : Although this drug is often prescribed as a first line of therapy for sinusitis, it has serious side effects and should only be used as a last resort.
Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses
Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.
Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.
You may feel pain in:
- your forehead
- on either side of your nose
- in your upper jaws and teeth
- between your eyes
This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.
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What Happens If A Sinus Infection Is Left Untreated
For some lucky people, sinus infections may go away if left untreated. Rest and hydration will certainly help with this.
For others, however, sinusitis wont go away until you seek treatment. If this is the case, a sinus infection left untreated may cause further complications .
When sinusitis spreads to areas around the eyes, you may experience redness and swelling, which can reduce vision. The most severe form of sinusitis reaching the eye is called cavernous sinus thrombosis and can actually cause blindness. It is treated by antibiotics and drainage of sinus fluids.
Sinusitis that reaches the brain may cause meningitis and brain abscesses.
Okay But How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Something else you need to know: There are two different types of sinusitis, acute and chronic sinusitis. Essentially, acute sinusitis is anything that lasts less than four weeks, says Dr. Ford, while chronic sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeksbut those are just ballparks.
Typically acute sinusitis resolves by 10 days, but if not, then the possibility of a bacterial infection should be considered, says Dr. Chen. Getting one or 2 sinus infections a year is considered normal. More than 4 should prompt a visit to an ear, nose, and throat surgeon.
However, if you have chronic sinusitis, it can last up to 3 months, and may be caused by environmental factors. Chronic sinusitis may have a number of causes, but the most common cause is allergies, says Dr. Ford. Smoking causes impaired function of the cilia, part of the nasal membranes that remove mucus, and can contribute to developing chronic sinusitis.
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What’s A Sinus Infection Again
So, a sinus infection is technically called sinusitis, and it’s basically the term for when your sinuses are inflamed, according to the US National Library of Medicine . As for what those sinuses are, exactly, they’re “pockets in the face next to the nose that are typically full of air,” Philip Chen, MD, otolaryngologist with UT Health San Antonio, tells Health. “These pockets have a lining of mucosa that helps keep the sinus healthy,” which is what becomes inflamed when the sinuses are infected.
Another type of sinus infection, rhinosinusitis, occurs when the lining of the sinus cavities ar swollen, along with the lining of the nasal cavity, says Dr. Chen.
As for what causes a sinus infection, it’s typically a condition that blocks the sinuses, like a viral upper respiratory tract infection , or allergies, Landon Duyka, MD, otolaryngologist at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, tells ?Health. The blockage ultimately “allows for an infection to develop and progress within the sinuses.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
So if you’ve ever had a sinus infection before, you know they feel pretty miserable: The more common symptoms are nasal congestion, discolored mucous from the nose, post nasal drainage, facial pain, facial pressure, decreased smell and taste, says Dr. Duyka. Some patients also experience ear pain, upper tooth pain, sore throat, bad breath, and/or cough.
But here’s some quick advice: That whole thing about the color of your snot telling you whether or not you have a bacterial or viral infection? That’s a myth, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. “The green-yellow color of mucus that can develop is a byproduct of our own white blood cells, which we use to fight any kind of infection, viral or bacterial, so we cant tell the cause from the color of the mucus,” she says. When mucus is thick and dark it usually suggests some mild dehydration, and you should increase fluid intake and use lots of saline spray to keep the mucus thin.
Treatment For Sinus Infection
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.
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After A Cold Or The Flu
In most people, acute sinusitis develops after a cold or flu-like illness. Colds and flu are caused by germs called viruses which may spread to the sinuses. The infection usually remains viral before clearing, causing a viral sinus infection. In a small number of cases, germs called bacteria add on to an infection that started with a virus. This can cause a bacterial sinus infection which can make the infection worse and last longer.
Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.
I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.
When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.
#2: Mucous Color
I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.
Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.
So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.
#3: Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.
However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
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