Symptoms Of Bacterial Sinusitis
Symptoms of bacterial sinusitis include:
- Pressure or pain around the nose, in the forehead, in the cheeks or around the eyes. The pain often gets worse if the affected person bends forward.
- Discolored, thick nasal discharge
- Painful teeth
- Painful chewing
Good to know: Bacterial sinusitis can follow a cold or the flu, and often the symptoms occur just when it seems as if the initial infection is clearing up. In this situation it is common to start to feel better, and then to feel worse as the subsequent bacterial sinusitis develops.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have bacterial sinusitis, you can do a free symptom assessment using the Ada app at any time.
Things To Know About A Sinus Infection
- Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
- Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
- The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection can include medications, home remedies, alternative therapies, and surgery.
- Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
- Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
- Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
- cloudy discolored nasal or postnasal drainage,
- the feeling of nasal stuffiness,
What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.
- Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives.
- Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever.
- Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and
- illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose.
About 30 million adults have “sinusitis.” Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.
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Where Can I Find Treatment To Address My Chronic Sinusitis Without Antibiotics
In order to successfully treat your sinusitis, its important to pinpoint exactly whats causing this condition. If, for example, its caused by a deviated septum, it will continue to occur until the underlying problem is corrected.
At DFW Sinus Select, we specialize in tailoring treatments that are designed to give you the best possible long-term results with minimal side effects. Were here to help you get the relief you need and help treat chronic sinus infections without antibiotics if appropriate in your particular case.
Our practice offers numerous office locations so you can conveniently access top-notch care close to home.
Its important to visit a DFW Sinus Select specialist to properly diagnose your sinus issues and receive information about the best treatment options.
Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
If youve ever had a sinus infection, you know how uncomfortableand persistentthey can be.
You cant breathe normally due to nasal congestion, postnasal drip interferes with sleep, and sinus pain makes your face ache.
Add in possible nasal discharge, headache, cough, fatigue, and fever, and no wonder you just want it to go away.
Unfortunately, sinus infections may last longer than you think: Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks, while chronic sinusitis lasts at least three months.
Although these infections dont require treatment, if youre uncomfortable, over-the-counter remedies such as decongestants and nasal saline irrigation, as well as lifestyle changes like increased fluid intake, may provide some symptom relief.
On the other hand, in most cases, antibiotics dont help treat a sinus infection and may cause more harm.
However, antibiotics can be appropriate for some sinus infections. It all comes down to whether a virus or bacteria is causing the infection.
To help clear up the confusion about antibiotics for sinus infections, in this article, Ill explain the differences between viral and bacterial sinus infections.
I will also discuss when to use antibiotics to treat a sinus infection and what types of sinus infections antibiotics treat.
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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.
What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.
The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as from pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.
It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.
In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.
In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.
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When Do I Actually Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
There are several guidelines for determining if a patient actually needs antibiotics for a sinus infection. If you have thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pain for at least 10 days, you meet the criteria. This does not mean if you have a slightly yellow or clear nasal discharge for 10 days having discharge from the nose for at least 4 weeks is normal in the case of sinus infections.
The second criterion is if your symptoms have improved but then got worse again, even if its been less than 10 days. This is referred to as double worsening and is a common scenario in bacterial infections. However, even then, you may want to follow what doctors suggest as watchful waiting. Wait 2 weeks and see if symptoms got better. Use over-the-counter medications and supportive care , as they often do the trick.
What Is The Treatment For Chronic Sinus Infection
When it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, theres no one-size-fits-all solution. While several treatment options are available, what works for one person may not be appropriate for the other. Hence, we tailor the treatment to each individuals needs, symptoms, and whether or not other conditions are also at play.
The goals of treating chronic sinusitis are to address the allergic causes, minimize inflammation, promote free sinus drainage, and eradicate the infection .
Here are a few potential treatment options for chronic sinusitis. We will likely try out a combination of two or more of these options to see what works best for you.
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What Are Complications Of A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for a sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency .
In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye . Rarely, these infections may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems, diabetes, and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.
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.
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Sinus Infection How To Treat It Without Antibiotics
A sinus infection can be described as the inflammation and congestion of the sinuses. This problem is very common nowadays, and it can be triggered by a large variety of factors, especially by allergens. The main symptoms include headaches, facial pressure, congestion, thick mucus, fatigue, and dizziness.
Antibiotics are usually prescribed in the case of sinus infection, but they can actually worsen the symptoms, especially if your problem is caused by fungal biofilms which are the cause of sinusitis in almost 80% of the cases. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, this way creating a perfect environment for Candida yeast, which will lead to other complications.
You should know that a sinus infection can be efficiently treated without antibiotics. Lets see how.
What Is Sinus Infection And How Does One Get Infected
Sinus cavities are empty spaces in which the air flows it is located within the bones that surround our nose. When our nasal cavities become swollen, an infection may immediately follow, particularly because the sinuses were filled with germs and fluid that block the passages, which is the main reason for infection.
Depending on the type of infection your sinus has acquired, it could last longer than you wish it would. Acute sinusitis may last for about a couple of week even when you are self-medicating. Bacterial sinusitis, those which doctors usually recommend antibiotics to cure, occur if the symptoms last for over 14 days. Nevertheless, you may be surprised at how long chronic sinusitis could last it can constantly give you trouble up to 12 weeks, especially those that are associated with certain allergies. Sinus infection can affect anyone from all the age brackets.
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When Antibiotics Are Appropriate Treatment
In addition, antibiotics can be given to those whose symptoms have gotten worse or those who show no improvement after seven days.
If antibiotics are given, a 10- to 14-day course is recommended, according to the practice guidelines. Amoxicillin or amoxicillin clavulanate are typically the first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin.
Your Sinusitis Keeps Coming Back Because You Dont Have An Accurate Diagnosis
If the infection lasts longer than a couple of weeks or the pain is becoming unbearable, seek medical treatment immediately. Accurate diagnosis is key to treating sinusitis, especially when the infections return over and over again. You can treat allergies all you want, but a polyp, deviated septum, or other anatomical abnormalities in the nasal passages wont disappear without more expert treatment.
A comprehensive examination of the nose and sinus passages by a specialist is necessary to evaluate the correct diagnosis and cause of your symptoms. In some cases, what has been previously diagnosed as a sinus issue has, in fact, been caused by another issue. Identifying the correct diagnosis is the first step to feeling better.
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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.
Sinus Headache Or Migraine
About 80% of sinus headaches are actually migraines with nasal symptoms. If you get frequent headaches, consult your healthcare provider or a headache specialist, since there are medications and prevention strategies specifically for migraines.
If you have intense sinus pain and pressure that gets worse when you are diving, flying in an airplane, driving up a steep mountain, or participating in other activities that involve steep altitude changes, it could be a condition called sinus barotrauma.
Although the pain will usually subside when these activities are discontinued, sinus barotrauma is a sign of an underlying sinus problem that needs to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist, a healthcare provider that specializes in conditions of the ear, nose, and throat.
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
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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How To Treat Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
While sinus infections caused by viruses, allergies, or other non-bacterial factors may not require antibiotics, they still cause the same symptoms which make you feel sick.
Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Nasal congestion
- Pain or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, or forehead
- Thick nasal or post-nasal drainage
Taking steps to alleviate your sinusitis symptoms is often the best treatment to lessen your discomfort.
Sinus infection treatment options include:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Rest, especially the first few days, to help your body fight the infection
- Moisturize the air with a cool-mist vaporizer
- Elevate your head while sleeping to decrease post-nasal drip
- Take warm showers or baths, as steam can soothe your sore throat and loosen mucus
- Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat
- Use saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation kit to alleviate congestion
- Use over-the-counter treatments, such as nasal drops and sprays or pseudoephedrine pills, as your doctor recommends them
What Not to Do for a Sinus Infection
You should always follow your doctors instructions when you are diagnosed with a sinus infection.
- Ask for antibiotics if your doctor feels they are unnecessary
- Take antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else
- Skip doses of your antibiotics or stop taking your antibiotics early when your doctor prescribes them
- Save antibiotics for the next time you get sick