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.
Care Advice For Sinus Congestion
What Is The Long
Sinus infections are primarily caused by allergies. The most common allergens are pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Those with repeated sinus infections may have chronic sinusitis, which means long-term solutions may be a better option.
Immunotherapy can help. These allergy shots enable your body to decrease sensitivity to common allergens. The Raleigh sinus doctors at Raleigh Medical Group specialize in helping patients with chronic allergy and sinus problems. While immunotherapy is effective, the treatment can take as long as one year to achieve noticeable results and maintenance treatment will likely be needed.
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Treatments From Your Gp
If these treatments don’t help, you GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for an assessment and to discuss whether surgery is a suitable option.
Problem #: Your Sleeping Conditions
Imagine your bedroom and answer the following questions:
- Are your pets sleeping with you at night?
- Do you drink caffeine before bed?
- Do you drink alcohol before bed?
- Hows the air in your room is it dry?
- Do you go to bed dehydrated?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have discovered a factor that is affecting your sinuses .
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Problem #: Lying Down Gravity And Blood Pressure
Many patients who come in asking, Why are my sinuses worse at night? are surprised to discover what a strong role gravity and blood pressure play in worsening sinus issues. While youre sitting up and standing during the day, your blood circulates throughout your body, with bloodpressure and the forces of gravity affecting how how easy it is for your blood to reach your head and sinuses. Additionally, while youre vertical, gravity also helps your sinuses drain naturally down your esophagus and into your stomach.
When you lie down, however, your body doesnt have to fight as hard to send blood to your head. Increased blood flow in the blood vessels of your sinuses can, in turn, cause sinus congestion, pressure, and pain. Furthermore, gravity is no longer helping your sinuses drain, which increases the likelihood of experiencing those same problems.
These nighttime sinus circumstances can affect people who exhibit little to no sinus symptoms during the day. If youre also dealing with sinusitis, GERD, or allergies, these circumstances can worsen already inflamed blood vessels and exacerbate other related issues.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Sinus Infection Cold Or Nasal Allergy
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold, allergies, and a sinus infection. The common cold typically builds, peaks, and slowly disappears. It lasts a few days to a week. A cold can transform into a sinus infection. Nasal allergy is inflammation of the nose due to irritating particles . Symptoms of a nasal allergy can include sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, congestion, runny nose, and post nasal drip . Sinusitis and allergy symptoms can happen at the same time as a common cold.
If you are fighting off a cold and develop symptoms of a sinus infection or nasal allergy, see your healthcare provider. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and medical history.
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Can You Have Chronic Sinusitis For Years
Sinusitis symptoms that last for more than 12 weeks could be chronic sinusitis. In addition to frequent head colds, your risk for chronic sinusitis also goes up if you have allergies. “Chronic sinusitis can be caused by an allergy, virus, fungus, or bacteria and can go on for months or even years,” says Dr. Flores.
Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
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Treating The Underlying Conditions
Its important to remember that your symptoms offer clues to the underlying conditions that need to be treated. You might be able to find temporary relief with nasal sprays or immediate treatment. But the only way to breathe comfortably through your nose in the future is by addressing the underlying condition.
For example, an experienced ENT can complete a thorough diagnostic exam to identify the issues blocking your breathing pathways. Then, a personalized treatment plan can be created to help you experience immediate and long-term relief.
One example is when nasal polyps or a deviated septum are causing congestion, leading to sinus infections. You might assume that you need another round of antibiotics to treat the condition.
Antibiotics can help to clear up the immediate symptoms. But its common for the infection to come back again since the nasal passages block healthy drainage from the sinuses. You also need to consider a surgical technique to correct the physical obstruction so you can prevent recurring infections again in the future.
Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and you’re very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
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Are Your Sinuses Causing Breathing Difficulty How To Breathe Better
Breathing difficulty is a worrisome sensation, which can lead you to feel as though normal breathing is a challenge or that you have to work harder to get adequate air supply. Breathing problems can result from many different factors and are not limited to the lungs and respiratory system. In some cases, breathing issues stem specifically from nasal and sinus-related problems.
In this blog, the at DFW Sinus Select will explain the relationship between the sinuses and breathing difficulty and address some ways that you can find relief.
Common Cold Allergies Or Sinusitis
Both allergies, sinusitis, and the common cold cause swelling in your sinus cavities that traps mucus. As mentioned, when you lay down at night, your mucus isnt able to drain properly and ends up blocking your airflow. You can try taking a hot shower before bed to loosen up your snot and propping yourself up while you sleep to support better drainage.
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Antibiotics For A Severe Sinus Infection
You may be surprised that antibiotics are not listed as the first step in treatment. While many patients with sinusitis expect antibiotics, they aren’t usually needed if good drainage is achieved.
Antibiotics have potential disadvantages. They can trigger allergic reactions or cause side effects. Widespread use of antibiotics has encouraged the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria . And many of these drugs are expensive.
Still, if your sinusitis does not improve with two to four days of drainage therapy, or if it’s very severe to begin with, it probably needs an antibiotic to help get rid of the trapped bacteria. Antibiotic therapy for just three to seven days is generally as effective as traditional 10- to 14-day treatment for uncomplicated acute sinusitis.
Many bacteria can cause acute sinusitis the most common include some with fearsome names like Pneumococcus, Streptococcus, Hemophilus, and Moraxella. Unless you have a sinus puncture , there’s really no way to know which bacteria are causing your sinusitis. Cultures of your mucus or your nose, even if they are obtained through a nasal speculum, are not helpful because they are always contaminated by the many bacteria that live in every nose.
Seeking Treatment For Sinusitis
Chronic and recurrent sinusitis can prevent you from being able to breathe out of your nose and have the energy, sleep, and health you need and deserve. This affects your personal and professional life. To put an end to this frustrating cycle, you need professional sinusitis treatment from an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.
Schedule an appointment with your ENT if you have had several sinus infections. If an infection is still present after 10 days, or if previous treatments have not been helpful, Capitol Breathe Free is your partner in combating these symptoms. Schedule your appointment today.
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Why Can’t I Breathe Well Through My Nose
Sinus and nasal complaints are common reasons for a visit to your primary care doctor, an allergist or an otolaryngologist . If you’re asking yourself, “what are the reasons why I can’t breathe through my nose,” two common culprits to consider are a nasal obstruction and chronic sinusitis.
Will I Need To Make Lifestyle Changes To Deal With Sinus Infections
If you have indoor allergies it is recommended that you avoid triggersanimal dander and dust mites, for exampleas well as take medications. Smoking is never recommended, but if you do smoke, strongly consider a program to help you quit. Smoke can also trigger allergies and prevent removal of mucous by the nose. No special diet is required, but drinking extra fluids helps to thin nasal secretions.
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Talk To Our Ent Specialists
Are you having problems breathing through your nose? Then its time to call us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat. Our team of ENTs is here to serve families in the Dallas and Collin County areas. Schedule an exam, and you will visit one of our specialists at a nearby office in Frisco or Plano, TX. Request an appointment using our online form, or call: 596-4005.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with the spring season? On the contrary, its a
We find our patients experiences the most rewarding part of the job. Without them, we wouldnt be one of the longest standing ENT practices in the area!
This was my first time visiting this office. These folks were super friendly!! Starting with the front desk to all the help in the back, the Dr. Littlejohn was very patient and listened to all my concerns. I dealt with 5 people total due to testing and they all were genuinely nice! Loved it, and not to mention quick service. Great customer service, Ill be sure to refer family and friends!
I have used Collin Co. ENT and Dr. Kenny Carter for over 3 years, primarily for ear problems. The staff has been consistently helpful and friendly to me. When I have had problems needing immediate attention and explained the need, have been able to get an appointment within a reasonable time to address the problem. I recommend Dr. Carter and his staff.
Stan B.Mehrdad M.
Cleaning Inside Your Nose
You can clean the inside of your nose using either a home-made salt water solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy.
To make the solution at home, mix a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of boiled water that has been left to cool. To rinse your nose:
- wash and dry your hands
- stand over a sink, cup the palm of one hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it
- sniff the water into one nostril at a time
Repeat these steps until your nose feels more comfortable . You should make a fresh solution each day. Don’t re-use a solution made the day before.
Special devices you can use instead of your hand are also available for pharmacies. If you choose to use one of these, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions about using and cleaning it.
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What Can I Do To Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics or any other medicines, be sure to follow the directions. Otherwise, sinusitis can last a long time or happen again. Even if you feel better, keep taking the antibiotics until you have finished them as prescribed. This helps to kill all the bacteria causing the infection.
Also be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids so that your immune system can work along with the antibiotics to fight and cure the infection.
If you have sinusitis, chances are the type you have is not severe. But it’s important to see a doctor, especially if your symptoms last or get worse. If you have a bacterial infection, quick treatment can help prevent it from getting worse or spreading. It also will help you get and feel better faster.
Sinus Pain With Cold: Treatment
Sinusitis usually clears up on its own in two to three weeks, but theres no harm in looking for some comfort during the infection. The key to relieving the symptoms of sinusitis without a cold are treatments that break down the congestion in the sinuses. This can be done in a couple of ways that use warmth to soothe the sinuses:
- Hold a warm, clean flannel over your face for a few minutes each time, several times a day.
- Lean over a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day .
Its likely youll be wiping mucus from your nose and mouth during the infection, so keep a box of soft Cushelle tissues nearby whilst your sinusitis relief starts working.
Place a box of Cushelle tissues on your bedside, as youre more likely to experience postnasal drip when youre lying down. Strong enough to deal with your heavy mucus, theyll also be gentle on your skin.
With these answers, you can now identify what youre suffering from and get some relief. If your symptoms get worse, are severe, or dont get better after a week, its advisable to contact a medical professional.
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