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.
Ok But What Can I Do If My Sinus Headache Wont Go Away
The best treatment for bacterial sinus infections and headaches caused by bacterial sinusitis is a full round of antibiotics. However, there are several steps you can take at home to ease the discomfort of a sinus headache that wont go away. These remedies include:
- OTC pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- OTC antihistamines, decongestants, or saline sprays
- Taking a hot bath or shower
- Using a humidifier
If you have chronic sinus infections, though, there are treatments that can provide a more long-term solution. Of these options, balloon sinuplasty is currently the most minimally-invasive treatment available.
Balloon sinuplasty is an in-office procedure that can provide lasting sinus relief in under twenty minutes. During the procedure, your ENT inflates a small balloon inside your sinus cavities, expanding them enough to restore proper drainage. Unlike other sinus surgeries, balloon sinuplasty does not involve the cutting of any bone or tissue, reducing both recovery time and complications. The procedure has an extremely high success rate .
How To Solve A Sinus Infection That Wont Go Away
Sinus infection is a common problem that can affect any age group. It represents the fifth most common condition that requires an antibiotic prescription.
Sinuses are four paired air-filled spaces in your skull and face bones surrounding your nose. Their main function is to produce mucus that forms a layer inside the sinuses to humidify inhaled air and keep the interior of your nose moisturized. This mucus layer can trap dust particles, other pollutants, or bad germs and brush them out through your nose. Each sinus drains into your nose through small openings to keep these passages clear of excess mucus and the trapped particles.
However, sometimes, such as when the weather changes and you catch a cold, it can turn into a sinus infection. This causes inflammation of your sinuses, known as sinusitis. Usually, sinusitis should go away in a few days or a week. But sometimes that sinus infection can stick around for a long time.
Is It Possible To Have A Sinus Infection For Months
With chronic sinusitis, the tissues inside your sinuses become inflamed and blocked for a long period of time due to swelling and mucus buildup. Acute sinusitis only happens for a short time , but chronic sinusitis can last for months. Sinusitis is considered chronic after at least 12 weeks of symptoms.
Do You Need To Talk To An Ent
As you can see, untreated sinus infections arent something that you should ignore. If you suffer from chronic sinus issues, then it might be time to talk to an ear, nose, and throat specialist about your condition.
Here are a few signs that you should book an appointment with an ENT for a sinus infection:
- Symptoms continue for more than 10 days
- Recurring infections throughout the year
- Discolored, thick nasal discharge
- Pressure and pain that is interrupting your daily life
- At-home or over-the-counter treatments dont provide relief
- Pain and discomfort are increasing with time
A general practitioner can help with occasional sinus infections, but they will refer you to see an ENT for recurring, chronic conditions. Primary care doctors are limited to prescription medications for treatments. On the other hand, an ENT can address sinus infections with a range of other treatments.
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When To Use Antibiotics For Sinusitis
Though most cases of viral and bacterial sinusitis clear up quickly on their own, some dont. Some last longer than a week with no signs of getting better. They can cause a fever that lasts for a few days, severe facial pain or forehead headaches, or symptoms that get worse after they seem to improve.
In those cases, dont wait for the infection to heal on its own. Seek medical attention. If your primary care provider suspects a bacterial sinus infection, you will likely receive an antibiotic prescription. Remember to avoid antibiotics in the early days of an infection. Excessive antibiotic use can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics in the future. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology recommends you only take antibiotics if symptoms last longer than a week. In the meantime, allow your immune system to do its job.
Are Sinus Headaches Affecting You
Are you suffering from constant sinus headaches that just wont go away no matter what you do? We can help. At Houston Sinus & Allergy, we see a variety of nasal and sinus issues that result in sinus headaches, as well as other stressful or painful situations, and we know how to provide long term relief. If your sinus headaches are preventing you from leading a normal life, book an assessment with us, and let us help you find the relief you need.
If Your Sinus Headache Wont Go Away Call Kaplan Sinus Relief
Dr. Michael Kaplan of Kaplan Sinus Relief is a leading practitioner of the balloon sinuplasty treatment, and he often trains other doctors on the technique. Patients who visit Kaplan Sinus Relief also have the option to add IV Sedation and/or TGS image-guided navigation to their surgery, which are services that help keep patients relaxed during the surgery and improve accuracy and safety, respectively.
You dont have to put up with a sinus headache that wont go away. Kaplan Sinus Relief can help you find relief from sinus headaches, congestion, and more. Call 713-766-1818 or request an appointment online today.
When A Sinus Infection May Be Dangerous
A sinus infection occurs when the tissue lining in your sinus cavity becomes swollen or inflamed. When your sinuses are blocked, they become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses that can lead to an infection. Thats why its best to visit your doctor at the first signs of a sinus infection. Otherwise, it could lead to a chronic condition. Heres how to know if your sinus infection has developed into something more dangerous:
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When A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated
A sinus infection can drag on for weeks or months if you dont talk to a doctor. Sometimes, the infection will clear up on its own. But if the symptoms linger, then you could be facing rare complications from the ongoing infection:
- Eyes: The infection can spread to other parts of the face and affect the eyes. You might notice swelling, redness, and vision disruptions. Severe cases could result in blindness.
- Brain: Its rare, but there are times when the infection spreads to the brain. This problem can cause meningitis or a brain abscess, which can both be life-threatening conditions.
- Treatments: Early sinus infection treatment might include a prescription or minimally-invasive services. If the infection spreads, then it might be necessary for you to have a CT scan and receive IV antibiotics.
- Recurring: Some people notice that the symptoms get better, then quickly return with a vengeance. Chronic sinus issues can result in a need for surgery if not improving with medication.
Most sinus infections dont result in serious complications. But the possibility of an eye or brain infection should be enough to motivate someone to talk to a doctor about the infection.
What Are The Treatment Options
Sinusitis is treated differently based on the cause. Most cases of acute sinusitis, about 98 percent, are caused by a virus, not bacteria, and should not be treated with antibiotics. Acute viral sinusitis may be treated using pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, steroid nasal sprays, or salt water irrigation in the nose. These treatments are also good options for acute bacterial sinusitis. Most people get better naturally from acute bacterial sinusitis, called watchful waiting, but some patients with acute bacterial sinusitis may get better faster with an antibiotic.
Chronic sinusitis is treated differently than acute sinusitis. Because chronic sinusitis is caused more by inflammation than infection, the treatments for chronic sinusitis aim to control the inflammation. Salt water nasal irrigation and/or nasal steroid sprays are the main treatments for the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Antibiotics may sometimes be helpful but not always.
Other factors, including allergies, nasal polyps, asthma, and problems with the bodys ability to fight infections, can go along with sinusitis and make it worse unless they are also treated.
X-rays or CT scans of the sinuses are not necessary to diagnose uncomplicated sinusitis if you have the symptoms of sinusitis . If your doctor suspects a complication or if you have repeated episodes or prolonged sinus symptoms, a CT scan of your sinuses may be needed.
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Your Sinusitis Wont Go Away Heres What You Need To Know
Sinusitis also known as a sinus infection is, for the most part, a bacterial infection caused by inflammation of the sinuses. Chronic and recurring long-lasting sinusitis can render you incapacitated and quickly eat up your sick days.
But when your sinusitis wont go away, what options do you have? This guide walks you through how to identify a sinus infection, what happens if you ignore it, how to treat your chronic sinusitis, and more.
A Less Invasive Intervention For Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis that occurs regularly and sticks around for three months or longer is called chronic sinusitis. While surgical repair of the sinuses may be necessary, it often isnt. Thats why the University of Maryland Medical System offers balloon sinuplasty in addition to sinus surgery.
During this procedure, the otolaryngologist inserts a thin flexible tube called a catheter into the nostril and leads it to the affected sinus. A tiny balloon is then expanded in the sinus through the catheter. This immediately opens blocked sinuses and grants relief from sinus infection.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
You have acute sinusitis when you have had cloudy or colored drainage from your nose for up to four weeks, plus one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stuffy, congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure, or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes
- Long-lasting cold symptoms
- Symptoms that do not improve within 10 days of getting sick, or initially get better then worsen again
You might have chronic sinusitis if you have at least two of the four symptoms note below for at least 12 weeks. An ENT specialist would also need to see polyps, pus, or thickened mucous in nose, or get a CT scan, to fully diagnose chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms include:
- Stuff congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes
- Thickened nasal drainage
Medications And Specialist Treatment
Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve the pain of a headache or pressure from swelling. These include ibuprofen or acetaminophen . Nasal sprays with corticosteroids also help with inflammation. OTC sprays include fluticasone and mometasone . Nasal sprays can also help make nasal polyps get smaller. This will help you breathe better if theyâre blocking your nasal passages.
If your sinusitis is caused by an infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection and relieve some of your symptoms. Chronic sinusitis isnât often caused by an infection, but serious infections that result in sinusitis may require antibiotic treatment to prevent complications.
If your chronic sinusitis is caused by allergies, your doctor may refer you to an allergist. An allergist can conduct tests to figure out what youâre allergic to. They can then give you regular allergy shots to gradually allow your body to become immune to those allergens. Allergy shots may not take effect until several years after beginning the treatment, but they can help relieve allergy symptoms drastically in the long term.
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When Antibiotics Are In Order
The main reason to prescribe antibiotics is for patient comfort, Dr. Sindwani says. The medical field used to be more convinced than it is today than untreated sinusitis would inevitably become a chronic issue, he says.
We dont think that way as much, he says. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.
Some people think thats two separate things, with chronic sinusitis more likely due to underlying issues like allergies or immune problems.
Are Sinus Infections Contagious
A sinus infection caused by a virus is contagious. When you sneeze or cough, the virus can travel in droplets of moisture through the air. If another person breathes in the virus, they might develop a cold that turns into a sinus infection. In order to limit the spread of sinus infections, remember to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. And wash your hands frequently to avoid leaving the virus on objects that you touch.
If your sinus infection is caused by a bacteria or fungus, its not contagious. But you should still wash your hands frequently and cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
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What Causes Sinus Pressure And Headaches
Bacteria or viral infectionSinus pressure and headaches are often caused by inflammation from a bacterial or viral infection. The lining of your sinuses begin to swell, which traps mucus and pus in your sinus cavities causing pressure in the face, over the cheeks or forehead, or between or behind the eyes.
For people with sinus problems or allergies, a shift in weatherespecially from summer to fallcan cause sinus headaches. Sinus pressure from weather is more prevalent in Houston and other coastal cities where high pressure and low pressure systems meet.
Stress-induced sinus pressure can also occur because stress weakens your bodys immune system, making you more vulnerable to the effects of allergens, as well as germs, bacteria, viruses, infections.
Injury or genetics
A deviated septum or narrow sinuses dont cause sinus pressure but can make it easier to get congested and more likely to have chronic sinus infections.
What Is A Sinus Infection
Have you ever had a stuffy nose that just wont seem to go away? Maybe it starts with a cold, but the sinus pressure and congestion persist even after other cold symptoms have gone away. Maybe it comes along with seasonal allergies and wont let up. It can be very frustrating to live with, not to mention the cost of tissues! The most likely culprit for this annoying pressure and congestion is sinusitis, or sinus infection, which causes the lining of the sinuses to become inflamed or infected. Sinusitis affects more than 35 million Americans each year, but the duration and severity of the symptoms can vary quite a bit, depending on the cause and possible complications. A sinus infection will often clear up on its own like the common cold, but sometimes it sticks around like an unwelcome guest refusing to take a hint.
Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.
The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Do I Have An Infected Sinus What Are The Symptoms
Every person who suffers from sinus infections experiences a unique and painful blend of symptoms. If what youâre going through is sinusitis, youâre likely experiencing a combination of the following:
- The inability to breathe out of your nose
- Nasal congestion
- Coughing, which may get worse at night
- Throat soreness
- Mouth-breathing and bad breath
Symptoms are only one complication of having sinusitis. There are additional consequences, which include missing work, scheduling regular doctor visits, taking rounds of antibiotics and prescribed medications, and significant healthcare costs.
If thick mucus is seeping out of your nose, your nose is plugged, or you are experiencing pain in your cheeks or forehead, sinusitis may be the cause. Talking with your Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor is your best next step to take.
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How Do I Know If Ive Ruptured An Eardrum
A variety of things can cause your eardrum to rupture, including ear infections, foreign objects, and stress from pressure differences between the middle ear and the outside environment.
You should always be sure to contact your doctor if youre experiencing any of the symptoms of a ruptured eardrum. Some symptoms to look out for include:
- ear pain that comes on and then quickly goes away