Get Ahead Of Cold Symptoms
Though theres no promise youll escape cold and flu season without a runny nose or sore throat, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of staying healthy.
- Wash your hands frequently to help prevent coming into contact with or spreading harmful germs.
- Disinfect your environment and frequently clean commonly touched surfaces such as sink handles, doorknobs and handrails.
- Avoid sharing personal items, especially those that come in contact with your eyes, nose or mouth like utensils, washcloths or cups.
- Do not come in close contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections.
Overall, pursue a healthy lifestyle to boost immunity by eating nutritious food, sleeping eight hours, drinking water, exercising and managing stress.
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- Sinus pain lasts more than 24 hours, after using nasal washes
- Thick yellow or green pus draining from nose and not improved by nasal washes. Exception: yellow or green tinged secretions are normal.
- Sinus congestion and fullness lasts more than 14 days
- Nasal discharge lasts more than 2 weeks
- You have other questions or concerns
Sinus Headache: Signs Symptoms And Treatment Options
Around 70% to 80% of the population in the United States experience headaches, with 50% experiencing a minimum of one headache each month, 15% a minimum of one a week and 5% every day. The occurrence of headaches increases dramatically when you’re in your 20s. After that it levels off until you reach between the age of 40 through 50 years old, after which it reduces.
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How To Tell The Difference Between Sinus Congestion And Head Congestion
The main difference between sinus congestion and head congestion is the duration of symptoms. Sinus congestion may cause a sinus infection, which comes with symptoms lasting up to four weeks. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a sinus infection. Head congestion as part of a cold is usually gone in seven to 10 days.
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.
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What Causes Sinus Pain And Pressure
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces connected to your nasal passages that help humidify air as you breathe in and produce mucus that helps trap bacteria and foreign particles. When nasal passages and their tissues become irritated, mucus can build up instead of draining normally. This build-up causes swelling and often causes pain and pressure in your sinuses. Swollen and inflamed tissues can also cause pressure on nerve endings around your sinuses. This leads to dull or throbbing pain and aches.
Several factors can cause nasal passage irritation and bring on sinus pressure symptoms.
- Environmental irritants Airborne pollutants such as those that cause allergies can trigger mucus build up and sinus pressure.
- A sinus infection Sinusitis, more commonly known as a sinus infection, could be a cause of your sinus pressure and pain. If you think you may have a sinus infection, talk to your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
- The common cold Not every cold is the same but sometimes symptoms include mucus build up, which can mean sinus pressure and pain.
Can A Sinus Infection Hurt Your Jaw
If you have a sinus infection, you may experience pain in your sinuses. Your sinuses are swollen and inflamed, which causes a dull pressure in them. Pain may be felt in your forehead, on either side of your nose, in your upper jaw, or between your eyes. If you experience headaches as a result, you should seek medical attention.
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Can You Have Sinus Pressure But No Congestion
Can you have sinus pressure but no congestion? And if you can, does this mean you have a sinus infection that requires special treatment? If not, exactly what can mimic a sinus infection?
Unfortunately, the answers to this slippery slope of questions arent always so cut and dry. In particular, with a headache like this, theres a chance that its not a sinus headache, but a migraine. The treatment and causes of a migraine and sinus pressure are very different, but the symptoms can overlap significantly. These overlapping symptoms can lead to confusion and leave people at a loss for which types of treatment to pursue.
If youre feeling sinus pressure without the typical influx of mucus, heres what you need to know.
Chemical And Environmental Irritants
Many chemicals and products for cleaning, home repair, and more can irritate your nasal passages and sinuses. This can cause you to have dry sinuses, sore throat, dry nose, nosebleeds, or other symptoms similar to allergies. Some chemicals and products that can irritate your sinuses include:
- household cleaning products
- industrial irritants
- paint or varnish fumes
There are many ways you can treat dry sinuses at home to alleviate discomfort caused by seasonal allergies, irritation from chemicals, or drying from medications or dry air. To get relief, you can:
- place a humidifier in your bedroom at night to keep the air from getting too dry
- stop taking drying medications, such as antihistamines
- drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- get some fresh air if the air in your house is stale or stagnant
- remove as many allergens and irritants from your environment as possible
- irrigate your sinuses with sterile saline using a neti pot or similar product
- use nasal spray to hydrate and lubricate your nasal passages and sinuses
- take a hot shower and inhale the steam
In some cases, your doctor might need to recommend treatment for your dry sinuses. Make an appointment with your doctor if you:
- have an autoimmune disorder like Sjögren syndrome
- are taking prescription medication that causes dry sinuses
- think you might have a sinus infection
Your doctor may:
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How Long Do Sinus Headaches Last
Viruses cause most sinus infections. A viral sinus infection typically resolves on its own. Similar to how the common cold clears up by itself, your sinus headache should feel better within about a week. If it doesnt go away, see your healthcare provider. You may have a bacterial or fungal sinus infection that requires medication.
Where Are The Sinuses
The sinuses are hollow spaces or cavities in the bones around the nose. Your sinuses make mucus or fluid. The mucus drains into your nasal cavity and down the back of your throat. This keeps your nose moist and gets rid of dust, allergens, and germs.
There are four pairs of sinuses connected to your nose:
- in the cheekbones on each side of your nose
- above your eyes near the forehead
- between the eyes and the bridge of your nose
- behind your eyes
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Irrigate To Relieve Sinus Pressure
âSalt water irrigation is the best way to cleanse the nose and sinuses this can help prevent or relieve sinus pain. You can use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray, but I recommend using a sinus rinse bottle, neti pot, or bulb syringe irrigation kit that you can get at the drugstore,â advises Das.
Try this commonly-used, easy-to-make nasal irrigation solution with your own sinus irrigation kit: Fill a clean 8-ounce glass with distilled or sterilized lukewarm water. Do not use tap water unless it has been boiled for at least 1 minute . Add 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda. And be sure to clean all equipment and make a fresh batch of solution each time you use your kit.
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What Causes Pressure In Your Sinuses
Sinus pressure is caused by the swelling and inflammation of the membranes inside your sinus passages. This irritation causes the membranes to produce more mucus to try to flush out whatever is causing the inflammation. The excess mucus then adds to the pressure inside the sinus cavities.
Some trigger of sinus pressure include:
- Infection caused by a virus such as the cold or flu
- Infection caused by bacteria
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As you feel the pressure beginning to build do the following:
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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. Dont 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 manufacturers instructions about using and cleaning it.
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Can Teeth Problems Cause Sinus Infection
Sometimes, a tooth infection can lead to a sinus infection, called odontogenic sinusitis. Odontogenic sinusitis can be caused by trauma, infection, decay, or abscess in the maxillary teeth, with infection spreading from the teeth to the maxillary sinuses. This can happen when the roots of the teeth are very close to, or even protruding into the maxillary sinus. This proximity would generally not be an issue unless the tooth becomes infected.
Sometimes recurring sinus infections can even be a sign of tooth decay. When tooth decay causes a sinus infection, its called Maxillary Sinusitis of Endodontic Origin . In some cases of MSEO, the patient may not feel sensitivity or discomfort in the teeth, so it can be difficult to diagnose.
If problems of the teeth are causing sinus infection, simply treating the symptoms of sinus infection wont resolve the issue. If the source of the infection is with the tooth, you will have to have a dentist or endodontist provide treatment. If the sinus infections persist after managing dental issues, its a good idea to consult an ENT.
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Warm Or Cool Moist Air
Dry air can make sinus pain worse, but moist air can help relieve sinus congestion. Do NOT hold your head over a steaming pot of boiling water or soup. As tempting as it may be when you feel bad, the hot steam can actually burn your skin and eyes. To be safe, inhale steam from your morning shower, either while youre showering or sitting in a steamy bathroom.
At night, you can use a humidifier or vaporizer to help keep your sinuses open and your nasal passages moist. Just be sure to clean the machines as directed so you dont introduce more bacteria into the air and into your airways.
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The Best Medicine For Fever Sore Throat And/or Aches And Pains:
Acetaminophen, best known by the brand name Tylenol, is primarily used as a fever reducer, although research in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews suggests it may also relieve cold-related aches and pains. Acetaminophen is safe for most people if taken as directed. It is found in many combination remedies, such as Tylenol Cold + Flu Severe Caplets and Vicks Dayquil Cold & Flu Relief Liquicaps.
Because overdoing acetaminophen can cause serious harm to the liver, avoid using more than one product that contains it at a time to avoid exceeding the FDA-suggested daily dose of 3,000 milligrams for adults per 24-hour period.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which include aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen , reduce fever as well as inflammation throughout the body. Other research in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews found that NSAIDs can greatly lessen discomfort due to headache, ear pain, muscle pain, joint pain, and sneezing.
Note: Some cold and flu remedies such as Excedrin contain both acetaminophen and an NSAID.
If youre still having a hard time navigating the cold medication aisle, talk to the pharmacist. With a little customized guidance about ingredients, you may be able to enjoy better symptom relief.
Additional reporting by Nuna Alberts.
What Does Sinus Pressure Feel Like
Pain or pressure is felt not just in your head, but anywhere in the sinus area. Where you feel pain depends on which sinuses are affected.
While pressure is most common behind and around the eyes, nose, and cheeks, it can extend forward to the teeth and backward to the back of the head. These areas will often be sensitive to touch.
Sometimes sinus headache can also give you a feeling of fatigue or aching in your top jaw. Redness and swelling of the cheeks, nose, or forehead can occur.
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What Prescription Medications Treat A Sinus Headache Pain And Pressure
Headaches from allergies can be relieved with a prescription for nasal steroids sprays unless there is a contraindication. This may be helpful along with nasal saline rinses to decrease inflammation within the nasal passages and treat or prevent sinusitis.
If a bacterial infection is suspected, the health-care professional may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and at the same time make suggestions to treat the underlying inflammation. To establish the diagnosis of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis and the need for antibiotics, your doctor should confirm that symptoms of acute rhinosinusitis have been present for 10 days or are worsening. Symptoms should include pus-like nasal drainage, nasal obstruction, facial pain, or pressure. If the inflammation does not resolve before the antibiotic course is complete, the bacterial infection may recur.
What Causes A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can be caused by several different things including:
Seasonal allergies A deviated septum: The septum is the part of the nose that divides it into right and left nostrils. Some people have crooked or deviated septums, which makes them more susceptible to sinus infections. Nasal polyps Respiratory tract infections
Sinus infections may be acute or chronic .
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What Causes Sinus Headaches
Sinus infections cause sinus headaches. Anything that makes mucus buildup in the sinuses can lead to a sinus infection, such as:
- The common cold is most often to blame.
- Seasonal allergies trigger mucus production.
- Nasal polyps, abnormal growths in the nose or sinuses. Nasal polyps can block mucus from draining.
- Deviated septum, which is when the line of cartilage and bone down the center of the nose isnt straight. A deviated septum can prevent mucus from properly draining.
Too much mucus gives germs an opportunity to grow. As germs build up, they irritate the sinuses. In response, sinus tissue swells, blocking the passage of mucus. Swollen, irritated sinuses filled with liquid make your face feel tender and achy.
Whats The Harm In Using Antibiotics For Sinusitis
Large studies that involve taking a culture from the sinuses show that clinicians nationwide are prescribing antibiotics too often for non-bacterial sinusitis. The bacteria that commonly infect the sinuses are becoming resistant to the antibiotics we used to use.
Antibiotic resistance is a serious problem worldwide because if we continue to use antibiotics when they are not necessary, they wont work when they are needed for life-threatening conditions.
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