When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Can You Take Sinus Decongestants If You Have High Blood Pressure
Phenylephrine is not considered to be safe if you have high blood pressure. Sinus decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine may actually raise your blood pressure and counteract the blood pressure medication that youre on. If you have high blood pressure, you should speak with your doctor about which decongestant they recommend for you.
Ear Infection Or Sinus Infection Treating Your Symptoms Quickly
By raphael, January 2, 2019
Sometimes its hard to know whether you are experiencing an ear infection or a sinus infection because of the similarities in symptoms. Both diagnoses involve significant pressure or pain in the head/neck area and both infections may trigger a fever response in your body.
So, why is it important to know whether youre suffering from a sinus infection or an ear infection? Because the treatment option selected will only be effective if you have the right diagnosis.
Heres how to decide whether youre experiencing a sinus infection or an ear infection and how your ear, nose, and throat doctor can help along the way.
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When To See A Doctor
Itâs time to see a doctor if you have:
- A fever lasting longer than three to four days
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or migraine, or facial pain
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement
Itâs important to properly diagnose viral and bacterial sinusitis because antibiotics may be necessary for a bacterial infection, but they cannot treat a viral sinus infection. Only your doctor can differentiate between acute bacterial sinus infection and a viral sinus infection.
If you have heart, kidney, or liver disease, your healthcare provider may consider different treatment.
If you feel worse or your symptoms do not improve with the antibiotic treatment after seven days, you should call your doctor to reevaluate.
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Vicks Sinex Severe All
- The powerful, non-drowsy nasal decongestant medicine and pain reliever help to provide all in one relief for your sinus symptoms!
- This product is not formulated with an antihistimine allergy medicine and is not intended to treat runny nose, itchy & watery eyes, or sneezing
- HSA and FSA eligible, Check with your provider for more details
- Experience fast, powerful relief from nasal congestion, sinus pressure, sinus headache, and sinus pain!
- Best suited to treat sinus symptoms caused by the common cold, hay fever, or other upper respiratory allergies because it reduces pressure in the sinuses and relieves sinus pain!
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Relief For Sinus Pain
For effective relief, choose your sinus headache relief based on what you need. You can find combination packs of both day time and night time relief to help you get better rest and feel good throughout the day. If you dont have any trouble sleeping, choose a day time sinus relief product. There are formulas for severe colds and coughs as well as different flavors of liquid medicines to choose from.
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Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
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How Can You Tell If You Have An Acute Sinus Infection
Its tempting to label every nasal issue as a sinus infection, but thats not always the case. Common symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
- Headaches and sometimes, toothaches
Many people believe that green snot means you have a bacterial sinus infection, curable only with antibiotics. Not true. Sage-colored mucus is common with viral infections and allergies and can happen when snot sits in your face for a while before being expelled.
A trip to your doctor may be necessary if you have a bacterial infection, but it can often be difficult to distinguish between that and a viral infection. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or improve before worsening again, call your HCP.
If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, its a sign to seek medical attention immediately, even if theyve been present for fewer than seven days:
- Abrupt vision changes
- Continual high fever
Why Do I Have A Headache That Wont Go Away
First things first: If your headache wont go away, you need to figure out if its a sinus headache that wont go away or something else. Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure in sinus cavities that have become inflamed and are blocking regular mucus drainage.
Sinus headaches are often accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Feeling of pressure and/or throbbing around your sinuses
- Increased pain upon bending over
- Toothache in your upper teeth
Many of these symptoms, including congestion and increased pain upon bending over, can also be found in patients struggling with migraines. However, migraines are unlikely to last more than a few hours, whereas untreated sinus headaches can last for days at a time.
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Irrigate To Relieve Sinus Pressure
Salt 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, 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.
When Should I Use A Nasal Decongestant
If you have mild congestion caused by cold, flu, or seasonal allergies, you may want to consider an OTC nasal decongestant. This can help clear up your nasal passages and help you breathe more easily.
You dont have to take a decongestant as part of your at-home treatment regimen. Once your infection clears away or your allergies arent triggered, the congestion will clear up on its own.
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Using The Right Water During Saline Rinses
When using saline nasal rinses, tap water should always be boiled and then allowed to cool to ensure cleanliness distilled water or premixed solutions could also be used instead of regular tap water.
Other home remedies for sinus infections include:
- Drinking fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen and thin mucus. Avoid beverages that are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate the body, which could thicken mucus.
- Breathing steam: Warm water is best . You can breathe in steam from either a bowl or shower.
- Humidifying the air: Use a cool air vaporizer or humidifier,particularly at night while sleeping.
- Avoiding environmental substances: Avoid tobacco smoke and chlorinated water that can dry up the mucus membranes and exacerbate symptoms.
- Implementing treatment measures: At the first sign of infection, use antihistamines and employ regular nasal rinses.
What To Look For When Buying Otc Sinus Decongestants
When youre figuring out which decongestant to buy, youll need to determine whats causing your congestion.
If its allergies, youll probably want a product that contains an antihistamine ingredient like diphenhydramine. Antihistamines target your bodys immune response to allergens like pollen. Antihistamines usually make the person taking them a bit drowsy, so keep in mind taking them at any time other than bedtime may have you needing a nap.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may be looking for a product that includes phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. These ingredients work by shrinking your blood vessels, which can help you breathe more easily and reduce the symptoms of a sinus headache or a stuffy nose.
However, both of these ingredients can cause you to feel restless and can make it difficult to fall asleep. These types of drugs can also make you nauseous. Generally, phenylephrine may have fewer serious side effects than pseudoephedrine. You should always consult a doctor before taking these meds if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some OTC sinus decongestant formulas include both antihistamines and decongestant ingredients, and some add pain relief ingredients such as ibuprofen to their formula. Its best to treat for symptoms that you have, not for additional symptoms that you dont have.
Treating your congestion with OTC products doesnt always provide relief. You should seek professional medical care if you experience any of the following:
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How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed
Symptoms of sinusitis mimic a cold in the early stages and diagnosis can be difficult. However, sinusitis tends to persist long after cold symptoms have resolved and symptoms can last for three weeks or more. Sinus infections are also more likely to cause symptoms such as facial or tooth pain, green nasal discharge, and fever.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and any history of illness leading up to this episode of sinusitis. The doctor will also perform a simple office examination and look into your ears, nose and throat, and take your temperature.
Other examinations or procedures may be undertaken to rule out other conditions or if the diagnosis is uncertain.
When Do We Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but your doctor can decide if you need an antibiotic. You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:
Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics arent needed, they wont help you, and their side effects could still cause harm. Side effects can range from minor issues, like a rash, to very serious health problems, such as antibiotic-resistant infections and C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death.
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Other Options To Try Before Taking Sinus Infection Medications
Besides inhaling steam to relieve pressure in your sinuses:
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Avoid irritants to your sinuses
- Nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation, another treatment for sinus infections, means flushing out mucus and debris from the nose by pushing fluids through the nostrils. Some patients find this method uncomfortable, but overall more effective than simple steam.
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.
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What Does A Sinus Headache Feel Like
Sinus headaches are headaches that may feel like an infection in the sinuses . You may feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. Perhaps your head throbs. However, many people who assume they have headaches from sinusitis, including many who have received such a diagnosis, actually have migraines.
How Long Will It Take To Feel Better
Sinus infections are usually caused by viruses and typically will get better over five to seven days, Dr. McCormick says. If the symptoms persist for longer or the symptoms get better but quickly return, patients should see a doctor to determine if they need antibiotics or if there is another cause for their symptoms, he adds.
While these medications will help you feel better, they wont necessarily wipe out your symptoms completely. And, because sinus infections are usually caused by a virus, you just kind of have to ride it out. Dr. McCormick also recommends doing saline irrigations with a nasal spray or neti pot to help you feel more comfortable while you wait.
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When Antibiotics Are Needed
Historically, sinus infections, also called sinusitis, were often treated with antibiotics. But today, many allergists warn against the random use of antibiotics for a sinus infection.
Antibiotics can help eliminate bacterial sinus infections. But when a sinus infection is caused by allergies, a virus, or other causes such as a structural defect of the sinuses, an antibiotic will not help to alleviate symptoms.
The overuse of antibiotics is when they are prescribed for reasons other than when they are needed. Because of the common overprescribing of antibiotics for the type of sinus infections that do not warrant such treatment, many people have developed whats commonly referred to as antibiotic resistance.
Sinus Fungal Infection Symptoms
Sinus Fungal Infection Symptoms. You can usually tell if your sinusitis is due to fungus by the amount of thick mucus or phlegm. You may also have toenail fungus or some rash on your body. Fungal Sinus Infections are by far the worse, and hardest to get rid of. You can get rid of acute sinus infections quite easily by just taking the simple sinus remedies below. For a fungal infection of your sinuses, you need to do a yeast infection or fungal cleanse body-wide.
You can get symptomatic relief using the homeopathic sinus infection treatment shown here but you also need to treat the immune system imbalance that lead to having overproduction of yeast or fungus in your body. Yeast and Fungal infections do take a little time to heal completely because it is in your liver, and other organs like your skin and mucus membranes I highly recommend colloidal silver while you use the homeopathic treatment for sinusitis.
Clearing out excess phlegm and mucus are key to getting rid of sinusitis and sinus headaches! When you get it out and go through your normal daily eliminations, it will usually have a strong yeast smell if you have a yeast or fungal infection. If you are clearing your throat because of excess mucus, a fungal infection can be the cause of your sinus infection. See: How to Get Rid of Phlegm in Your Throat to get rid of fungal and yeast infections that cause chronic sinusitis!
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Is A Sinus Infection Contagious
How Will I Know if I Have a Sinus Infection?
The majority of doctors think that most people do not transmit sinus infections except in rare instances, and conclude that sinus infections are not contagious.
Sinus infections usually begin with the symptoms of a cold , and then develop into pain and pressure in the sinus cavities. About 7 to 10 days after initial cold-like symptoms other symptoms develop that suggest you may have a sinus infection. Sinus infection symptoms include
- a yellowish-greenish nasal discharge that may have an odor,
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
When you have a sinus infection, you often have to go through your day in pain and in a fog. Sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses, is incredibly common, but many people suffer through it rather than get it treated. At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, McMinnville, or Beaver, OR, we use a variety of sinus management treatments to reduce the inflammation and immune response that are likely behind your sinus problems. Check out on how to get rid of sinusitis.
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