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.
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.
Natural Home Remedies For Sinusitis
Sinusitis is a condition that impacts the daily lives of 1 in 10 of our family, friends, and neighbors in Scottsdale and surrounding areas. If you are one of the thousands in our community that are trying to find out how to cure sinus infections permanently, then you understand how the symptoms of sinusitis make daily life difficult. Dizziness is one of the most common sinus infection symptoms and a sinus headache follows as a close second. Sinus sufferers also struggle with symptoms such as:
- Sleep disruption
- Nasal congestion or post-nasal drip
- Breathing problems
- Coughing, sneezing, runny nose
These symptoms result in countless hours of missed work/school, a loss of productivity, and impaired ability to fully enjoy all that life has to offer.
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Inhale Diffused Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has a strong odor that often helps patients find instant relief from sinusitis. Research has found that cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, helps people recover from sinus infections more quickly than those who dont use eucalyptus oil. You can inhale eucalyptus oil through a diffuser, or rub some on your temples and chest to open your breathing passages. You can even use food-grade eucalyptus oil and place a drop on the roof of your mouth.
Will A Sinus Infection Go Away On Its Own
Often, a sinus infection will peter out after about 10 days. Home remedies can be enough to get you over the hump. However, some cases are more serious, lasting 12 weeks or more. A chronic sinus infection could mean there is an underlying bacterial infection that needs professional medical attention. Some infections will be accompanied by a fever. A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or greater and is the bodys way of fighting off infection. Fevers above 102 degrees warrant a call to your doctor or a visit to a walk-in urgent care.
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H2o: A Natural Solvent
One of the most powerful solvents on earth is nothing more than pure water. Water is used in many applications as a thinner, cleaner, and diluter. When it comes to a sinus infection, water can be used in much the same way to thin mucus, clean the sinuses, and dilute a blockage. Natural sinus treatments may involve the use of liquid, mist, or vaporized water.
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Ginger Tea With Garlic
Ginger tea with garlic contains antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, due to the presence of substances like alicin and phenolic compounds, shogaol and zingerone . These substances help to treat symptoms of sinusitis like plugged nose, runny nose, sore throat and general malaise.
This tea also helps to strengthen the immune system and decreases the duration of the sinus infection.
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced in half
- 1 cm of ginger root, or about 1/2 a teaspoon of powdered ginger
- 3 cups of water
- Honey to sweeten
How to prepare
Boil the water with the garlic. Removed from the heat, and add the ginger and honey. Strain the infusion and drink.
Ginger should not be consumed by people who take anticoagulants, and therefore should be avoided in the tea in these cases. During pregnancy, you should not exceed 1 g of ginger per day, for up to 4 days.
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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.
Sinus Infection Home Remedies Recommended By A Doctor
Philip Scolaro, MD
You probably dont give too much thought to your ability to breathe through your nose until you wake up with a sinus infection and that ability is gone!
Sinus infections, sometimes called acute sinusitis, can steal your joy pretty quickly.
A lot of viruses start with nasal symptoms. If you have a scratchy throat, congestion, and a runny nose, youve probably got a virus on your hands.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
The sinuses, or sinus cavities, are hollow spaces that air flows through within the bones surrounding the nose. A sinus infection or sinusitis occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed. Normally, your sinuses are filled with air. When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.
How long do sinus infections last? Well, that depends on what type of sinus infection you have. Acute sinusitis can last over two weeks even with appropriate treatment. If your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 to 14 days, then youre more likely to have bacterial sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis lasts much longer at least 12 weeks! Chronic sinusitis with polyps is an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts 12 weeks or longer and is associated with having nasal polyps. Other forms of chronic sinusitis are associated with allergies or a deviated septum and also last 12 weeks or longer.
How can you tell what type of sinus infection you have? Your doctor wont be able to tell you if your sinus infection is bacterial or viral based on symptoms or an exam alone. The best way to tell the root of a sinus infection is symptom duration. If its a viral sinus infection, it should start to improve after five to seven days. On the other hand, a bacterial infection often lasts seven to 10 days or even longer and the infection can get worse after seven days.
How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:
- Discolored nasal discharge
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.
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How To Tell If These Remedies Are Not Working
You will know if these remedies are effective because you will begin to feel better and your sinuses will be less congested.
However, unlike with antibiotics where symptoms start to diminish quickly, natural remedies typically take longer to work. So you should continue to do these remedies regularly for at least a week or two before determining if they are working.
Should You Have Sinus Surgery
Chronic sinus problems can be linked to problems with your nasal passages, such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum. If there is a specific structural issue that is causing your chronic sinusitis or sinus headaches then an ENT specialist may be able to correct it surgically. In order to find out if sinus surgery is a good idea, youll need to be assessed by an ENT specialist. The doctor will check that surgery is possible and then discuss the risks and benefits with you in detail. Having the procedure could permanently improve your breathing and prevent sinus problems.
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Identifying Bacterial Sinusitis Vs Viral Sinusitis
A sinus infection is more likely to be caused by bacteria if youve experienced any of the following:
- Symptoms that last for at least ten days without getting any better
- Symptoms that are severe, including a high fever
- Nasal discharge and facial pain that persists for at least three or four consecutive days at the beginning of illness
- Symptoms that worsen after seeming to improve, or new symptoms that develop, such as a new fever or headache, or an increase in nasal discharge
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Eat Chicken Noodle Soup
Your grandmothers cold remedy might have something to it. Research suggests that chicken soup may have medicinal benefits, including a mild anti-inflammatory effect.
While the results arent conclusive, chicken soup doescontain important nutrients and improves hydration. In other words, having a bowl of chicken soup in the evening cant hurt.
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When Should I See A Doctor
These home remedies for sinus infections are great for acute infections in the upper respiratory system.
But if five days or so pass and youre not seeing any improvement, or if things are getting worse, its probably time to see an ENT doctor.
If you feel a lot more pressure behind your cheekbones and eyes or your nasal drainage has changed to yellow or green-tinged, its likely your sinus cavity has gotten infected from the blockage.
If you have symptoms like a fever, body aches, chills, chest congestion, or a cough, something more serious could be going on. Especially in this era of COVID-19, its a good idea to get checked out just to be safe.
If youve tried these home remedies without luck, contact ENT Associates of Lubbock to see what your next steps should be.
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Do You Need An Antibiotic Or Are There Other Ways To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
Story by: Rebecca Hall on May 13, 2019
Sinus symptoms can be easy to recognize when youre used to experiencing them around the same time every year. In most places, thats cold and flu season, which occurs in late fall and into winter. But here in Kentucky? Due to high pollen counts, we can be susceptible to sinus infections all year.
The trademark symptom of sinus infections is pressure under and between your eyes and just over your eyebrows. Theres nothing like that tight squeezing feeling in your head! The dreaded sinus pressure may be accompanied by a headache, nasal mucus , cough, sore throat, congestion or other symptoms.
Sinus symptoms are not much fun. So how do you know whether an at-home treatment will do the trick, whether you need to be examined by a health care provider, or if you need an antibiotic for your sinus infection? Heres what you need to know about what to do and where to go for sinus infection treatment.
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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.
The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
People often assume that its possible to tell the difference between a viral and bacterial sinus infection based on the type of symptoms they experience. Unfortunately, thats not the case. Usually, the symptoms of a sinus infection are the same or very similar whether its caused by bacteria or a virus.
Common symptoms of either a viral or bacterial sinus infection include green or yellow mucous/discharge, bad breath, headache, and fever.
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What Is The Treatment For Sinusitis
The first step to treat sinusitis is to clear your nasal passages. This helps your sinuses drain properly. Draining your sinuses helps flush out a bacterial infection. If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to fight it.
Here are a few common treatment options for sinusitis:
Nasal rinse or inhaling steam: To clear your sinuses, you rinse your nose with warm saline solution using a neti pot or a special rinse bottle.
Use lukewarm distilled or boiled water that is stored in a clean container. You can buy nasal saline packets in most pharmacies. You can also follow a recipe to make your own nasal saline rinse from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Or you can breathe hot steam through your nose for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a day. Do not use steam if it triggers your asthma or makes it hard to breathe.
Nasal corticosteroid sprays: These are topical nasal sprays that contain steroids that help decrease swelling. Use your nasal spray as directed by your doctor to avoid side effects. Point it toward your ear when you spray it into your nose and away from your nasal septum .
Allergy treatment: If allergies are causing sinusitis, allergy treatment may help. These treatments may include nasal saline rinses, antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, leukotriene modifiers, and immunotherapy . An allergist can test you for allergies and help you come up with a treatment plan.
Balloon Sinuplasty: The Simple Long
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in office procedure that helps patients who have chronic sinus problems due to blockages. Balloon sinuplasty gently moves blockages out of the way so that you can breathe easy again. Balloon sinuplasty works immediately and requires very little recovery time. Want to learn more about balloon sinuplasty?
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Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS is another approach your doctor may recommend to treat chronic sinusitis.
An ear, nose, and throat surgeon will use a special tool with a lighted camera on the end to visualize the inside of your nose.
They will then use small instruments to remove excess tissue, nasal polyps, or nasal cysts to widen your sinuses.
Your ENT surgeon will perform the procedure under anesthesia. They may use general anesthesia or conscious sedation .
When To See A Doctor For Sinus Pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment. Allina Health has many convenient care options for care, from online visits to walk-in care, to help you get better fast.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat for your treatment options.
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