What Is Sinus Infection
As the name suggests, sinus infection is infection of air-filled cavities in the skull called sinuses. The infection causes inflammation, which is starting point for other problems to occur.
There are several types of sinuses. The name of each type is named according to where its located.
These air-filled cavities are lined with mucus membranes. Mucus is produced to help protect your nasal passages and sinuses. It will naturally drain into the nose.
The inflammation of sinus can cause obstruction and prevent your mucus from draining as well as usual. As a result, there will be more buildups of mucus in your sinus cavity and this can worsen the problem.
Based on how long it lasts, it is classified into two main categories acute and chronic. Acute means it lasts less than a month . Chronic means it can last more than 3 months .
In some cases, the problem may last about 4-12 weeks. For such cases, it is called sub-acute. Additionally, there is a condition called recurrent sinusitis. It refers to a condition of when you have several acute sinusitis in 1 year.
What is the cause? This can vary, but viral infection is often to blame. Many people have sinus infection after a common cold event, for example. The infection can also be caused by bacteria or fungus. Sometimes environmental irritants and allergens can be also the trigger.
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.
When To See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
Viral sinus infections can go away on their own with time. Symptoms can be managed by following doctors guidelines for at-home treatment, such as with saline nasal sprays, neti pots, and humidifiers.
If your sinus infection persists or symptoms get worse, you are recommended to see a doctor. Certain progressive symptoms may cause concern, such as blood in the mucus. While blood is always troubling, it is not uncommon with bad sinus infections. Blood vessels in the nasal passages can be disturbed by frequent nose blowing, which many may do when congested. Contact SmartDocMD to find out the best way to remedy this issue.
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Which Types Of Doctors Treat Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
- Many sinus infections can be treated by your primary care physician or an Internal Medicine doctor.
- However, it is not unusual to consult an ENT specialist,
- Infectious disease specialist,
- Allergist or Immunologist.
Constant Sinus Drainage Home Remedies
Constant sinus drainage may be attributed to factors such as pregnancy, menopause, taking certain foods and medications, and living in an environment loaded with potential allergens such as animal dander, mold, cockroach dust, chemicals, and dust mite. It could also be attributed to low humidity, such as is common is winter.
Here are some of the best home remedies to try for contact sinus drainage:
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Looking After Yourself At Home
If your symptoms are mild and have lasted less than a week or so, you can usually take care of yourself without seeing your GP.
The following tips may help you feel better until you recover:
- Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve a high temperature and pain check the leaflet that comes with your medication first to check it’s suitable, and never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
- Use over-the-counter nasal sprays or drops to help unblock your nose and allow you to breathe more easily these shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time.
- Apply warm packs to your face to soothe your pain and help mucus drain from your sinuses.
- Regularly clean the inside of your nose with a salt water solution to help unblock your nose and reduce nasal discharge.
Your Sense Of Taste Or Smell Is Off
The same inflammation which interferes with the sinuses natural ability to drain may mess with the sense of taste and smell. Therefore, a sinus infection may dull the sense of taste, even though you will still be able to talk if something is sweet or salty. But finer nuances of the taste like or subtle soufflé or the flavor of one fine wine may be lost on you till your sinuses become unplugged.
To get more information related to health problems, go to our main diseases & conditions page. After reading the writing of top 11 symptoms of sinus infection in adults, hope that this writing helps you learn more the sinus infection symptoms to prevent and treat it fast and effectively. If you have any question, please leave them below, I will respond you as soon as possible. Also you can share the experience if you know any other symptoms of sinus infection to us.
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What Causes Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
Causes of Acute Sinus Infections
- Acute sinusitis usually follows a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract, but allergy-causing substances or pollutants may also trigger acute sinusitis. A Viral infection damages the cells of the sinus lining, leading to inflammation. The lining thickens, obstructing the nasal passage. This passage connects to the sinuses. The obstruction disrupts the process that removes bacteria normally present in the nasal passages, and the bacteria begin to multiply and invade the lining of the sinus. This causes the symptoms of sinus infection. Allergens and pollutants produce a similar effect.
- Bacteria that normally cause acute sinusitis are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. These microorganisms, along with Staphylococcus aureus and some anaerobes , are involved in chronic sinusitis.
Causes of Chronic Sinus Infections
- Chronic sinus infections are caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, pollutants, and fungal infections, especially people with diseases that weaken the immune system, for example, HIV/AIDS, leukemia and other cancers, and diabetes.
- Medications that are designed to modify the immune system may increase the risk of developing sinus infections.
- Ongoing bad breath unrelated to dental problems
People who have facial pain, headaches, and fever may indicate a sinus infection.
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How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
A pharmacist can advise you about medicines that can help, such as:
- salt water nasal sprays or solutions to rinse out the inside of your nose
You can buy nasal sprays without a prescription, but decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than a week.
Some decongestant tablets also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. Be careful when taking painkillers and a decongestant. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
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Common Symptoms And Signs Of Sinus Infections
Signs and symptoms of sinus infections depend upon the sinuses that are affected, and whether the sinus infection is acute or chronic.
Common Sinus Infection Symptoms and Signs
- Stuffy nose or congestion
5 Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
Chronic sinusitis may have many of the same symptoms as acute sinusitis, but the symptoms last longer or are more severe. In addition, people with chronic sinusitis may also experience multiple symptoms, for example:
Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
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How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is persistent sinus swelling that interferes with the way your mucus drains, making it difficult to breathe through your nose. When the sinuses are chronically inflamed, they trap mucus, making your sinuses more susceptible to bacteria growth and infection.
Chronic sinusitis can be brought on by conditions such as sinus infections, allergies, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum.
Does this condition sound familiar? The signs below may help you confirm that you suffer from chronic sinusitis.
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Which Specialties Of Doctors Treat Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
- Sinusitis is often first diagnosed by a general practitioner, primary care physician, or internal medicine physician. A pediatrician may diagnose sinus infections in children.
- If sinusitis is chronic or severe, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist, also called an ear, nose, and throat specialist . If your sinusitis is caused by allergies, you may be referred to an allergist.
- If you experience an emergency due to your sinusitis, go to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital.
The Cdc Has Changed Its Recommendations For Covid Quarantining
If you are having COVID-like symptoms or test positive for COVID, it’s important to know what you should do next. On Dec. 27, the CDC updated its recommendations for quarantining, changing some of its earlier timelines. Whether vaccinated or not, the agency says you should stay home and get tested if you develop any symptoms that have been attributed to COVID.
If you’ve tested positive for the virus, you should quarantine for five days at home as well, regardless of vaccination status. “If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house,” the CDC says, noting that you should continue wearing a mask around others for five additional days. The only exception is if one of your symptoms is a fever. “If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves,” the CDC adds.
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How Do You Treat Chronic Sinusitis
If these symptoms persist for longer than 3 weeks and/or pop up at least 4 times a year, then you could have chronic sinusitis. Treatments for chronic sinusitis are more extensive than antibiotics, but they treat the source of the problem.
For example, you may have a deviated septum causing chronic sinusitis. Once the deviated septum is fixed, the sinusitis length and frequency will reduce. And thats just one example of an underlying condition.
At the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, our experts will diagnose and treat with the most up-to-date technology. One of those technologies is balloon sinuplasty, a non-invasive procedure that opens up the sinus passages, allowing for better mucus flow. Watch the video below to learn more.
If youre seeing these signs of a sinus infection in your experience, maybe its time to get it taken care of for good. To schedule an appointment, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page.
How Humidity Affect Sinus Problems
Sinus problems typically happen when the mucous membranes in your sinuses and nose become irritated by an allergy, cold or pollution.
Once inflamed, the motion of your cilia slows down.
Cilia are the little hairs that coat the mucous membranes and are responsible for moving mucus over their surfaces.
Simultaneously, the irritation stimulates your mucous glands to secrete more mucus than ordinarily to dilute the bacteria.
As a result, mucus gets trapped in your sinuses, where it can facially become infected.
In the extreme humidity, cilia dont function normally, permitting mucus to clog and bacteria to flood into the sinuses.
When allergens, bacteria and other irritants invade your sinuses, the mucous membrane gets inflamed, leading to painful sinus symptoms including mucus pressure and buildup.
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Is Sinusitis Contagious
Sinusitis itself is not contagious. But it often follows a cold, which can spread to family members and friends. The most effective way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands well and often. Steer clear of used tissues, and try to reduce close contact with anyone who is sneezing often or has signs and symptoms of sinusitis.
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.
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What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.
The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as from pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.
It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.
In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.
In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.
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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