Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.
I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.
When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.
#2: Mucous Color
I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.
Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.
So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.
#3: Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.
However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you a lot of questions in order to develop a detailed medical history and find out about your symptoms. They will also do a physical examination. During the exam, your care provider will check your ears, nose and throat for any swelling, draining or blockage. An endoscope may be used to look inside the nose. In some cases, you might be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. If you needed an imaging exam, your provider would order a computed tomography scan.
The Right Way To Treat A Sinus Infection
5 min Read Time
Your head is throbbing, especially around your eyes. You cant stop coughing, and for some reason, your breath is terrible. Blowing your nose is a mess.
Bad news: You could have a sinus infection. Most frequently triggered by the common cold, over 30 million American adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.
So, what exactly are sinus infections? How can you tell if you have one? And holy cow how can you feel better as quickly as possible?
How To Cure A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections impact the lives of millions of Americans just like you. Together, we spend billions of dollars each year in over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat difficult symptoms. It is responsible for more than 16 million doctor visits that take away valuable time from work, friends, and family. The good news is that you donât have to continue suffering. There are cures for sinusitis that are safe, affordable, and ready for you.
Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
Don’t Miss: Sinus Rhythm With Bundle Branch Block
Things To Know About A Sinus Infection
- Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
- Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
- The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection can include medications, home remedies, alternative therapies, and surgery.
- Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
- Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
- Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
- cloudy discolored nasal or postnasal drainage,
- the feeling of nasal stuffiness,
Prevention Of Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is not exactly contagious. But depending on what caused a persons inflammation, other people may also develop the illness. For example, the common cold and flu are both contagious conditions that can lead to a sinus infection.
- Taking steps to reduce your risk of contracting viral infections can help to prevent sinus infections. These include: Practice good hygiene such as by washing your hands often and covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze
- Get the recommended vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine
- Keep your distance from people who have upper respiratory infections
- Take steps to reduce your stress, which affects your immune system
- Keep your immune system healthy, such as by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables .
Recommended Reading: Do They Give Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
You May Like: Can Sinus Pressure Cause Eye Pain
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 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.
Types Of Chronic Sinusitis Or Chronic Sinus Infections
While acute sinusitis often involves an infection, chronic sinusitis does not. Sometimes, the long-term illness is caused by an infection that hasn’t cleared up properly, but most often the exact cause of chronic sinusitis isn’t known.
But clinicians may categorize chronic sinusitis into one of three types depending on the features present.
The most common type of the illness, chronic sinusitis without nasal polyposis, involves swelling and inflammation of the mucous membranes by various non-polyp factors, such as allergies or irritation and infections.
Chronic sinusitis with nasal polyposis, on the other hand, involves nasal polyps that are large enough to clog the sinus. It’s not always clear why some people develop these polyps and others dont.
In chronic sinusitis with fungal allergy, people experience a strong allergic reaction to fungi in the air, which causes their mucous membranes to produce a thick, dense mucus.
Recommended Reading: What Meds For Sinus Infection
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
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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.
You May Like: What Gets Rid Of Sinus Pressure
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.
Also Check: What Is Used To Treat Sinus Infection
What Are Common Side Effects Of Sinus Infection Medications
The most common side effects of sinus infection medications differ by the type of medication you use. Decongestants tend to cause nervousness, insomnia, and a loss of appetite. Side effects of antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Antihistamines and steroids can cause dizziness and sleep disturbances.
This is not an exhaustive list of sinus infection medication side effects. If you experience any adverse reactions from a medication or treatment, its always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
Don’t Miss: Can Sinus Infection Raise Blood Pressure
Garlic And Honey For Sinus Infection:
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and kills the bacteria that cause infection.
Types Of Sinus Infections
There are three types of sinus infectionsacute, chronic and fungal. One significant difference between them is how long they last.
- Acute sinusitis. Also known as a short-term sinus infection, it often starts with seasonal allergies or common viral infections like the cold. Acute sinusitis lasts four weeks or less.
- Chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis becomes chronic sinusitis when it lasts longer than 12 weeks. Long-term sinusitis can be persistent, even after medical treatment.
- Fungal sinusitis. As its name suggests, fungal sinus infections are caused by fungus. Your provider may recommend nasal surgery, fungal ointments and other treatment options to ease your fungal sinus infection symptoms.
Before you can begin finding relief from the symptoms of a sinus infection, its important to understand whats causing it.
One of the most common causes of sinusitis is a virtual infection, such as the common cold or influenza. As a result, most people have experienced at least a mild sinus infection at some point.
Its not common for a viral infection to develop into a secondary bacterial infection but it does happen occasionally. And, in some cases, fungal infections may be the source of the sinusitis symptoms.
People who suffer from allergies , nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or dental infections are also more likely to experience a sinus infection. In many cases, these sufferers will develop chronic sinusitis, requiring treatment management strategies.
Also Check: Vitamin C For Sinus Congestion
Apply Moisture And Heat
- Place a warm, moist washcloth over your face several times a day to soften mucus.
- Drink lots of fluids to keep your sinuses hydrated avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can have a drying effect.
- Inhale steam to moisten and soften mucus.
- Keep nasal passages moist with saline sprays that can also rinse out mucus.
Recommended Reading: Should I Exercise With A Sinus Infection
Colloidal Silver For Sinus Infections
Colloidal silver is a safe and effective alternative medical treatment for sinus infections, with antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. With nearly 32 million cases reported to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention annually, sinus infections can easily be considered one of the most common low-risk health conditions. However, just because the condition is low-risk in terms of associated health effects does not mean treatment isnât warranted or necessary. Because of pressure, inflammation in the nasal cavity and congestion, a sinus infection can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful. Colloidal silver can help.
Recommended Reading: What Medicine Helps A Sinus Infection
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Chronic Sinus Inflammation
Is There A Right Way To Blow Your Nose
If you have a stuffy nose, trying to force yourself to blow your nose could make it worse. The best thing to do is to blow one side of your nose at a time gently into a tissue. You might want to first use some type of nasal rinse to loosen any material in your nose before blowing. Make sure you dispose of the tissue and then clean your hands with soap and water or an antimicrobial sanitizer.
Home Medicine For Sinus
Anthony Del Signore, MD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Mount Sinai in New York City, said that in many cases, sinus home remediesincluding the things your mother told you to docan effectively improve inflamed sinuses.
He explained that these treatments can soothe irritated channels and increase the flow of mucus, so you wont feel too clogged.
Also Check: Best Probiotic For Sinus Infection
Sinus Irrigation Vs Sinus Nebulization: Whats The Difference
Sinus irrigation and sinus nebulization are each treatment methods your doctor may prescribe for sinusitis, or a sinus infection. Although they differ, the benefit of both methods is that medication is delivered directly to the sinuses, which means theres less potential for side effects from taking an oral antibiotic or steroid. This article will help you to understand the differences between these topical sinus treatments.
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
You May Like: Medicine For Sinus Pressure And Congestion
Alkalol Company Mucus Solvent And Cleaner
This all-natural product has been widely regarded as the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection, based on consumer reviews. Alkalol Natural Soothing Nasal Wash Mucus Solvent and Cleaner is a powerful however very gentle solution that works tough to remove mucus, but soothes the nasal tissues to reduce irritation and discomfort.
The mixture menthol, eucalyptol, spearmint, pine, and cinnamon packs a powerful minty punch that leaves the sinuses clear and free from congestion for hours on end. Whats more, the all natural solution causes zero side-effects, making it the best sinus medicine ever for little children.
All in all, Alkalol Natural Soothing Nasal Wash Mucus Solvent and Cleaner is a straightforward, safe, and effective product that gets the job done. So if you want a sinus infection remedy that can ease your discomfort at a reasonable price, this is the option for you.