Thursday, May 16, 2024

What Do I Do If I Have A Sinus Infection

Are Sinus Infections Contagious

How to Tell If You Have a Sinus Infection

A sinus infection caused by a virus is contagious. When you sneeze or cough, the virus can travel in droplets of moisture through the air. If another person breathes in the virus, they might develop a cold that turns into a sinus infection. In order to limit the spread of sinus infections, remember to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. And wash your hands frequently to avoid leaving the virus on objects that you touch.

If your sinus infection is caused by a bacteria or fungus, its not contagious. But you should still wash your hands frequently and cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.

Loss Of Smell And Taste

A side effect of nasal congestion is that you will find it challenging to smell or taste. Again, the swelling is to blame since the scents and aromas you are used to cant reach the top of the nose.

Sometimes, the inflammation presses down on the nervous system, impacting the signal that triggers taste and smell. Allergies and a cold can also cause these symptoms, which is why its vital to speak to a professional ENT doctor if youre concerned.

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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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Rare Cases Can Turn Serious

Antibiotics also can help ward off rare but potentially dangerous complications that arise when a sinus infection spreads to the eyes or brain, Dr. Sindwani says.

Complications around the eyes are the more common of the two. These complications can cause redness, swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, and even lead to blindness in a severe form known as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Serious cases are immediately treated with IV antibiotics. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for a CT scan to see if fluid needs to be drained, Dr. Sindwani says.

Also in rare cases, sinus infections in the rear center of ones head can spread into the brain. This can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis or brain abscess, Dr. Sindwani says.

Before antibiotics, people would die from sinusitis, he says. But he emphasizes that such complications are unlikely. In most cases, the bacterial infection goes away, especially if you dont have underlying medical problems.

Its important to monitor your symptoms if you suspect a sinus infection. If the condition lingers or worsens, call your doctor.

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What Are Symptoms And Treatment

What To Do For Sinus Problems

Typically, youll have facial pain/pressure, headaches, nasal drainage and congestion, decreased or loss of sense of smell, tooth pain and sore throat. Treatment depends on the cause but can include medications to decrease inflammation and treat the infection. Sometimes rinsing out your sinuses can help. At home this can be done by using a nasal saline solution or Neti pot. In severe cases, you may need to be treated by an ear, nose and throat doctor.

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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

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About Author: Lisa Coon

Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.

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Can Sinusitis Cause Death

Chronic sinusitis can spread to the eyes, blood, and brain, and, in rare circumstances, cause death. For that reason, its important to take instances of sinusitis that wont go away very seriously. If you have a persistent sinus infection, make sure you follow your doctors instructions regarding your antibiotics and of course, get plenty of rest.

How To Treat Sinusitis

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The best way to get over a sinus infection? Wait it out. A viral sinus infection the kind thats caused by, say, a cold that progresses usually gets better on its own within 14 days. To treat symptoms, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recommends the usual suspects: acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and fever, to help you breathe easier and nasal saline sprays or whats known as sinus irrigation with a neti pot to help remove mucus.

If your sinus woes last longer than 14 days, however, you probably have a bacterial sinus infection, which is caused by a structural issue in your nose, a viral issue or an inflammatory/allergic issue, Iloreta says. One of these typically sets the stage for a bacterial infection, and theres a domino effect. At that point, you should see your doctor.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Sinus Infection

Chronic sinusitis emerges more insidiously than acute sinusitis. At times, however, the symptoms start suddenly and may resemble that of the common cold or acute sinusitis that just wont go away.

Chronic sinusitis is most likely if you have two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
  • Mucus and pus-like discharge
  • Facial pain, pressure around your eyes and nose, or fullness
  • Partial or complete loss of your sense of smell

Chronic cough, sore throat, and fatigue may also be seen in a chronic sinus infection. That said, these symptoms are not required for the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis.

When You Should See A Doctor

Sometimes, home remedies arent enough to relieve congestion, particularly if your symptoms are caused by another health condition.

In this case, medical treatment may be needed, especially if your condition is painful and interfering with your everyday activities.

If youve experienced any of the following, see your doctor right away:

  • congestion lasting longer than 10 days
  • congestion accompanied by a high fever lasting more than 3 days
  • green nasal discharge along with sinus pain and fever
  • a weakened immune system, asthma, or emphysema

You should also see your doctor right away if youve had a recent head injury and are now having bloody nasal discharge or a constant flow of clear discharge.

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But Sometimes Antibiotics For Sinus Infections Are Needed

So how does one judge when it is appropriate to prescribe antibiotics for a sinus infection? There are several sets of official guidelines, which are all similar. When a patient has thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pressure or pain for at least 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment. If a patient has had those symptoms, but the symptoms seemed to start improving and then got worse again, then even if its been less than 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment.

The authors, however, also suggest that doctors discuss watchful waiting with patients and explain that most sinus infections clear up on their own in one to two weeks, and its a safe option to hold off on antibiotics. The symptoms can then be treated with a cocktail of over-the-counter medications and supportive care, like nasal saline irrigation, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants, and pain medications.

Of course, many patients expect and demand antibiotics for sinus infections, and even those who are open to watchful waiting may hear about the rare but possible complications of things like, oh, brain abscess, and opt to treat.

In the case of my patient above, she met criteria for treatment. She weighed the watchful waiting option against the potential risks of antibiotics for her sinus infection, and chose the prescription. I can tell you from very close follow-up that she improved quickly, though in truth, we will never really know if she would have gotten better anyway.

How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis

When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection?

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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When Its Time To See A Doctor

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience sinus infection symptoms of fever, facial pain, congestion, or nasal discharge that last longer than ten days or that keep coming back.

Dethlefs says you should see a medical provider, If nasal drainage changes from clear to thick and yellow. If fever spikes and persists more than 24-48 hours or symptoms arent adequately treated with OTC therapies.

Fever represents a rare symptom of a sinus infection, indicating you have another illness or underlying condition. Your doctor can perform an evaluation and the necessary testing to identify and treat the root cause of your symptoms.

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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

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.

  • Boil a pint of water, then leave it to cool.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into the water.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Stand over a sink, cup the palm of 1 hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it.
  • Sniff the water into 1 nostril at a time. Breathe through your mouth and allow the water to pour back into the sink. Try not to let the water go down the back of your throat.
  • Repeat the first 5 steps up to 3 times a day until your nose feels more comfortable.
  • You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.

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    What Can I Do To Find Relief From A Sinus Infection

    • Place a warm compress over your face to help relieve pressure.
    • Breathe in steam by placing a towel over your head and leaning over a bowl or sink full of hot water to allow the steam to relieve congestion. WARNING: Make sure that the water is not too hot because steam can cause burns.
    • Rinse the sinuses. Dr. Takashima recommends using the squeeze bottle over the neti pot for effective nasal irrigation.
    • Keep the nasal passages moist by using a saline nasal spray.
    • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

    What Are The Stages Of Sinus Infection

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    Types

    • Acute sinusitis usually starts with cold-like symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain. It may start suddenly and last 2 to 4 weeks.
    • Subacute sinusitus usually lasts 4 to 12 weeks.
    • Chronic sinusitus symptoms last 12 weeks or longer.
    • Recurrent sinusitis happens several times a year.

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    When Should I Call The Doctor

    • a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
    • a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
    • symptoms of allergies that don’t clear with the usual allergy medicine

    Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:

    • pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
    • swelling around the eye

    Do I Have A Sinus Infection

    A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is inflammation of the sinuses caused by infection. Learn more about this condition, when see a doctor, and how to get rid of a sinus infection.

    What is a sinus infection?

    A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is an infection that leads to inflammation of the sinuses in the head. Sinuses are air filled spaces that are behind the forehead, nose, cheeks and eyes. If there is blockage of the sinuses by excessive mucous bacteria and viruses can build up leading to congestion, fevers, pressure and pain.

    • Acute sinusitis usually follows a viral infection involving the upper respiratory tract but allergies can also lead to sinusitis
    • Due to mucous blockage and inability for sinuses to drain, bacteria and viruses easily grow and invade the lining of the sinuses. This leads to symptoms of sinusitis

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    Can Sinusitis Be Prevented

    Simple changes in your lifestyle or home environment can help lower the risk of sinusitis. For example, during the winter, use a humidifier to keep home humidity at 45%50%. This will stop dry air from irritating the sinuses and make them less of a target for infection. Clean your humidifier often to prevent mold growth.

    How Long Should It Take For A Bad Sinus Infection To Go Away

    Sinusitis (sinus infection)

    Before we delve into what to do when your sinusitis wont go away, lets figure out whether you have a sinus infection in the first place. The symptoms shared between the common cold, chronic sinusitis, and chronic allergies, are similar making it rather difficult to deduce which culprit is causing your sinus issues.

    One major differentiator, however, is time. A cold should go away within a week. If your cold lasts longer than 7-10 days, its likely that your cold has either turned into a bacterial sinus infection, or you actually had a sinus infection from the very beginning. Whatever the case, if your symptoms persist for more than a week, its best to see a doctor.

    Once your doctor determines treatment, your sinus infection symptoms should begin to subside within a few days.

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    What Happens If A Sinus Infection Is Left Untreated

    For some lucky people, sinus infections may go away if left untreated. Rest and hydration will certainly help with this.

    For others, however, sinusitis wont go away until you seek treatment. If this is the case, a sinus infection left untreated may cause further complications .

    When sinusitis spreads to areas around the eyes, you may experience redness and swelling, which can reduce vision. The most severe form of sinusitis reaching the eye is called cavernous sinus thrombosis and can actually cause blindness. It is treated by antibiotics and drainage of sinus fluids.

    Sinusitis that reaches the brain may cause meningitis and brain abscesses.

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    Very high humidity causes rainout, which is defined as a buildup of moisture in the mask and tubing that splashes onto your face, waking you up. Too much humidity can also lead to water accumulation that promotes microbial growth and increases your chance of developing sinus and respiratory infections.

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    Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses

    Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.

    Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.

    You may feel pain in:

    • on either side of your nose
    • in your upper jaws and teeth
    • between your eyes

    This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.

    Is There A Right Way To Blow Your Nose

    Ask Dr. Mike: What is a sinus infection and how do I treat it?

    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.

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