How Do I Prevent Acute Sinusitis
Do not smoke. Smoking is not good for you or for people around you, since this can cause mucous to become clogged in the nose/sinuses. Avoid being around second-hand smoke, as well as other triggers like animal dander, dust, mold and pollen. Take pains to prevent sinus and other infections by:
- Washing your hands well before and after eating and after using the bathroom.
- Staying away from sick people.
- Treating your allergies, possibly with nasal steroid therapy or immunotherapy .
- Keeping your body and your immune system in good shape by eating well and staying hydrated.
- Using a humidifier if your house is dry or an air purifier. Make sure to clean your equipment regularly.
- Irrigating your nose when necessary with a saline rinse.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
When a sinus infection results from blocked sinuses, symptoms may include:
- Thick white, yellow, or greenish mucus from your nose or drainage down the back of your throat
- Bad breath from postnasal drip
- Blocked or stuffy nose
These symptoms may be similar to some respiratory viral infections. They may require different treatments.
How To Treat A Cold Vs A Sinus Infection
Theres no medication cure or vaccine for the common cold. Instead, treatment should focus on managing symptoms.
Congestion can often be relieved by using a saline spray in each nostril a couple of times a day. A nasal decongestant, such as oxymetazoline , may also be helpful. But you shouldnt use it for more than three days.
If you have a headache, or body aches and pains, you may take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
For a sinus infection, saline or decongestant nasal spray may help with congestion. You may also be prescribed a corticosteroid, usually in a nasal spray form. A pill form may be necessary in certain cases in order to help reduce severely inflamed sinuses.
If your doctor thinks you may have a bacterial infection, you may be prescribed a course of antibiotic therapy. This should be taken exactly as prescribed and for the duration recommended by your doctor.
Stopping a course of antibiotics too soon can allow an infection to linger and for symptoms to develop again.
For both a sinus infection and a common cold, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.
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How To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
If you want to get rid of your sinusitis, you and your ENT will need to work together to discover the source of your sinus infections. For example, your sinusitis might always be precipitated by a cold, or you could have a deviated septum and sinusitis or sinusitis and sleep apnea. Regardless, finding the root cause behind your recurrent or prolonged sinusitis will help determine treatment.
Once the source of your sinus infections is found, you and your ENT will need to discuss treatment options. For those with recurrent sinus issues, one treatment, in particular, has proven itself effective again and again. That treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to perform and requires little to no recovery time.
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.
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Can A Sinus Infection Last For Months
Sinusitis wont go away at the drop of a hat. It tends to linger and, if left untreated, it can last for months. Again, its best to take a trip to your doctors office if your symptoms last longer than one week.
Note that there is a chance that long-term sinus issues may be caused by allergens. If this is the case, then your sinus symptoms will likely last until you can escape the allergen or have the allergies treated.
Do You Need To Talk To An Ent
As you can see, untreated sinus infections arent something that you should ignore. If you suffer from chronic sinus issues, then it might be time to talk to an ear, nose, and throat specialist about your condition.
Here are a few signs that you should book an appointment with an ENT for a sinus infection:
- Symptoms continue for more than 10 days
- Recurring infections throughout the year
- Discolored, thick nasal discharge
- Pressure and pain that is interrupting your daily life
- At-home or over-the-counter treatments dont provide relief
- Pain and discomfort are increasing with time
A general practitioner can help with occasional sinus infections, but they will refer you to see an ENT for recurring, chronic conditions. Primary care doctors are limited to prescription medications for treatments. On the other hand, an ENT can address sinus infections with a range of other treatments.
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Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
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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When Antibiotics Are In Order
The main reason to prescribe antibiotics is for patient comfort, Dr. Sindwani says. The medical field used to be more convinced than it is today than untreated sinusitis would inevitably become a chronic issue, he says.
We dont think that way as much, he says. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.
Some people think thats two separate things, with chronic sinusitis more likely due to underlying issues like allergies or immune problems.
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.
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Can I Prevent Sinusitis
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
- Donât smoke, and avoid other people’s smoke.
- Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season, and try not to touch your face.
- Stay away from things you know youâre allergic to. Talk to your doctor to see if you need prescription medicines, allergy shots, or other forms of immunotherapy.
If your sinus problems keep coming back, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery to clean and drain the sinuses.
Treat Your Sinus Infection With Help From Glatz Group
At Glatz Group, our team of experienced sinus doctors can help diagnose your problem and recommend treatment, whether you have an acute infection or a more serious condition.
Whether you need some antibiotics or a procedure like a balloon sinuplasty, our qualified team can help you find the best option for you.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, which is sometimes referred to as sinusitis, occurs when the tissues that line your sinuses become inflamed or swollen. Theyre usually filled with air, but when they become blocked and filled with fluid, an infection can result.
This type of infection can be caused by bacteria or viruses, and in rare cases, by fungi. Although colds, allergies, and anatomical issues such as a deviated septum dont directly cause these infections, they can create blockages that create the right conditions for germs to grow and cause an infection.
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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Treatment For Sinus Infection
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.
What Causes Chronic Sinus Infection
Multiple factors acting together usually contribute to chronic sinusitis.
People with allergies are more prone to develop chronic sinusitis. About one in five people with chronic sinusitis also have asthma. This is because the linings of your nose and sinuses are in continuation with the linings of your lungs. These people are also likely to have nasal polyps .
A bacterial or viral infection can also trigger the condition. The infection is often low grade. The bacteria confine themselves in stubborn biofilms, making it difficult for your immune system or antibiotics to find and attack them.
An overlap of additional factors such as smoking, environmental pollutants, and deviated septum, further complicate the picture of chronic sinusitis.
It would be more appropriate to say that if youre already prone to allergies and nasal polyps, it becomes easier for harmful bugs, especially fungi to penetrate your sinuses. Likewise, a weak immune system makes you more susceptible to catch bacterial, viral, or fungal sinus infection.
A sinus that is inflamed and swollen can no longer sweep away the excess mucus and harmful agents due to the blockage of tiny hairs that facilitate this function.
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Chronic Sinusitis Complications: Why They Matter
Avoiding sinusitis treatment for long periods of may result in chronic sinusitis complications. These complications can require emergency surgery, hinder how your brain and eyes function and, in severe cases, can be life-threatening. If you have been experiencing chronic sinusitis symptoms, we urge you to consider seeking proper medical attention now and request an appointment with Dr. Kaplan.
Leaving Infections Untreated: Acute Versus Chronic Sinus Infections
There are two main types of sinus infections: acute and chronic. The two types are separated based on their severity. Acute sinus infections usually have symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose and can last up to four weeks. A chronic sinus infection lasts 12 weeks or more.
Viruses trigger most sinus infections, and these infections will usually clear up with minor treatment or no treatment at all. Sinusitis caused by viruses is typically acute and only lasts up to 10 days. When a sinus infection lasts longer, this indicates that bacteria may be the trigger. Additionally, bacteria can cause sinus infections to return quickly.
Your sinus doctor can help identify the cause of your sinus infection and the most effective treatment.
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What Does Chronic Sinusitis Treatment Involve
If you have frequent sinus infections or have been dealing with disruptive symptoms for 12 weeks or longer, its best to visit an ear, nose and throat doctor for specialized treatment. Unlike the average sinus infection that usually develops from a cold, chronic sinusitis may require a more diverse and long-term treatment plan.
Talk with your doctor to learn what treatment options may be best for you. A few common treatment approaches that might be discussed include:
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
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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.
How Are Bacterial And Viral Sinusitis Diagnosed
Although most cases are viral, its important to appropriately identify whether your sinus infection is viral or bacterial. Differentiating between the two often comes down to the duration and severity of their symptoms. When meeting with a patient who has sinusitis, I first ask about their health history, as well as what their symptoms are and how long theyve had them. More tests arent usually needed, though if a patient has had several bouts of acute sinusitis the following tests might be used:
- CT scan: A CT scan can show more information regarding your sinuses and nasal cavity.
- Nasal endoscopy: A nasal endoscopy is a procedure where a doctor places a thin tube with a camera into the nasal cavity and sinuses. It can show whether a blockage is responsible for the symptoms, such as a tumor or polyp. A culture can show which type of bacteria is causing the infection, and the best antibiotic to treat it.
The Infectious Disease Society of Americas clinical practice guidelines state that a sinus infection is likely bacterial in nature if the following are present:
Did You Know?
Distinguishing an upper respiratory infection from viral sinusitis is challenging. 20-40% of children diagnosed with viral sinusitis most likely just have a URI, according to this study.
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What Happens When A Sinus Infection Is Left Untreated
Many sinus infections go away on their own, even without treatment. Since sinus infections can also be confused for a cold, its common for sinus infections to be left untreated.
However, an untreated sinus infection can lead to multiple problems. Your local ENT will break down common issues resulting from untreated sinus infections.
When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue. Do I maybe need antibiotics? she asked.
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