What Is The Treatment For Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
- Systemic steroids
- A combination there several
What Are the Side Effects of Nasal and Oral Decongestants?
Both nasal and oral decongestants have side effects, which include:
- Increased heart rate
- Urinary problems, especially prostate disorders
Combining decongestants with OTC or prescribed medications with similar side effects may cause dangerous complications.
What Are The Six Types Of Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on its duration and the type of inflammation . The term rhinosinusitis is used to imply that both the nose and sinuses are involved and is becoming the preferred term over sinusitis.
- Acute sinus infection usually lasts less than 3-5 days.
- Subacute sinus infection lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinus infection is greater than three months. Chronic sinusitis may be further sub-classified into chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps, or allergic fungal sinusitis.
- Recurrent sinusitis has several sinusitis attacks every year.
There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.
- Infected sinusitis usually is caused by an uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of a sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
- Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general timeline for acute, subacute, and chronic as infectious sinusitis.
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.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
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 initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- 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
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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.
What Type Of Doctor To Choose
Primary care physicians, internists, and general practitioners are all equipped to treat nasal congestion. If the congestion becomes severe, a patient will be referred to an ear nose and throat specialist. The ENT specialist is also called an otolaryngologist. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also able to diagnose and write prescriptions for most sinus problems. Pediatricians can diagnose and treat children.
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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
- Bad Breath
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.
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.
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How Can An Ent Help With Chronic Sinusitis
If you have ongoing symptoms that do not respond to treatments or recurrent sinusitis, an ENT specialist can diagnose chronic sinusitis by completing an examination, reviewing your medical history, and conducting some tests. Tests may include:
- A nasal endoscopy. A procedure that uses an endoscope to see the inside of the sinuses and to assess the sinus structures.
- Diagnostic imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging scans or computed tomography scans to examine the sinus structures, particularly if there is deep inflammation or physical obstruction that may be difficult to identify using an endoscope.
- Allergy tests if its suspected that allergies are triggering the condition.
- Nasal and sinus cultures to help determine the cause of an infection.
Treatment can vary depending on the cause of chronic sinusitis. Natural remedies such as saline nasal irrigation, drinking plenty of fluids, or using a humidifier in your home may be recommended to help alleviate symptoms, but other treatments may include:
Are Sinus Specialists Also Surgeons
Yes! And they are specifically trained to perform procedures that can improve or eliminate troublesome sinus symptoms. Many of these surgeries can be performed endoscopically, which means they can be done without an external incision. Instead, sinus specialists can operate through the nostrils, which reduces risk and recovery time.
These surgeries must be precise, because the sinuses are close to the eyes, brain, and important nerves. Sinus surgeons must work in very small areas and avoid these vital structures while also being as thorough as possible. This expertise allows sinus specialists to perform procedures ranging from the routine to the extremely complex .
We see a lot of cases like this, Dr. Jang said. Giving people a practical solution for problems that theyve had for a long time, that others could not help them with, thats what I find most rewarding.
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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:
How Do I Treat Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is much more difficult to treat than acute bacterial sinusitis. You may have been sick for months and may have received several courses of antibiotics. Over time, the bacteria become immune to the antibiotics, and you may become allergic to certain antibiotics. Steroids tend to be the most helpful medicine for chronic sinusitis, as they reduce the swelling that causes nasal and sinus blockage. Despite aggressive medical management, many patients with chronic sinusitis require surgical cleaning of their sinuses. New techniques such as balloon sinus dilation make it possible to wash out the sinuses under local anesthesia in the office. Most patients have very little pain and return to work the day after balloon dilation.
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Do You Always Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Not always, and with the rise of superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, this is not necessarily the best option for treatment. In fact, 85 percent of sinus infections go away on their own after one-to-two weeks, according to information from Harvard Medical School.
However, if your infection falls into the remaining 15 percent that do not get better, antibiotics are needed.
According to information from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, antibiotics may also be needed if:
There is a thick, colorful discharge coming from the nose.
Youve experienced facial pain for more than 10 days.
Your condition improved but then got worse.
You have facial tenderness .
You have dental pain.
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for more than a week, we encourage you to schedule an appointment.
Which Medications Open The Sinuses Will Antibiotics Cure Sinus Infections
Medications that Cure Sinus Infections
The goal in treating sinus infections is to eliminate bacteria from the sinus cavities with antibiotics. This helps prevent complications, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk of chronic sinusitis.
- In acute, uncomplicated sinus infections, a synthetic penicillin, for example, amoxicillin , which is prescribed to most people to cure acute sinus infections. Amoxicilin is effective against the ususal causes of sinus infections, and is inexpensive. The most common side effects of amoxicillin include allergic reactions and an upset stomach.
- People allergic to penicillin can take a sulfur-containing antibiotic called trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or TMP/SMX . Sulfa drugs are not recommended for people who are allergic to sulfur.
- People who have several episodes, or partially treated acute sinusitis or those who have chronic sinusitis may become resistant to amoxicillin and TMP/SMX. Synthetic penicillins and cephalosporins such as amoxicillin/clavulanate , cefuroxime , and loracarbef can cure most sinus infections.
- Eventually, overuse of these “broad-spectrum” antibiotics may lead to organisms evolving that can resist even the most potent antibiotics available. Simpler antibiotics, for example, amoxicillin, should be used first and taken for the entire duration .
Medications to Keep the Sinuses Open
OTC Steroid Nasal Sprays
Steroids are potent inhibitors of inflammation.
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What Your Doctor Needs To Know
To find out if youâve got more than a bad cold, you need to learn the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor can help you figure out whether you have sinusitis or something else.
Tell your doctor how long youâve had sinus symptoms, and whether theyâve gotten worse or stayed the same. If youâve had them for less than 10 days and theyâre not getting worse, you probably have a viral infection. It will likely go away on its own.
Over-the-counter treatments like saline sprays, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may help ease symptoms along the way. might reduce the swelling and inflammation temporarily. If you use them, read the directions carefully and only use as directed. Using nasal decongestant sprays for more than a few days could make the congestion worse.
Which Home Remedies And Otc Medications Soothe Sinus Infections And Sinusitis Symptoms And Headache Pain
Home care can help relieve sinus infection or sinusitis symptoms, open the sinuses, and alleviate dryness.
Home Remedies to Promote Drainage
- Drink plenty of water and hydrating beverages such as hot tea.
- Inhale steam two to four times per day by leaning over a bowl of hot water or using a steam vaporizer. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways.
OTC Medications to Thin Mucus
Expectorants are medications that help expel mucus from the lungs and respiratory passages. They help thin mucous secretions, enhancing drainage from the sinuses. The most common is guaifenesin . OTC sinus medications also can combine decongestants and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms and eliminate the need for the use of many prescription medications. Read label ingredients to find the right combination of ingredients or ask the pharmacist.
OTC Medications to Relieve Pain
Pain medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. These medications help to open the airways by reducing swelling. Acetaminophen can be used for pain and fever but does not help with inflammation.
Nasal Saline Irrigation
There are several methods of nasal irrigation, and a popular sinus remedy is the Neti-pot, a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdin’s magic lamp.
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Can An Allergist Help With Sinusitis
Absolutely. Board-certified Allergists are physicians who have received substantial training in the nonsurgical treatment of chronic sinus issues. Sinusitis, is due to an inflammation in the tissue of the sinuses that can be caused by allergies or microbes, and sometimes both. When sinuses become obstructed, germs fester and can cause an infection, congestion, and facial pressure. Your allergist can help diagnose the root causes of your symptoms and provide a regimen of non-surgical treatments to prevent recurring sinus infections or allergic reactions.
Will I Need Surgery
Performing surgery on your sinuses is a last resort. If you continue to experience problems with your sinuses after completing a full course of antibiotics or taking any other medication as prescribed, then your sinus doctor may recommend sinus surgery. Although surgery is a last resort, some patients require surgery because of other common problems. In most cases, surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis. However, in some cases, patients must be admitted to the hospital for a brief stay.
Seeking early treatment and following up with your doctor can help you get back on the road to recovery and prevent recurring sinus infections, headaches and major complications. However, every patient and outcome is different. As such, patients need to take their medication as prescribed and follow the doctor’s orders. With the proper treatment, medication, and outpatient care, most patients who experience problems with their sinuses start feeling better almost immediately.
Contact our office today to find out how our team of physicians can help you to experience relief from your symptoms. We take time to provide careful and thorough diagnosis so that you receive the care that is best for you. Our treatment plans are tailored carefully to each patient so you can be confident that your care is exactly what you need.
UC Irvine Department of Head & Neck Surgery
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How Ents Treat Sinusitis
First your ENT will take a medical history. Be sure to be prepared to let the ENT know when the symptoms started and the progression of symptoms. The ENT will then perform an examination. If your sinusitis is caused by nasal polyps, the nasal polyps will be treated as well. In addition to a physical and visual exam, tests just as a CT scan, MRI, X-ray or endoscopic exam may be necessary.
Medical Intervention. Depending on the type of sinusitis you have, you may be prescribed a course of antibiotics. If your infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics are ineffective and will not be prescribed. For chronic sinusitis, you may need to take several different courses of antibiotics. If your sinusitis is fungal, an antifungal medication may be prescribed. In addition, you may be prescribed nasal or oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. NSAIDs may be recommended to reduce pain.
Surgery. Surgery may be required if the infection has spread to the bones, if the infections do not respond to medical intervention, or if nasal polyps are involved.