My Sinus Infection Wont Go Away What Do I Do
If you are one of the 37 million Americans who deal with sinus infections each year, then you know what a pain they can be. Because of this, you may be considering Chronic Sinusitis Treatment NYC.
At best, sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, are a passing annoyance. But sometimes, they just wont seem to go away.
If your sinus infection lasts more than 12 weeks, then chronic sinusitis might be to blame. This condition can feel a lot like regular sinusitis, except it lingers and may get worse over time.
When A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated
A sinus infection can drag on for weeks or months if you dont talk to a doctor. Sometimes, the infection will clear up on its own. But if the symptoms linger, then you could be facing rare complications from the ongoing infection:
- Eyes: The infection can spread to other parts of the face and affect the eyes. You might notice swelling, redness, and vision disruptions. Severe cases could result in blindness.
- Brain: Its rare, but there are times when the infection spreads to the brain. This problem can cause meningitis or a brain abscess, which can both be life-threatening conditions.
- Treatments: Early sinus infection treatment might include a prescription or minimally-invasive services. If the infection spreads, then it might be necessary for you to have a CT scan and receive IV antibiotics.
- Recurring: Some people notice that the symptoms get better, then quickly return with a vengeance. Chronic sinus issues can result in a need for surgery if not improving with medication.
Most sinus infections dont result in serious complications. But the possibility of an eye or brain infection should be enough to motivate someone to talk to a doctor about the infection.
Why The Heck Won’t Your Sinus Infection Go Away
Plus, how to deal with the pain and congestion.
Along with shivering nonstop and skin that cant seem to stop cracking, winter is the season for getting sick. Yep, if everyone around you is hacking and sneezing away, youre not alone. And one seriously annoying issue you might experience this time of year is a sinus infection. Hello, pain above and below your eyes, relentless headaches, congestion, and greenish-yellow nasal discharge.
The good news is that with treatment, a sinus infection should start improving in about 48 to 72 hours and should be cleared in about seven to 10 days, if not sooner, says Roheen Raithatha, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist. However, without treatment, a sinus infection can last multiple weeks and sometimes even a few months.
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So whats the deal? Most sinus infections start as a viral upper respiratory infection. And some of us are more prone to getting them than others, making sinus issues more frequent and harder to treat. Whos most at risk: those with allergies that cause nasal swelling, a deviated septum, or an underlying weak immune system.
To keep yourself protected, make sure youre washing your hands a ton and always covering your mouth when you cough to avoid the germs that cause these viral infectionsbecause the bad news is, they cant be treated with antibiotics like a bacterial infection can.
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Why Do I Have A Headache That Wont Go Away
First things first: If your headache wont go away, you need to figure out if its a sinus headache that wont go away or something else. Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure in sinus cavities that have become inflamed and are blocking regular mucus drainage.
Sinus headaches are often accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Feeling of pressure and/or throbbing around your sinuses
- Increased pain upon bending over
- Toothache in your upper teeth
Many of these symptoms, including congestion and increased pain upon bending over, can also be found in patients struggling with migraines. However, migraines are unlikely to last more than a few hours, whereas untreated sinus headaches can last for days at a time.
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Should You Visit A Specialist
If your sinus infection just wont go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:
- Youve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
- Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
- You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks
Living with a sinus infection is miserable and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.
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How Is Sinus Headache Prevented
If you have reoccurring headaches as a symptom of sinusitis or seasonal allergies, you may need to consider prescription medication to manage the condition.
Lifestyle changes to reduce congestion, like avoiding allergens and incorporating aerobic exercise into your routine, might decrease how many headaches you get.
In cases of chronic sinusitis, a nasal surgery like a balloon sinuplasty might be the only way to stop getting more sinus headaches.
How Should I Treat My Sinus Infection
A mild, one-time infection should be handled much differently than a sinus infection that wonât go away or keeps coming back. But, even mild infections can become more serious as time goes on, and for the best results, they should be monitored and treated by an ENT. A minor sinus infection treatment may consist of:
- At home remedies: Many are searching for ânatural cures for sinus infectionâ. At home remedies are often not successful at getting to the root of the problem, but they may be helpful in easing the severity of your symptoms. Sufferers have found that warm compresses and humidifiers are very helpful.
- Antibiotics: Sinus infection antibiotics can only be successful when patients are suffering with a bacterial infection. In order to understand what kind of infection you may have, it is important to contact your ENT so they can prescribe you antibiotics when appropriate.
- Sinus Medication: Sinus infection medication may consist of nasal sprays, decongestants, and more. They are helpful to ease the symptoms but are not a long-term solution to chronic sinusitis.
For more severe infections, or chronic sinusitis, many sufferers have tried at home remedies, antibiotics and infection medications with no luck. When this is the case, patients may have to turn to more permanent solutions:
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How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
Many sinus infections go away on their own. You can try some of these treatments at home to help you manage your symptoms and feel more comfortable.
- Press a warm, moist towel to your face for 5-10 minutes every day. This can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Drink lots of water and other fluids. This can help thin your mucus and reduce congestion.
- Breathe in warm, humid air. Using a humidifier helps, or you can take a hot shower or bath.
- Try clearing your nasal passages with a saline solution . A saline wash helps clear your nasal packages and reduces congestion. You can buy saline drops at your local pharmacy or make your own saline solution at home.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol and Advil can help reduce pain and manage other symptoms, like a fever or headaches.
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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Treating Sinusitis Restores Energy
Acute sinusitis resolves on its own as your body clears the virus or bacteria that is causing your symptoms. Chronic sinusitis requires comprehensive evaluation and treatment. The good news? Effective treatment restores energy in patients with sinusitis-associated fatigue.
The treatment we recommend depends on the underlying cause. If polyps are the cause, we may suggest surgery to remove the polyps and restore nasal airflow and drainage.
For patients with allergies, a treatment plan to manage your allergies should improve your sinusitis symptoms. You can rely on our skilled providers at Southern ENT to provide a thorough evaluation and recommend the most appropriate treatment to help you get relief from chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis can make you feel miserable. If youre struggling with symptoms, visit us at Southern ENT to get to the root of the problem and on the road feeling better. To get started, the office nearest you to schedule a visit.
Southern ENT is a premier provider of ear, nose, and throat services in southern Louisiana. Our offices are located in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia, and Youngsville, Louisiana.
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How Do Sinus Infections Start
Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinus or nasal cavity becomes inflamed. What can start as inflammation in your sinuses from a respiratory infection, allergies or environmental pollutants can spark a sinus infection when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen, causing mucus to become trapped and germs to grow.
“Once you have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection, that virus can then settle into the sinuses and cause inflammation as well,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, an otolaryngologist and chair of Houston Methodist ENT Specialists. “About 95% of sinusitis is caused by a virus making it much more common than bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is also much more infectious as well.”
Certain conditions, such as having allergies, asthma or a respiratory infection, can make people more susceptible to getting chronic sinus infections, and it is important that these patients be evaluated to address the cause and not just the sinusitis symptoms.
“There are many causes of chronic sinusitis. “Patients with a weakened immune system are more prone to getting recurrent acute sinusitis,” explains Dr. Takashima. “Sometimes, however, the issue may be anatomy, such as a deviated septum , scarring from previous sinus surgery, or nasal polyps, which result from chronic inflammation in the nose. Once the polyps get to a certain size, they rarely regress on their own and they narrow the sinus drainage pathways.”
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When Sinus Problems Wont Go Away
Millions of children and adults all over the world go months and even years with ongoing sinus problems.
They are more than likely suffering from sinusitis a condition caused by viral, bacterial, and sometimes mucus-induced infection. What truly distinguishes this condition from other nasal problems is its inflammatory factor. Facial pressure, headaches, and even coughs are all products of sinusitis. One of the major differences between acute and chronic sinusitis is the possible need for a surgical procedure such as a Balloon Sinuplasty.
A Balloon Sinuplasty is an in-office procedure that is less invasive and clinically proven to be safe, effective, and improve the quality of your life. It uses a small, flexible sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways. This restructures and widens the walls of the passageways while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining. If you think you are a candidate for this procedure, click here to take a test. Watch the video below as it walks you through the procedure step by step.
If you or a loved one are suffering from persistent sinus infections, I or another physician will sit down with you and determine the best possible method of treatment. Our consistent goal is to help those suffering with sinusitis making it easier to breathe again and providing a better quality of life. Click here to read all about our sinus surgery procedures or here to read about other nose and sinus conditions.
Is It Possible To Have A Sinus Infection For Months
With chronic sinusitis, the tissues inside your sinuses become inflamed and blocked for a long period of time due to swelling and mucus buildup. Acute sinusitis only happens for a short time , but chronic sinusitis can last for months. Sinusitis is considered chronic after at least 12 weeks of symptoms.
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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.
Common Symptoms Of A Bacterial Sinus Infection
- Same symptoms of a viral sinus infection
- Symptoms start to worsen after 7-10 days
- Fever that lasts multiple days in a row
- Typically requires antibiotics
So, lets go back to the original question: Can you have a sinus infection without a fever? As you can now see, having or not having a fever wont always help you determine if you have a sinus infection.
However, one thing that you can say with more certainty is that you probably have a bacterial sinus infection if you have a fever that lasts multiple days and does not let up.
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When Sinus Infections Dont Go Away
Sinus infections are a common problem for most of us, particularly when the seasons change. You know the symptoms: postnasal drainage, stuffy nose, pressure around your eyes and forehead, and nasal discharge. Sometimes it comes with a sore throat, fever, or earache. Typically, youre miserable for a few days or a week, and then youre back to normal. But sometimes that sinus infection just wont go away.
How Do You Treat A Sinus Infection
Treatment for acute and chronic sinus infections include self-care, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and sinus surgery, if necessary, to enlarge the opening to the sinuses or address other anatomical issues.
Your doctor may also recommend a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications, including:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Steroid nasal sprays
- Saline nasal irrigations
Patients with sinusitis often go to the doctor expecting to get a prescription for an antibiotic. If you have signs of a sinus infection, talk to your doctor about whether an antibiotic is appropriate to treat the type of infection that you have. Dr. Takashima warns that we must be vigilant about not treating viral infections with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections, to prevent creating superbugs antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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Surgical Treatment For Chronic Sinusitis
Although medical therapy and lifestyle tweaks are the first-line treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis, some people may fail to respond to optimal therapy. In such cases, Ear, Nose Throat and Allergy Specialist performs a surgery to widen up the blocked sinuses and remove any trapped mucus or polyps.
Other situations in which surgery could be considered include:
- When chronic sinusitis symptoms do not respond to the medical treatments listed above, and CT scan of your sinuses reveals complete blockage of one or more sinuses.
- When nasal polyps fail to shrink enough with steroids.
- When a severe deviation of the septum completely blocks your nose or hinders sinus drainage.
- When theres a suspicion of allergic fungal sinusitis. The sinuses in allergic fungal sinusitis get clogged with thick, dense mucus that is hard to remove in any way other than surgery.
Things To Know About Sinus Infections In Children
How to tell if your child has a sinus infection
If your child has a cold that just wont go away, he may have a sinus infection . Children with respiratory allergies can even end up with a sinus infection without being sick first. Its likely your child has sinusitis if he has some combination of these symptoms:
Nasal congestion that persists for ten days or more
Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
A cough during the day that gets worse at night
Swelling around the nose and eyes that almost looks like a shiner
Pain in the jaw or behind the forehead or nose
An ongoing low-grade fever
How a cold or allergy can turn into sinusitis
With a little anatomy lesson, youll see how easy it is for a sinus infection to begin.
The sinuses are air-filled cavities above and below your eyes and on either side of your nose. When you have a cold or allergies, the normally thin lining of the sinuses swells. If the swelling blocks the passages between the sinuses and the nose, problems arise.
The sinuses are warm, wet, and dark, making them a good place for bacteria to grow. When enough bacteria have accumulated, you have a sinus infection.
How to treat sinusitis
Your child will need to take antibiotics, probably for two to three weeks. If the symptoms dont go away by then, or if they improve for a short time and then recur, the doctor may suggest trying a different antibiotic. With luck, youll find one that works.
What to do about repeated sinus infections
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