The Weird Causes Of Sinus Infections
Did you know that sinus inflammation is a common complication of allergies or any viral, fungal, or bacterial infections?
Even a pinched nerve in your back can cause systemic inflammation .
Technically, nasal congestion produces swelling in the sinus cavity, obstructing drainage and causing mucus to stagnate. A perfect breeding ground for infection.
To your health and happiness,
The Two Conditions Share Certain Symptoms
COVID-19 and sinus infection can have similar symptoms because they both involve the respiratory system. However, these conditions do not have the same causes.
This article discusses the differences between COVID-19 and sinus infections. It also details the overlapping symptoms of the two, when to see your healthcare provider, and the latest approved treatments for COVID-19.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
Are There Alternatives To The Z
The medications clarithromycin or are sometimes used as alternatives to the Z-Pak, according to Chirag Shah, MD, board-certified emergency medicine physician and co-founder of Push Health. However, these alternatives will not always work to treat the infection for which the Z-Pak was prescribed in the first place, and consultation with ones medical provider is recommended before changing medications.
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Signs Of A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is something you want to deal with right away to prevent it from escalating. However, its not easy to discern between the different symptoms and what they mean. After all, an infection manifests itself in a similar way to the flu or a cold, so you cant always act decisively.
With that in mind, here are some signs you have a sinus infection and should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.
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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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When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Which Types Of Doctors Treat Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
- Many sinus infections can be treated by your primary care physician or an Internal Medicine doctor.
- However, it is not unusual to consult an ENT specialist, infectious disease specialist, or an allergist or immunologist.
- With some complex sinus infections, a surgeon who specializes in sinus surgery may be necessary to consult.
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When Does Antibiotic Resistance Occur
Antibiotic resistance occurs in a persons own body and within the community when certain drugs no longer work for a specific type of germ. This can occur when bacteria change in response to exposure to antibiotics so that the antibiotics no longer work efficiently against the bacteria.
Therefore, allergists and other specialists recommend limiting the use of antibiotics unless:
- Symptoms last over seven to 10 days
- Specific symptoms are present
- A fever is present
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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Best Methods To Effectively Treat A Sinus Infection
What is Sinus infection?
Thick mucus and inflammation are the two main symptoms of sinus infection. As it gets heavy by the day, you may feel the pressure on your face and experience headaches, especially when you lean forward. It happens when fluids build up in the air-filled pockets in your face and later becomes the breeding ground for the germs to grow and cause infection. A sinus infection, also medically known as rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen, infected, and inflamed, causing a continuous nasal drip. There are two types of sinus infection Chronic and Acute.
Acute sinus infections usually last less than four weeks. It is typically due to existing colds and other respiratory illnesses. Sinus infection can be misleading as it overlaps the symptoms of another existing disease. If you recover from flu or any respiratory health problems, usually sinus infection stays. Hence, a chronic sinus infection lasts more than the acute stage and is recurring.
5 Best Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection
As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure.. However, If its too late, and the symptoms start to appear, here are some remedies you can try to treat your sinus infection.
1. Use over-the-counter medication
2. Drink plenty of water
3. Apply warm compress on the face
4. Steam inhalation therapy
5. Essential oils
When Do I See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection Cough
If your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 days or if youre experiencing a really bad post nasal drip , then it might be time to see a doctor. Likewise, if your sinus infection cough lasts longer than 2 to 3 weeks, it also might be time to see a doctor.
At this point, your doctor might recommend antibiotics. However, if you have chronic sinus infections on a regular basis, you might need to consider a more permanent solution. One such treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 25 minutes to complete. It is a safe and effective procedure that requires no cutting or removal of bone or tissue.
During this particular procedure, a balloon is inserted into your nasal cavity and then inflated. This process is designed to expand your sinuses and restore proper drainage for an extended period of time. Upon completion, patients report experiencing long-lasting relief from sinus infections and sinus-related issues .
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When Do I Really Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
When do I really need antibiotics for a sinus infection? is a question many patients have when suffering from bothersome sinus and allergy problems. While sinus infections can be quite painful, antibiotics often do not help in treating the condition.
Sinus infections affect approximately 37 million people in the U.S. each year and can be caused by:
- Nasal polyps or deviated septum causing nasal obstruction
The majority of sinus infections are viral in nature, and antibiotics do not cure viral infections. Taking antibiotics for viral infections also will not:
- Keep you from being contagious to others
- Relieve symptoms or make you feel better
In order to distinguish a bacterial sinus infection from an infection caused by a virus or other contributing factor, your doctor will observe your symptoms and possibly conduct other tests, such as a CT scan or cultures.
Antibiotics are only effective on bacterial infections, and even in cases involving bacteria, the body can often cure itself of mild or moderate infections within a few days.
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.
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Feel Better Sooner Without Antibiotics
Instead of taking antibiotics for sinusitis, Consumer Reports chief medical adviser, Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., recommends that you get plenty of rest, rinse your nose with a saltwater sinus rinse or spray, drink warm fluids, and inhale steam from a hot bath, shower, or kettle. For pain, he says, try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
If needed, your doctor can prescribe a prescription corticosteroid spray, such as fluticasone or triamcinolone. A systematic review published in JAMA in 2015 found that after saline irrigation, the second-best treatment for chronic sinusitis was a topical corticosteroid spray for a few days.
Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
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How To Tell If You Have An Actual Sinus Infection
Even though we often say we have a sinus infection even if its just inflammation or an allergic response, there are symptoms of an actual infection that may be treatable with antibiotics. Nasal congestion and pain under the eyes or around the temples are, of course, main symptoms, but others include the loss of the sense of smell, green nasal discharge, mucus dripping down your throat, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and even bad breath.
Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up without intervention, but if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, have your symptoms for 10 or more days, notice that your symptoms are getting worse and are not improved by OTC medications, or you have multiple infections in a years time, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
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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Research Into Antibiotics And Sinus Infections
The guidelines were triggered, in part, by studies finding that antibiotics may not make a difference. About 60% to 70% of people with sinus infections recover without antibiotics, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
In one study of symptom relief, patients given antibiotics generally did no better than patients not given antibiotics.
This study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, observed 240 patients with sinusitis. They were given one of four treatments: antibiotics alone, nasal steroid spray alone to reduce tissue swelling, both antibiotics and the spray, or no treatment.
Patients who got no treatment were as likely to get better than those who got the antibiotics. The nasal spray seemed to help people with less severe symptoms at the beginning of their sinus problem, and seemed to make those with more intense congestion worse.
The patients all had sinus symptoms that suggested a bacterial infection. Sinus problems are also caused by viruses, for which antibiotics definitely offer no help.
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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Irrigate Your Sinuses To Help Ease Symptoms And Prevent Sinus Infections
Nasal irrigation is basically a method of using a saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucus residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash, nasal douche, or lavage. Some people refer to it by one of the popular devices used to get the water in, a neti pot.
A small number of studies has found irrigation can improve symptoms, including one review published in September 2016 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Experts caution that it is important to use distilled or sterile water to avoid the rare possibility of introducing a parasite into your sinus passageways.
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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.
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Boosting Your Immune System
Please do not skip this step. Boosting your immune system is critical if you want this 2-day cure plan to work.
If youre going to do the neti pot and an hour later eat some junk food and work until midnight, then just forget about it.
1. One of the best ways to boost your immune system is by taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
What a great immune system booster. It contains vitamins A and D, as well as essential Omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Oregano oilis rightfully called natures antibiotic.
You only need a few drops of high-quality organic Oregano Oil a day to give your immune system a good boost.
3. Vitamin C a powerful anti-oxidant. You can try 3-4 chewable Vitamin C a day to supercharge your immune system and speed up healing or make your own Vitamin C supplement at home.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar my grandmother used to cure just about any ailment she had with 1-2 spoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in a cup of warm water twice a day.
Your Sinusitis Keeps Coming Back Because You Dont Have An Accurate Diagnosis
If the infection lasts longer than a couple of weeks or the pain is becoming unbearable, seek medical treatment immediately. Accurate diagnosis is key to treating sinusitis, especially when the infections return over and over again. You can treat allergies all you want, but a polyp, deviated septum, or other anatomical abnormalities in the nasal passages wont disappear without more expert treatment.
A comprehensive examination of the nose and sinus passages by a specialist is necessary to evaluate the correct diagnosis and cause of your symptoms. In some cases, what has been previously diagnosed as a sinus issue has, in fact, been caused by another issue. Identifying the correct diagnosis is the first step to feeling better.
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