Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.
The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.
There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.
Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus 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.
When Does A Sinus Infection Require Urgent Care
While a minor sinus infection does not require a trip to urgent care or indicate a reason for significant concern, a more severe sinus infection in which the symptoms become intolerable or last for an extended amount of time may need medical assistance for the underlying cause of the sinus infection to be appropriately treated.
During a sinus infection, it is essential to keep an eye on the symptoms and come in for a visit to our urgent care facility in the event the symptoms become intolerable or no sign of improvement is noticed after more than a week. At our urgent care facility, we can efficiently and effectively diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your sinus infection.
While prevention is the best way to handle a sinus infection, it is not always possible to prevent, especially when caused by the common cold. Therefore, it is essential to know exactly what to do if a sinus infection develops.
If you or your child develop a sinus infection that becomes concerning for any reasons, do not hesitate to come in for a visit or give us a call to find out the next step to take. There is no appointment needed, and we promise you quick and effective care here at our urgent care facility.
Questions to Ask Your Urgent Care Provider
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Sinus Doctor Since 1999 The Best Natural Sinus Infection Treatment
The CAUSE of your Sinus Infection can only be caused by either
- Fungus breeding in your sinus cavities
- Virus breeding in your sinus cavities
- Bacteria breeding in your sinus cavities Nothing else.
So, all you have to do is kill the fungus, virus, or bacteria without harming your immune system and your Sinus Infection will be gone, right?
So, why has it been so difficult to get rid of your Sinus Infection?
Because all the pharmaceutical treatments for Sinus Infection are designed to reduce your symptoms only not stop the cause of your sinus infection.
That way you will continue to buy their antibiotics, nasal sprays, decongestants, steroids, and painkillers. until the day you die.
Or if you are insured, or very rich they will literally bleed you dry.
They will even offer to cut your infected sinuses out for a few thousand dollars.
Bearing in mind that the average salary for an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor is between $350-$500,000 per year. That is half a million dollars a year for cutting out God-given organs, which were merely infected. Lets assume that God knew what he/she was doing that you actually need your sinuses to be healthy. Most sinus surgery is criminal in my opinion.
Things Ent Doctors Do When They Have A Sinus Infection
11/8/21 in Blog Posts
If you have pesky symptoms like congestion, facial pressure and post-nasal drip, they could be signs a sinus infection is setting up shop in your nasal cavity.
Sinus infections, better known as sinusitis, affect roughly 31 million people in the U.S. each year, and they spend more than $1 billion on over-the-counter meds to treat them, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Because a little self-care is usually all that’s needed to ease sinus symptoms, we asked several ENTs what they do when a sinus infection strikes and how you can move along your own healing process.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
You have acute sinusitis when you have had cloudy or colored drainage from your nose for up to four weeks, plus one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stuffy, congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure, or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes
- Long-lasting cold symptoms
- Symptoms that do not improve within 10 days of getting sick, or initially get better then worsen again
You might have chronic sinusitis if you have at least two of the four symptoms note below for at least 12 weeks. An ENT specialist would also need to see polyps, pus, or thickened mucous in nose, or get a CT scan, to fully diagnose chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms include:
- Stuff congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes
- Thickened nasal drainage
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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.
Otolaryngologist In Austin Tx
Sinus infections are common and can happen to anyone, anywhere. Rest, home remedies, and over-the-counter medications should be enough to treat you, and your symptoms should be gone in a few days. However, if you exhibit symptoms for more than ten days, you should visit an otolaryngologist. They can help by educating you about sinus infections and what you can do to avoid having sinus infections. They can also diagnose other conditions which may be causing your recurrent sinus infections.
You can find certified and highly experienced otolaryngologists here at the Nasal & Sinus Center of Austin. We treat chronic allergies and sinusitis to help people breathe freely and live better. To schedule an appointment in any of our locations, please fill out our online form. For more queries about our services, please call our main office in Austin at 648-8499. Our staff and doctors are always ready to improve your breathing.
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Can You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Many sinus infections are caused by a virus like the common cold and do not require antibiotics for treatment. If you have mild symptoms, OTC medications may help relieve your symptoms until you feel better. However, consult your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days, or if at any time you have intense/severe pain or pressure, or a high fever.
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:
- your forehead
- 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.
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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.
When Should I Call The Doctor About A Cold Or Sinus Infection
Most colds go away without medical treatment. If you have pain around your face or eyes, along with thick yellow or green nasal discharge for more than a week, check with your doctor. Also call them if you have fever or symptoms that are severe or don’t get better with over-the-counter treatments.
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Nasal Congestion And/or Discharge
When your sinuses are inflamed, you may have difficulty breathing through your nose. We colloquially refer to this as a stuffy nose, though congestion can also result in the opposite: a runny nose. When mucus production is normal, we dont notice it, but when you have a buildup of mucus, you may feel it dripping down the back of your throat and nose.
If your mucus is yellow or green and thicker than normal, and you feel as though its either difficult to breathe properly or that youre blowing your nose more than usual, you likely have a sinus infection.
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.
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Common Causes Of Sinus Infection
You can easily get sinus infections, depending on your environment. If you stay in a house filled with mold and dust, you can get sinus infections more often than other people. You also get a higher chance of developing the infection when you have a cold or allergy.
Other people with the following also have a higher risk of getting sinus infections:
- Weak immune system
- Often smokes or drinks
People with other medical conditions, such as HIV, also risk getting a sinus infection. Try to take note of your allergies and medical conditions as not to get complications. You could get complications like vision problems and skin infection.
What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.
Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives. Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever. Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose. About 30 million adults have “sinusitis.” Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.
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Are There Preventative Steps Or Measures To Avoid A Sinus Infection
There are many things that you can do to help prevent sinus infections. You dont even need to see a doctor for some of the most effective sinus infection prevention. Some of your best options include:
- Keeping your hands clean to lower your risk of getting the flu or common cold
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke
- Stay away from people who show symptoms of colds and other upper respiratory infections
- Using a humidifier to improve the quality of the air in your home
- Cleaning your humidifier regularly to stop bacteria from growing
- Stay up-to-date with your immunizations
- Following these tips cant guarantee that you wont get a sinus infection, but they can lower your risk.
Instances Of Chronic Sinusitis
Over 30 million Americans have sinus infections each year. However, some people may have sinus infections more frequently.
People with chronic sinusitis experience different levels of symptom severity. Some may have symptoms clearing up in a few days, while some may suffer longer. Even if you only have minor sinus infections but experience them frequently, you need to visit an otolaryngologist. A sinus infection once in a while is no big deal, but having this issue multiple times a year needs medical attention.
An otolaryngologist can also help diagnose conditions or anything that can be a risk factor for sinus infections. Here are several risk factors your doctor can identify:
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Nasal polyps
- Respiratory tract infections
Chronic nasal congestion is a significant risk factor as it may cause bacterial buildup. This can then cause recurring sinus infections.
You may need a nasal procedure for permanent relief in the case of a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or chronic sinusitis. Your doctor might surgically remove abnormal tissue growth or enlarge and clean your nasal drainage area with a balloon sinuplasty.
Chronic allergies may need immunotherapy to reduce your immune systems reactivity to allergens. Your otolaryngologist may have access to allergy treatments to provide you long-term relief.
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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.