Causes & Risk Factors
Any health situation that blocks off the vital drainage channels of your sinuses can cause a sinus infection including:
- Respiratory infections like the common cold
- Hay fever or exposure to allergens such as cigarette smoke, dry air and pollutants
- Obstructions in the nasal or sinus cavities including nasal polyps, deviated septum, or nasal bone spur
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Changes in air pressure
- Infections resulting from dental problems
- Physical injury to the sinuses
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi
The five most common bacteria that can cause sinus infections are: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Risk factors for sinus infections include:
- Having asthma
- Being in the hospital, especially if the reason you are in the hospital is related to a head injury or you needed a tube inserted into your nose
How Does Food Affect Breath
Basically, all the food eaten begins to be broken down in your mouth. Also, foods are absorbed into your bloodstream and move to the lungs, affecting the air you exhale. If you eat foods with strong odors , brushing and flossing even mouthwash merely cover up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body. Other common foods that can cause bad breath include:
- Orange juice or soda
Likewise, dieters who donât eat often enough can have bad breath. When your body breaks down fat, the process releases chemicals that can give your breath an unpleasant smell.
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Invest In A Humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which may help reduce inflammation and open up your nasal passages. For a humidifier to be the most effective, Abi Hachem says it should be placed as close as possible to you in the same room so it can deliver the humidity into your nasal cavity.
It’s also important to keep your humidifier clean to prevent bacteria and fungi from building up in the tank and being released into the air, potentially causing lung problems. To clean your humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The EPA recommends that you empty the tank and dry all surfaces of the humidifier every day.
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Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and youre very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
Where Are Your Sinusesand What Is Sinus Pressure
When it comes to sinus pressure, it’s essentially swelling in your sinuses in response to three different scenarios: a pressure change between the air inside your sinuses and the air outside your sinuses , when irritants invade your sinuses , or when you have an anatomical issue .
Unfortunately, you can’t cater your sinus pain treatments to what’s causing itbut the good news is that most available remedies can work to reduce inflammation and swelling in your sinuses regardless of what’s causing it. Here’s a guide, according to doctors, on the best ways to treat sinus pain so you can start feeling better ASAP.
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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.
Applying Warm Wet Towels
A warm, wet towel held against the face may help relieve the swelling and inflammation of sinus congestion.
It may also help keep the mucous membranes moist by breathing in moist air, which can help it function properly.
People can also soak a towel in warm water, wring it out, and drape it over their face in a way that is still comfortable for them to breathe through their mouth.
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How To Use Vicks Sinex Spray Non
Use this medication in the nose as directed. Follow all directions on the product package, or use as directed by your doctor. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Gently blow your nose before using this drug. Use your finger to close the nostril on the side not receiving the medication. While keeping your head upright, place the spray tip into the open nostril. Spray the medication into the open nostril as you breathe in through your nose. Sniff hard a few times to be sure the medication reaches deep into the nose. Repeat these steps for the other nostril if needed.
Avoid spraying the medication into your eyes or onto the middle of the inside of your nose .
Rinse the spray tip with hot water or wipe with a clean tissue after each use. Make sure that water does not get inside the container. Replace cap after each use.
This medication provides only temporary relief. Do not use more often, use more sprays, or use longer than directed because doing so may increase the risk of side effects. Also, do not use this medication for more than 3 days or it may cause a condition called rebound congestion. Symptoms of rebound congestion include long-term redness and swelling inside the nose and increased runny nose. If this occurs, stop using this medication and consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Inform your doctor if your condition worsens or persists after 3 days.
The Science Behind Pseudoephedrine
When you have a cold or an allergy attack, your white blood cells gather in your nasal passages and sinuses. This causes nasal membranes to swell and increases mucus production. Pseudoephedrine constricts these blood vessels, which decreases drainage.
But those same constricted vessels might also increase your blood pressure and heart rate.
Pharmacist Kayla Ryan explains the mechanism of pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is chemically similar to adrenaline, so the body recognizes it as adrenaline, causing the blood pressure and heart rate to increase.
She refers to one of the last major studies of the effects of pseudoephedrine on blood pressure, which took place in 2005. This study found that pseudoephedrine increased systolic blood pressure by one point on average, while heart rate increased by an average of three beats per minute.
Ryan adds that the immediate-release products had a greater impact on heart rate and blood pressure than their 12 hour or 24 hour extended-release counterparts, which showed a smaller increase in blood pressure.
In 2005, the FDA passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, which requires pharmacies to sell all medications containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter. At your local drugstore, youll find cards in the cold and flu aisle with information for these medications. You can take the card to the pharmacist, who is required to scan your drivers license before purchase.
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Nasal Wash: Neti Pots Saline Nasal Spray And More
Many people find sinus relief through a saline nasal wash, but it does require some preparation. You can find a lot of these supplies at most drug stores, including
- rinse bottles,
You can buy a pre-filled container or make your own saline solution.
Nasal Saline Solution Recipe
To make your own nasal saline solution, follow this simple recipe:
- 16 ounces of sterile water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
Simply mix the lukewarm, sterile water with the salt. Some people add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to take the sting out of the salt, but this ingredient is optional.
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.
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Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath
If you dont brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. Inflammation of the gums from poor dental hygiene can also cause bad breath.
In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.
Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products also can cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate your gums.
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Urgent Advice: Call 111 For Advice Now If:
- you take too much pseudoephedrine
Taking too much pseudoephedrine can be dangerous.
It can make you restless or your heartbeat fast, and make you feel sick or vomit. You may also have difficulty peeing.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
If you need to go to A& E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.
Take the pseudoephedrine packet or leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.
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Use Some Steambut Don’t Expect A Long
Steamwhether from a humidifier or a hot showercan provide some symptomatic comfort, but isnt really a long-term solution, Mas Takashima, M.D., chair of otolaryngology at Houston Methodist Hospital, tells Health.
Certain areas are moist anyway and you can cause an overgrowth of mold , he explains. But for people who feel dry air or excessively dry sinuses are contributing to their pain, steam can be helpful.
What Are Other Remedies To Ease And Prevent Sinus Infections
- Run water into the nasals to clean it of excess mucus
- Inhale steam in the shower or bend over a pan with hot water
- Use a humidifier to moisten your air in your home to prevent the nasals from drying out
- Elevate your head to keep the mucus from clogging your sinus
- Dont forcefully blow your nose as it can irritate the nasals
- Use the decongestants with caution
- Dont use antihistamines unless prescribed by the doctor
- Balloon Sinuplasty clear the sinus by flushing the built-up mucus with saline solution
- Stereotactic navigation is a minimally invasive procedure that checks out any abnormal growths
- Endoscopic sinus surgery opens up the drainage passage of the sinus to restore its function
- Complex nasal polyp surgery. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths on the sinus or nasal passages. The procedure, if done correctly, canclear the nasal passages and ease discomfort.
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Home Remedies For Sinus Problems
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1-2 spoons of apple cider vinegar in about 6 ounces of water along with a teaspoon of honey in order to sweeten its taste. Drink this solution thrice a day, continuously for 5 days. Apple cider vinegar is the best to relieve sinus congestion as it loosens up the mucus in the cavities.
Horseradish is one of the best herbal remedies for sinus congestion. Simply grate some horseradish and put a pinch of the herb in your mouth. Let it remain in your mouth for a few minutes and then, spit it out. It quickly dissolves the mucus, blocked in the sinus.
3. Grapefruit Seed Extract
This is the best home remedy for clearing chronic sinus congestion. Grapefruit seed extract has excellent anti-fungal properties as well as it acts as a natural antibiotic. It is readily available as a nasal spray in the market.
4. Cayenne Pepper
Include cayenne pepper in your regular diet. This helps to open sinuses, and therefore, one of the best natural remedies for sinus drainage.
5. Neti Pot
Mix a teaspoon of sea salt in 2 cups of lukewarm water, and let it dissolve. Fill a neti pot with this solution. Now, stand over a sink and place the tip of the spout at one nostril. Slightly tilt your head towards sideways and let the water come out from the other nostril. Repeat this process with the other nostril too.
6. Humidify the Air
Use an air humidifier in your room. This will give you relief from the mucus congestion in the sinus.
13. Warm Water
Drink Lots Of Water And Get Adequate Rest
“I recommend drinking a lot of water because it thins the mucus,” Abi Hachem says. While there’s no evidence about the most effective quantity, he recommends drinking at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day.
You can also try drinking hot liquids like tea or soup to temporarily help relieve your symptoms. But you should avoid drinking alcohol, as it’s dehydrating and can worsen your congestion. If you’re taking an antibiotic for your sinus infection, drinking alcohol could increase side effects like upset stomach and drowsiness.
It’s also important to get about seven to nine hours of sleep each night to help your body rest and recover. “You want to get enough sleep and follow a normal sleep cycle so that all the hormones in your body are maxing out your immune system function,” Abi Hachem says.
Because getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult due to the pain and congestion, you can do the following to help you get more rest:
- Use a neti pot before going to bed to help clear your nasal passages.
- Sleep with your head raised by an extra pillow to help prevent mucus from pooling in your sinuses.
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Yoga Can Help Drain Mucus From Sinus Passageways
If you are in the midst of a sinus infection, a supported yoga pose where your head is elevated will help you feel better without putting too much pressure on your sinuses, says Leslie Kazadi, a certified yoga therapist who teaches around Los Angeles and online at YogisAnonymous.com.
One pose Kazadi suggests is Supported Reclined Cobblers Pose.
How to Try Supported Reclined Cobblers Yoga Pose
Best For Allergic Rhinitis: Clearup Sinus Infection Over The Counter Medicine
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