When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Sinusitis
Though many cases of acute sinusitis can improve with little to no treatment, you should call the doctor if you experience any painful symptoms. An antibiotic may be needed for a bacterial infection.
If you find that your sinuses do not feel better after 10 days, symptoms have gotten worse, or you have symptoms that initially improved and then worsen five to six days later , you should contact your healthcare provider. Symptoms that continue after about four weeks may mean you have subacute or chronic sinusitis. If you develop other types of symptoms, such as severe eye swelling, or you are just not sure what you should do next, call your provider.
If you have facial pain, and you have healthy teeth, you can try things like nasal rinses and warm, wet washcloths on your face to see if you find some relief. If so, and if your symptoms go away in about 10 days, you probably have had acute sinusitis and it has gotten better on its own. If not, and you continue to feel ill after three or four weeks, call your provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
When To Use And Avoid Antibiotics And Other Treatments To Try
A sinus infection can be treated with antibiotics when it is caused by bacteria. Sinus infections that have other causes, such as allergies or viruses, won’t benefit from antibiotics.
Most sinus infections don’t need antibiotics and will start to get better without treatment. Healthcare providers typically only prescribe antibiotics for sinus infections that don’t clear up on their own.
This article looks at what types of sinus infections can be treated with antibiotics. It also discusses over-the-counter treatments and home remedies.
How Naturopathic Doctors Treat Sinus Infections
Sinus infections are a common complaint for both adults and children. In fact, it is the most common reason for doctor visits in the US. The main symptoms include: a stuffy nose, post nasal drip, thick yellow to green, offensive smelling discharge from the nose, pain and pressure around the nose, eyes and face, cough, fever, brain fog, and fatigue. Naturopathic doctor, Amy Rothenberg, ND shares what to expect from naturopathic medicine when treating a sinus infection.
When you have a sinus infection the tissues in the maxillary sinuses become inflamed and swollen, which can also happen with a common cold or from allergies. So how do you tell the difference between a cold and sinus infection? A cold starts as a virus with a runny nose for a few days, followed by a stuffy nose for another few days and then it typically subsides. The mucus will be clear and the whole uncomfortable situation will be done in about 7 days.
On the other hand, a sinus infection is caused by a build-up of mucus and bacteria that lingers and causes an infection. A small percentage of colds may turn into sinus infections, which is why its important to stay hydrated and flush out your sinuses with saline so bacteria doesnt get trapped and get infected.
There are recognizable differences between a cold and sinus infection: duration and fever. Sinus infections last longer than colds , the mucus is colored green and you may have a fever from the trapped bacterial infection.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Remedy For Sinus Headache
What Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Sinus Infections And Sinusitis
Sinus infection is most often diagnosed based on the history and examination of a doctor. Because plain X-ray studies of the sinuses may be misleading and procedures such as CT and MRI scans, which are much more sensitive in their ability to diagnose a sinus infection, are so expensive and not available in most doctors’ offices, most sinus infections are initially diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination. These physical findings may include
- redness and swelling of the nasal passages,
- purulent drainage from the nasal passages ,
- tenderness to percussion over the cheeks or forehead region of the sinuses, and
- swelling about the eyes and cheeks.
Occasionally, nasal secretions are examined for secreted cells that may help differentiate between infectious and allergic sinusitis. Infectious sinusitis may show specialized cells of infection while allergic sinusitis may show specialized white blood cells of allergy . Physicians prescribe antibiotics if a bacterial infection is suspected. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections many physicians then treat the symptoms.
In addition, both rigid and flexible endoscopy has been used to obtain diagnostic material from sinuses. These procedures are usually done by an otolaryngologist under topical and local anesthesia. Occasionally, there may be a need to sedate the patient. Some investigators suggest that endoscopy specimens are comparable to those obtained by needle puncture.
Mucinex Nightshift Sinus 6 Fl Oz Relieves Fever Sore Throat Runny Nose Sneezing
- Both formulas help relieve sinus pressure and sinus congestion, and nasal congestion due to the common cold, hay fever, or upper respiratory allergies.
- 20-count of sudafed pe sinus congestion day + night maximum strength decongestant tablets to temporarily relieve sinus pressure and sinus congestion for both day and night.
- From the #1 pharmacist recommended brand among oral otc decongestants, this maximum-strength formula can be used by adults and children 12 years and older for powerful relief.
- Each multi-pack contains 20 tablets of nasal decongestant, with 12 daytime and 8 nighttime tablets for powerful symptom relief throughout the day and while you sleep.
- Each daytime and nighttime dose contains 10 milligrams of the nasal decongestant phenylephrine hcl and each nighttime dose also contains 25 milligrams of the antihistamine diphenhydramine hcl.
You May Like: Can A Sinus Infection Be Bacterial
Is It Possible To Prevent Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Currently, there are no vaccines designed specifically against infectious sinusitis or sinus infections. However, there are vaccines against viruses and bacteria that may cause some infectious sinusitis. Vaccination against pathogens known to cause infectious sinusitis may indirectly reduce or prevent the chance of getting the disease however, no specific studies support this assumption. Fungal vaccines against sinusitis are not available, currently.
If you are prone to recurrent bouts of a “yearly sinus infection” it may be important to consider allergy testing to see if this is the underlying cause of the recurring problem. Treatment of the allergy may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections. In addition, sinus infections may be due to other problems such as nasal polyps, tumors, or diseases that obstruct normal mucus flow. Treatment of these underlying causes may prevent recurrent sinus infections.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Taking Decongestants With Other Medicines
Ask a pharmacist or GP before taking decongestants if youâre taking other medicines.
For example, taking decongestants alongside some antidepressants can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
Itâs also important to be careful when taking other medicines if youâre using an âall-in-1â decongestant remedy.
âAll-in-1â decongestants also contain painkillers or antihistamines, so it could be dangerous to take extra doses of these medicines at the same time.
Page last reviewed: 28 February 2019 Next review due: 28 February 2022
Also Check: Advil Cold And Sinus Antihistamine
How To Treat Sinus Headache If You Have Both High Blood Pressure And Are Taking Thyroid Medicine
- 17 Jan 2015 by Dan2525
Mucinex Cold & Sinus, can cause or raise blood pressure, I take thyroid medicine you could take it with that, I would consult with your Doctor before taking it, there are some over the counter medâs that you can take with high blood pressure, clorcentin is one, I know I didnât spell that right, you could also call the drugstore and ask them Iâm sure they would know what would be best for you to take.
Ask your doc or pharmacist about taking Claritin â itâs okay for HBP, but Iâm not sure about the thyroid.
Also Check: Spicy Food And Blood Pressure
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
At-home remedies can greatly reduce sinus infection symptoms, although they do not treat the infection.
Saltwater nasal irrigation is one of the treatments of choice for the symptoms of chronic sinusitis in adults, though studies show no benefit for children.Nasal irrigation is easy to do at home using a neti pot or other sinus rinse methods.
Using a steam vaporizer or a warm or cool mist humidifier may help keep your mucus thin. Inhalation of steam mixed with eucalyptus, chamomile, or peppermint may also help. While theres no scientific research that these additives improve symptoms, you may find them soothing.
Hot vaporizers are a burn hazard and should not be used near your face or around children.
Other helpful tips:
- A hot shower may relieve pain, promote drainage, and open up the sinus cavities.
- Reduce facial pain and swelling by applying a warm compress to your face.
- Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
You May Like: How To Clear A Sinus Infection Fast
How Can I Avoid Future Sinus Infections
Once youve had a nasty sinus infection, you wont want to relive the experience. To help prevent them from occurring again, get your annual flu shot and steer clear of people with colds or the flu. Use your humidifier. Live as healthfully as you can get sufficient sleep, reduce stress and eat a wholesome diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and if you do smoke, take steps to quit. Last, but not least, always wash your hands.
Ultimately, sinusitis is a painful and revolting nuisance. But approaching them with these smart strategies could save you a world of hurt.
This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
How Is Acute Sinusitis Diagnosed
Acute sinusitis is usually diagnosed by discussing all of your symptoms and medical history with your doctor. In a physical exam, your doctor will look at the ears, nose, and throat to check for any blockage, swelling, and drainage. If allergies are suspected, your doctor will can have an allergy test performed to determine what allergens might be the cause of your sinusitis.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
Also Check: Toothache From Sinus Infection Remedy
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.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know if a sinus infection is bacterial, viral, or has other causes based on symptoms alone. Because viral sinus infections tend to improve in 5 to 7 days, healthcare providers will usually only prescribe antibiotics if your symptoms go on for longer than this. A sinus infection that persists for longer than a week or continues to get worse during this time period is more likely to be bacterial.
Therefore, allergists and other specialists recommend limiting the use of antibiotics unless:
- Symptoms last over seven to 10 days
- A fever is present
Treatment For Colds And Sinus Infections
All colds and most sinus infections are caused by viruses and clear up on their own without treatment. Know that antibiotics do not work against viruses. Cold and sinus infection treatment involves relieving symptoms. Home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help you feel better, but they do not shorten the length of the illness. Getting plenty of rest, drinking enough water, applying a warm compress to your sinus area and using a humidifier can make you more comfortable.
Over-the-counter medications can also help alleviate cold and sinus symptoms. Read labels closely when choosing a medication. Note that combination medicines contain more than one active ingredient. For example, Alka Seltzer Plus contains several active ingredients, including acetaminophen . In this case, you’d have to be careful to not also take a separate dose of acetaminophen. You also should not take medications for symptoms you don’t have. Your pharmacist can help you find an OTC product to treat your specific symptoms:
There are no prescription medications for colds, but there are prescription medications for symptom management. One of these is ipratropium bromide , which is available as a nasal spray or as an inhaler. This nasal spray can ease a runny nose, postnasal drip and a sore throat, and the inhaler relaxes airways and prevents secretion of mucus in the nose.
Clinically reviewed and updated December 2021.
You May Like: Allergy Asthma And Sinus Center Hendersonville Tn
Medicine For Cold And Sinus
Headache, nasal pain, congestion, runny nose and fatigue.
There’s no doubt that these symptoms can make you feel miserable, but it can be hard to tell what’s causing the discomfort. Is it a cold or sinus infection? Both of these illnesses share many of the same symptoms, and treatment is often similar, too. Here you’ll learn about colds and sinus infections, including cold and sinus medicines.
Related Resources For Sinus Infections
* Prescription savings vary by prescription and by pharmacy, and may reach up to 80% off cash price.
Pharmacy names, logos, brands, and other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
Recommended Reading: Best Medicine For Nasal Congestion And Sinus Pressure
How Can You Tell If You Have Chronic Sinusitis
Does it feel like your sinus infection just wont quit? If you experience at least two of the following for 12 weeks or more even though youve been treated it may be chronic sinusitis:
- Discharge of mucus or postnasal drip
- Pain or pressure in your face
- Problems with smell
Chronic sinus infections can be triggered by colds but are typically caused by long-term inflammation. Sometimes, when treatments to control that inflammation fail, people with chronic sinusitis need surgery to drain their mucus.
Why Are Antibiotics Important
Antibiotics are one of the most common classifications of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Since their introduction to the world of medicine, they have helped treat countless people, especially those with infectious diseases.
Antibiotics are very crucial during surgeries and are used to prevent patients from getting any infections from the cut. Without antibiotics, there is a higher chance of blood poisoning and the more complicated surgeries would not be possible to perform.
Also Check: Aleve D Sinus And Headache Discontinued
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.
Will My Sinus Infection Clear Up On Its Own
Topics in this Post
The first few weeks of the common cold aren’ fun, but the acute sinusitis that can develop afterwards doesn’t help either. Unfortunately, sinus congestion and the common cold go hand in hand. Acute sinusitis frequently is caused by the common cold, but also can be caused by allergies and bacterial and fungal infections.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Migraine Headache
What Can I Do
While you wait for your infection to run its course, you can take steps at home to feel better.
Look into nasal sprays. Store-bought saline nasal spray loosens up mucus, temporarily clearing it from your nasal passages. A steroid nasal spray like fluticasone may help tame inflammation, especially if you have underlying allergies. Unsure about using a steroid? Follow package directions and go to your HCP with questions.
Be wary of decongestant nasal sprays, like oxymetazoline . Using them for longer than three days could cause rebound symptoms persistent stuffiness eased only by the spray itself. Dryness and addiction are also possibilities.
Embrace sinus rinses like the neti pot. Many sinus infection veterans swear by nasal irrigation systems, such as plastic squeeze bottles or teakettle-shaped neti pots. These devices are filled with a sterile saline solution and used to flush snot from your sinuses.
Neti pots and their ilk are widely available and typically safe, as long as you handle them properly. Dont use water directly from your tap. Instead use distilled water, a sterile saline solution or water that has been boiled and then cooled.
Try over-the-counter medicines. Experts recommend analgesics including acetaminophen , ibuprofen and aspirin to ease pain, as well as decongestants like pseudoephedrine to alleviate the pressure of congestion.
Finally, you may want to avoid flying or scuba diving, since either can aggravate sinus pain.