Whats Happening In My Body
Most sinus infections come from colds that start in the nose.
A lot of sinus infections are caused by coronaviruses.
These viruses replicate in the nose. Your immune system then kicks off an inflammatory response to help kill the virus. This can cause swelling in the sinuses, leading to your symptoms.
Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections dont respond to antibiotics and usually just need to run their course. But you dont have to take it lying down!
Is Online Care An Option
Absolutely! Sinus infections are easy to diagnose and treat safely through an online or video interview. When you see a doctor or nurse practitioner through an online or video visit, youll be asked the same questions as you would if you were in person. They can also prescribe medication and set up a treatment plan to help get you feeling better right away.
When its time to see someone for your sinusitis symptoms, consider Virtuwell.com our online clinic thats available day and night. Our certified nurse practitioners diagnose and treat more sinus infections than any other condition.
If you want to see your primary care doctor, you can set up a primary care appointment. And if you dont want to leave the house, you can make it a video visit.
Make The Sinus Pain And Mind
“Techniques that take advantage of the mind-body connection, such as deep breathing practices and relaxation exercises, can be very effective for relieving sinus pain,” notes Das. These practices rely on the mind’s ability to influence pain perception and are especially helpful with chronic or recurrent pain that is often seen with sinus pressure. Some examples include biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and hypnotherapy.
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Oral Decongestants And Decongestant Sprays
Congestion in the nasal passages and sinuses occurs when blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid. Decongestants help reduce sinuses’ swelling and relieve sinus congestion by reducing blood flow to the nasal passages. OTC nasal decongestants are available as nasal sprays:
- Oxymetazoline-containing products: Afrin, Zicam Sinus Relief, Nostrilla, Dristan, Vicks Sinus Nasal Spray
- Naphazoline-containing product: Privine
- Phenylephrine-containing products: Rhinall, Neo-Synephrine, Little Remedies Decongestant Nose Drops.
Examples of commonly-used oral decongestants are Sudafed PE and Sudafed . Both of these oral decongestants are available without a prescription, except Sudafed is kept behind the pharmacy counter and available upon request. This restriction on pseudoephedrine is due to the fact that this chemical can be used illegally to manufacture methamphetamines.
Always use a nasal decongestant according to the package instructions. An OTC decongestant nasal spray should be used for a maximum of 3 days to avoid rebound congestion, i.e., worsening nasal congestion that wont go away.
You should not take an oral decongestant for longer than 7 days without being medically reviewed, especially if your symptoms worsen or you start having a fever.
Oral decongestants are not appropriate for:
For Children Contact A Doctor If Their Nasal Congestion:
- Is accompanied by a fever and the child is under 2 months old
- Is causing difficulty with breastfeeding or eating or drinking
- Is causing problems with breathing
- Is accompanied by swelling, pain, or pressure in the face, cheek, or forehead
- Is causing difficulty with vision
- Is accompanied by a yellow, green, or off-colored nasal discharge
- Is accompanied by a bloody discharge
- Is accompanied by a sore throat and/or visible signs of white or yellow spots on the tonsils
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What Are Some Home Remedies For Sinus Congestion
Besides over-the-counter and prescription medications to help with sinus congestion, there are several things you can do, such as inhaling steam and using Neti Pots to moisten and open up your nasal passages and sinuses. Heres a quick overview of home remedies for sinus congestion:
- Use a vaporizer or humidifier to moisten the nasal passages.
- Inhale steam from hot water in a pot or hot shower.
- Use a saline nasal spray to moisten your nasal passages.
- Use Neti Pots or another nasal irrigation device to flush out your sinuses and help relieve congestion.
- Place a warm, wet towel on your face to reduce discomfort and loosen up mucus.
- Use a bulb syringe to remove mucus from your nose.
- Drink plenty of fluids to thin your mucus.
- Avoid chlorinated pools, which can irritate your nasal passages.
- Keep your head raised on a couple of pillows when lying down.
- Avoid blowing your nose with too much force, as this can push mucus into your sinuses.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
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.
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Symptoms Of Sinus Pain And Pressure
When you experience sinus pain and pressure, there are likely other symptoms that come along with it. If your discomfort is being caused by a sinus infection or allergies you may also experience related symptoms like exhaustion, sore throat, and headache.
Common signs and symptoms of a sinus infection include:
Does The Neti Pot Really Work
Some ear, nose, and throat surgeons recommend nasal irrigation with a Neti pot or other method for their patients who’ve undergone sinus surgery, to clear away crusting in the nasal passages. Many people with sinus symptoms from allergies and environmental irritants also have begun to regularly use the Neti pot or other nasal irrigation devices, claiming that these devices alleviate congestion, and facial pain and pressure. Research backs up these claims, finding that nasal irrigation can be an effective way to relieve sinus symptoms when used along with standard sinus treatments. For some people, nasal irrigation may bring relief of sinus symptoms without the use of medications.
The basic explanation of how the Neti pot works is that it thins mucus and helps flush it out of the nasal passages.
A more biological explanation for how the Neti pot works has to do with tiny, hair-like structures called cilia that line the inside of the nasal and sinus cavities. These cilia wave back and forth to push mucus either to the back of the throat where it can be swallowed, or to the nose to be blown out. Saline solution can help increase the speed and improve coordination of the cilia so that they may more effectively remove the allergens and other irritants that cause sinus problems.
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Sinus Infection Home Remedies Recommended By A Doctor
Philip Scolaro, MD
You probably dont give too much thought to your ability to breathe through your nose until you wake up with a sinus infection and that ability is gone!
Sinus infections, sometimes called acute sinusitis, can steal your joy pretty quickly.
A lot of viruses start with nasal symptoms. If you have a scratchy throat, congestion, and a runny nose, youve probably got a virus on your hands.
What Does Sinus Congestion Feel Like
The most common symptom of sinus congestion is sinus pain, which is a pressure-like pain behind the eyes and cheekbones. Facial tenderness and toothache can also present. Sinus congestion is often accompanied by other symptoms such as runny nose, blocked or stuffy nose, nasal discharge, postnasal drip , headache, sore throat, cough, loss of smell, bad breath, fever, and tiredness.
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Sinus Headache Vs Migraine
According to the American Migraine Foundation, 50 percent of migraine misdiagnoses start with a person thinking they have sinus headache. Up to 90 percent of people who go to the doctor for sinus headache find out they have migraine instead.
People with migraine may develop symptoms similar to sinusitis, like a runny nose or congestion. Migraine headaches also cause pain along the trigeminal nerve, which interacts with the sinus passages. People experiencing migraine may think this pain is related to the sinuses.
If you dont have any of the symptoms that come specifically with a sinus headache, you may be experiencing a migraine. Migraine is treated differently from sinus headache. Symptoms specific to migraine include:
- sensitivity to light and sound
If youre experiencing symptoms specific to migraine, youre likely experiencing a migraine attack and not a sinus headache.
Sinusitis directly causes sinus headaches, so they share the same causes and triggers. These include:
- Viral infection. This is the most common cause of sinusitis and sinus headache. About
What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Headaches
Many sinus headaches, especially those that recur, are actually migraines. But its smart to see your healthcare provider to figure out the cause of your headaches.
You may find that the best long-term solution is figuring out what triggers your migraine headaches so you can avoid them. Its helpful to keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Triggers you can control include:
- Specific foods, such as chocolate, red wine or strong cheese.
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Differentiate Between Sinus Headache And Migraine Headache
Many people who assume they are having sinus pain due to sinus pressure are actually having a migraine headache. Migraine pain can involve the same nerves as the sinus cavities and is frequently accompanied by nasal congestion, nausea, and aggravation by bright light. “If sinus pain is caused by a migraine, the best natural treatment is lying down in a dark, quiet room,” advises Das.
How To Relieve Sinus Pain & Pressure: 13 Tips From An Ent Doctor
Dr. Menachof, MD, has specialized in conditions around the head, throat, ear, nose, neck and face for over 20 years, and was the first to bring sublingual allergy drops to Colorado in 2005. He has been recognized as a Fellow by multiple academies, named one of Americas Top Facial Plastic Surgeons continually since 2003 and is featured in multiple national publications.
Sinus pain and pressure can make you feel like your head is about to explode. Experiencing this pressure on a regular basis can be frustrating and even limit your daily lifestyle. Most causes of sinus pain, such as sinusitis, will resolve themselves within seven to ten days, but those with symptoms for any longer should consider getting help from an Ear, Nose and Throat expert.
Rest assured, there are a variety of prescription and at-home remedies that can help relieve your sinus pain and pressure. Dr. Michael Menachof, a leading ENT specialist, has created a list of 13 ways to help alleviate your painful sinuses and head pressure.
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When Should I Use A Nasal Decongestant
If you have mild congestion caused by cold, flu, or seasonal allergies, you may want to consider an OTC nasal decongestant. This can help clear up your nasal passages and help you breathe more easily.
You dont have to take a decongestant as part of your at-home treatment regimen. Once your infection clears away or your allergies arent triggered, the congestion will clear up on its own.
Sinus Pain Has A Variety Of Causes
If your head is throbbing and you feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks, or forehead, you could have a sinus headache. “Many factors can cause a sinus headache,” says Subinoy Das, MD, chief executive officer and interim medical director for the U.S. Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research in Columbus, Ohio. The most important factor is swelling of the lining of the nose and sinuses, causing pressure and pain on in the face and head.
Symptoms of sinus pain and headache include pain associated with congestion from a common cold or allergies pain around your eyes, forehead, or over your teeth pain that is worse in the morning and pain that gets worse when you bend over. Some of the more natural methods of relieving sinus pain that reduce swelling, thin mucus secretions, and improve sinus drainage are often very helpful.
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How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home The First Several Days
Many sinus infections clear up on their own, with symptoms usually starting to improve after two days. While thats good news, youre going to need help while youre in the thick of feeling gross. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do in the meantime to help you feel better:
- Start taking over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol, Advil or Aleve. These will help with the pressure and pain youre feeling, along with any fever or headaches. Make sure to read the label and cycle between different medications for maximum relief. Also, avoid taking Tylenol for pain if youre using cold or flu medicines that also use acetaminophen.
- Use a decongestant nasal spray. Using a spray like oxymetazoline can also help with congestion during the first three days.
- Breathe in warm, humid air. Take hot showers or baths throughout the day. If you have a humidifier, now is the perfect time to use it.
- Try clearing your nasal passages with a saline solution . Saline washes are excellent at helping to clear your nasal passages and reduce congestion. You can pick some up at your local pharmacy.
- Press a warm, moist towel to your face for 5-10 minutes several times a day. The heat and moist air it creates can help reduce swelling and pain in your nasal passages.
- Drink lots of water and other fluids. This can help thin your mucus and reduce congestion.
Which Allergy Drugs Are Ok With High Blood Pressure
11 Fast Facts About Your ChildÃ¢s Allergies I Have High Blood Pressure. Are Allergy Drugs OK? First things first: Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before you start to take any medication Ã¢ for allergies , high blood pressure , or anything else. ThatÃ¢s true for herbs and supplements , too. Antihistamines are the most common medication for allergies . Most of them seem to be safe if you have high blood pressure Ã¢ but again, ask to make sure. DonÃ¢t take decongestants unless your doctor tells you otherwise. They may raise your blood pressure . They also keep some high blood pressure drugs from working the way they should. Watch out for combination medications for allergies that include decongestant ingredients. That includes allergy drugs as well as many remedies for cold, flu , and sinus problems. Ask your pharmacist to check the ingredients for you. WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on December 14, 2016 American Heart Association: Ã¢Over-the-Counter Medications.Ã¢ Harvard Medical School: Ã¢DonÃ¢t Let Decongestants Squeeze Your Heart.Ã¢ UpToDate: Ã¢Definition, risk factors, and evaluation of resistant hypertension,Ã¢Ã¢Diphenhydramine.Ã¢Continue reading > >
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What Are The Symptoms Of Headaches Caused By Sinus Pressure
Sinus headaches are the result of swelling or inflammation in the mucosal lining of the nose and sinuses. This swelling can cause a sensation of pressure in the head, face and behind the eyes, which is often accompanied by pain in the form of a headache, pain around the eyes, and pain in the face. These symptoms can get worse with movements such as lying or bending down.
Sinus headaches typically have other symptoms that coincide with them. These symptoms usually resemble a head cold and can include:
- Nasal congestion
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What Are Some Options For Sinus Headache Treatment
You can try some at-home lifestyle remedies, including drinking more fluids, using a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air, and using a saltwater nasal spray. You may also want to try applying a warm, wet towel to your face to help provide some relief.
In addition, the following are some common types of sinus headache treatment:
- Antihistamines These can help if your sinus headaches are caused by allergies, since they reduce or block histamines and help reduce inflammation and swelling. They are available over-the-counter and also by prescription and come in tablet or nasal spray form.
- These oral or nasal medications can help reduce the amount of swelling and mucus in your nasal passages. They shouldnt be used in the long-term, however.
- Nasal steroid sprays These are available by prescription or over the counter and can help reduce pain and congestion.
- Antibiotics These can be used if your doctor thinks your sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Most infections, however, are viral, and if this is the case, antibiotics wont help.
- Pain medication Medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium can be used.
If medications dont improve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery depending on the exact cause of your sinusitis and sinus headaches. The goal of surgery is to correct the underlying issue to provide long-term relief.
Surgical options can include the following:
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What To Look For When Buying Otc Sinus Decongestants
When youre figuring out which decongestant to buy, youll need to determine whats causing your congestion.
If its allergies, youll probably want a product that contains an antihistamine ingredient like diphenhydramine. Antihistamines target your bodys immune response to allergens like pollen. Antihistamines usually make the person taking them a bit drowsy, so keep in mind taking them at any time other than bedtime may have you needing a nap.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may be looking for a product that includes phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. These ingredients work by shrinking your blood vessels, which can help you breathe more easily and reduce the symptoms of a sinus headache or a stuffy nose.
However, both of these ingredients can cause you to feel restless and can make it difficult to fall asleep. These types of drugs can also make you nauseous. Generally, phenylephrine may have fewer serious side effects than pseudoephedrine. You should always consult a doctor before taking these meds if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some OTC sinus decongestant formulas include both antihistamines and decongestant ingredients, and some add pain relief ingredients such as ibuprofen to their formula. Its best to treat for symptoms that you have, not for additional symptoms that you dont have.
Treating your congestion with OTC products doesnt always provide relief. You should seek professional medical care if you experience any of the following: