What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
They may include things like:
- Thick, yellow, foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Pressure or pain around your face and eyes
- Blockage in your nose
- Fever or cough
These symptoms can also happen with a cold. But if they continue for more than 10 days, you may have a sinus infection.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Your symptoms last longer than 10 to 14 days or you have a cold that gets worse after 7 days.
- You have a severe headache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medicine.
- You have a fever.
- You still have symptoms after taking all of your antibiotics properly.
- You have any changes in your vision during a sinus infection.
A green or yellow discharge does not mean that you definitely have a sinus infection or need antibiotics.
Common Signs Of Sinus Infection And When To See A Doctor
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common infections that a person can have. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 35 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with a sinus infection in the year 2017. And many others may have suffered from sinus infections without ever seeing a doctor. Despite sinus infections being so common, they are still one of the most uncomfortable infections experienced and require adequate care and attention, whether being treated at home or by a doctor.
A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses, which are cavities located in the front of the face around the eyes and behind the nose, become blocked or too much mucus builds up causing inflammation and swelling. When sinuses are functioning normally, they lighten the weight of the skull, and also help filter and moisten the air you breathe. When sinuses are blocked, your head can feel heavy or full, your voice may become raspy, and you can even experience tooth pain, among other aggravating symptoms.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Sinusitis:
A case of acute sinusitis presents with the following signs and symptoms:
- Facial pain and tenderness on pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal obstruction or runny nose
- Yellowish post-nasal discharge into the throat
- Loss of sense of smell
- Pain in frontal region of head or between the eyes
- Aching in upper jaw or teeth
- Occasionally facial swelling may also be present
- Constitutional signs and symptoms like fever, loss of appetite, bodyache and generalized weakness may be present.
- Pain. Pressure or fullness in the ears.
Should I Call Out Of Work With A Sinus Infection
By Jessi Cole, January 2, 2019
Winter is a season for sinusitis and sinus infections, and that often means lost productivity, as workers either call in sick or try to power through. It’s difficult to be at your best when you’re suffering from the symptoms of a sinus infection, and your productivity will almost always take a hit as a result. But is it necessary to call out of work, for the sake of your own health as well as that of others?
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Lingering Sinus Infection Or Chronic Runny Nose
A lingering sinus infection is different from a chronic runny nose. Chronic runny nose typically comes from allergies or other irritants in the air. However, this can turn into an infection over time.
When the sinuses become infected, the allergies, irritants, or viral cold have caused swelling in the nose thats blocked the drainage pathways. Consequently, fluid and mucous accumulate in the sinuses, where it has become infected with bacteria.
If youve been sick more than 10 days and begin to experience other symptoms like facial pressure, headache, and fever, youre dealing with more than a chronic runny nose.
Treatments For Sinus Infections Other Than Antibiotics
#1: Saline Nasal Wash
Saline nasal wash can be a great way to thin out the mucous in the sinuses enough to clear out the blockage. I recommend starting this early on in the course of the illness to prevent the infection from worsening.
You can even make this at home using 2 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I would add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to prevent burning that can occur with use. There are also plenty of over the counter saline nasal sprays that you can purchase. You can use this 4-6 times per day.
Vaporizers are great because they can also thin out the mucous and make you feel a lot better. An easy home remedy, steam is probably the best way to use this treatment. Beware if you are an asthmatic as the steam could cause worsening of the asthma symptoms.
#3: Steroid Nasal Spray
Steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase have been my go to remedy recently and the great news is that they are now over the counter. The general recommendation is to use 1-2 sprays per nostril daily.
But I have found great relief using 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily. At these higher doses it is important to remember that you should use this short term, no more than 5-7 days.
These medications can significantly reduce inflammation allowing the congestion blockage to clear and significantly alleviate symptoms.
Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.
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When To Seek Help For A Sinus Infection
Most adults and some children have had at at least one encounter with a sinus infection. As a result, you probably know how annoying and sometimes painful sinus infections, or sinusitis, can be.
With winter approaching, sinus infections become more prevalent and may impact your day-to-day life. It is important to know when and how to treat them if you experience sinus discomfort.
Sinusitis symptomsSinus infectors occur when then the space around your nasal passages, or sinuses, is swollen, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, sinus drainage slows down, causing mucus to develop. This buildup is what prompts irritation and stuffy noses.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there are two types of sinus infections: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis has a duration of up to four weeks, while the chronic form of sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeks and sometimes lasts for multiple months or years.
For the more common acute sinusitis, the symptoms include congestion, cough, yellow or green-colored discharge from the nose or throat, tenderness and pressure around the eyes and a decreased sense of smell and taste, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Additional symptoms can include fever, headache, tiredness and pain in the upper jaw, ear and teeth.
When to see a doctor Unfortunately, antibiotics can only be prescribed for bacterial sinus infections. Therefore, you commonly have to wait before seeking treatment for sinus infections.
When To Worry About Your Lingering Sinus Infection
Philip Scolaro, MD
Sinus infections have a way of making time stand still in a bad way. When youre constantly congested, battling headaches, and feeling sinus pressure, even a short duration of sickness can feel like its never going to end.
What if it doesnt? If your lingering sinus infection becomes chronic, it may be time for more aggressive treatment.
Heres what you need to know about sinus infections and when its time to take the next step in treatment.
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Home Remedies For Sinus Infection:
Uncomplicated acute sinus infection can be treated at home. Or home remedies can also be used along with conventional medical therapy.
Rest Take adequate rest as your body is already working enough to fight infection. Another reason to get good rest is so that you dont spread the infection at your workplace, school or institution.
Water Drink plenty to water to not just stay hydrated but water also helps to flush out toxins from the body making recovery easier.
Steam Inhaling steam decongests your air passages allowing the sinuses to drain easily.
Essential Oil Menthol is a well-known essential oil for blocked sinuses. It can be used along with steam to inhale.
Kitchen Herbs Our kitchen itself can provide the best of natural remedies to fight infections. You can use natural anti-infective and anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric, ginger, and garlic.
Causes Of The Common Cold Covid
The common cold and COVID-19 are both caused by different viruses. The virus that causes the cold affects the upper respiratory tract, while the novel coronavirus can affect both the upper and lower respiratory tract.
A sinus infection is caused when your sinuses get blocked and fill with fluid, allowing bacteria to grow. The blockage can be due to allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or a virus like the cold. The infection can cause swelling or inflammation in the sinuses. This can cause several symptoms, many of which are similar to that of a cold.
Rare Cases Can Turn Serious
Antibiotics also can help ward off rare but potentially dangerous complications that arise when a sinus infection spreads to the eyes or brain, Dr. Sindwani says.
Complications around the eyes are the more common of the two. These complications can cause redness, swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, and even lead to blindness in a severe form known as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Serious cases are immediately treated with IV antibiotics. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for a CT scan to see if fluid needs to be drained, Dr. Sindwani says.
Also in rare cases, sinus infections in the rear center of ones head can spread into the brain. This can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis or brain abscess, Dr. Sindwani says.
Before antibiotics, people would die from sinusitis, he says. But he emphasizes that such complications are unlikely. In most cases, the bacterial infection goes away, especially if you dont have underlying medical problems.
Its important to monitor your symptoms if you suspect a sinus infection. If the condition lingers or worsens, call your doctor.
What Can You Take For A Sinus Infection While Pregnant
Instead of turning to quick fixes, it is important to learn what medications are safe. If your infection is bacterial, talk to a doctor to find out which antibiotics are safe to take during pregnancy to prevent your infection from getting worse and causing complications. Otherwise, try some of these safe and natural methods:
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What Are The Different Types Of Sinus Infections
Sinusitis is categorized based on how long the condition lasts as well as its frequency:
- Acute sinusitis usually lasts a few weeks, but less than a month. There is a subcategory of acute sinusitis, called recurrent acute sinusitis, which occurs when someone gets four or more sinus infections in a year, with symptoms resolving after each one.
- Subacute sinusitis lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts three months or more.
How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Sinus infections can last several days. Viral sinus infections are usually most severe three to six days after they start, and then begin to improve by day 10. A viral sinus infection can develop into a bacterial infection, which typically lasts longer than 10 days. Patients will usually respond to antibiotics within two to three days after a bacterial sinus infection is diagnosed and treated. After that, sinus infections can resolve anywhere between seven and 14 days.
There are three types of sinusitis. All three are based on length of symptoms:
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
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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How Do You Treat It
Its smarter to go to a doctor to treat your sinus infection. You can choose to treat it yourself and improve your body to fight against the infection. Start by avoiding anything that irritates your nose and eyes.
Make sure you wash your hand frequently to keep your sinuses from getting infected and irritated by viruses. Relieve your breathing by adding a humidifier to moisturize the room air. Try using nasal spray decongestants as these will keep your sinuses moist and prevent any swelling present in the passages.
When To Visit An Ent
You may opt to visit an ENT if your sinus infection symptoms last more than one month. However, when a lingering sinus infection after antibiotics lasts more than 12 weeks, its definitely time to see a specialist.
If your doctor has treated you with antibiotics, saline, steroid sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants and youre still not better, youve entered into a confusing area. You need a thorough exam of your sinus pathways with a fiberoptic scope and a CT scan to properly diagnose the problem.
If at any point youre not sure whats going on and your primary care doctor isnt sure whats causing the symptoms, see an ENT for a more specialized exam.
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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.
Signs Of An Upper Respiratory Infection
Upper respiratory infections are common in children and adults. Some signs and symptoms include:
Sometimes an infection is also caused by:
Influenza A and B viruses
Influenza viruses are often called the stomach flu, but stomach symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea arent typical symptoms, though they are more common in babies and children than adults. True influenza viruses primarily cause upper respiratory symptoms like a sore throat and coughing, and congestion or a runny nose.
S. pyogenes is a Group A streptococcus bacteria that causes an infection in your throat and tonsils. This is often called strep throat. It usually causes sudden sore throat, painful swallowing, swollen tonsils, red spots on the roof of your mouth, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
Strep throat bacteria is spread by droplets from coughing or sneezing. If you breathe in those droplets, drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as people who have strep throat, or touch something with droplets and then touch your mouth or nose, you may develop an infection.
- New loss of taste or smell
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Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.