Should You Stay Home With Sinus Infection
Sinus infections can be viral or bacterial. Either way, it’s best to stay home, Wigmore says. Viral sinus infections are often contagious. If you have had symptoms longer than one week, or if you have severe facial pain, teeth/jaw pain, or fever, you may have a bacterial infection and should consult your doctor.
Watch For Sinus Infections As Weather Changes
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Fall weather brings festivities and guests to our homes, as well as some unwelcome guests, including allergies, colds and sinus infections. Dr. Tran Locke, ear nose and throat specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, explains how to identify, treat and prevent sinus infections.
The sinuses are hollow spaces in the bones of the face that connect inside the nasal cavity through small channels. A sinus infection occurs when viruses or bacteria infect your sinuses, causing the lining of the sinuses to become swollen, trapping mucus and debris and preventing drainage into the nasal cavity, Locke said. Most sinus infections are viral and often follow a viral infection like a cold.
We often see sinus infections in the winter because people are more predisposed to getting colds, said Locke, assistant professor in the Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. I also see patients who have bad allergies get sinus infections when the weather changes. With an allergy flare up, the sinus lining can get very swollen to the point where sinuses cant drain, and theres risk for infection due to the buildup of mucus.
I recommend using a sinus rinse to wash any mucus, debris or pollen in the nose, Locke said.
What Are The Sinuses How Many Do We Have
A sinus is a hollow, air-filled cavity. For the purposes of this article, a sinus will refer to those hollow cavities that are in the skull and connected to the nasal airway by a narrow hole in the bone . Normally all sinuses are open to the nasal airway through an ostium. Humans have four pair of these cavities each referred to as the:
The four pairs of sinuses are often described as a unit and termed the paranasal sinuses. The cells of the inner lining of each sinus are mucus-secreting cells, epithelial cells, and some cells that are part of the immune system .
Functions of the sinuses include humidifying and warming inspired air, insulation of surrounding structures , increasing voice resonance, and as buffers against facial trauma. The sinuses decrease the weight of the skull. If the inflammation hinders the clearance of mucous or blocks the natural ostium, the inflammation may progress into a bacterial infection.
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Nasal Discharge: Cause Treatments And Prevention
What is nasal discharge?
Mucus isnt just a slimy material in your nose it actually has a useful purpose. It traps bacteria, other germs, and debris, and prevents them from entering your lungs.
In some cases, such as when you have a cold or allergies, mucus may flow out of your nose or down your throat. When mucus comes out of your nose, its called nasal discharge. It can also be called post-nasal drip or rhinorrhea.
Although its annoying, nasal discharge is common and usually goes away on its own. But in some cases, its a sign of an underlying health problem that might require medical attention.
There are many potential causes of nasal discharge. Some of the most common include infections and allergies.
Initial Stages Of A Sinus Infection
In most situations, a sinus infection is a secondary infection that occurs after another illness or health concern. For example, you might have a head cold that develops into a sinus infection because of the congestion. Or, chronic allergies can cause conditions that result in sinus infections.
When a sinus infection occurs, it means that there is swelling, inflammation, and infection in the sinus areas. Typically, sinuses are open cavities filled with air. When drainage is blocked, then an infection can occur.
In the earliest stages of a sinus infection, youll likely feel discomfort and pressure in the sinus areas. Its common to have congestion, which could lead to a blocked sinus making it hard to breathe through one side of your nose.
As the symptoms progress, the pain intensifies. An untreated sinus infection can disrupt every area of your life, making it hard to get through the day because of the pressure and pain.
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Double Dip Or Double Worsening Sign
This is a trick of the Ear Nose Throat Doctors. They have found that many of their patients with sinus infections get a prior viral infection and after 7-10 days get significantly better. Then wham! They get face pain, increased green and yellow nasal discharge, and fever. When I hear this story of getting better then worse, its always a sinus infection.
Why Is It Important To Get Treatment For A Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis is a painful problem that can cause headaches, tooth aches, and sinus pressure. If you go without treatment, a sinus infection could last for months. And rarely, going with out treatment can lead to severe conditions like meningitis or brain abscesses.
Do not wait to treat a sinus infection. Our ENT doctors diagnose sinus issues in adults and children and can provide you with an excellent treatment plan.
Antibiotics or nasal sprays and irrigation may help fight an infection. In more severe cases, oral steroids or more complex medical interventions may be needed.
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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
Can Cpap Cause Sinus Infections
CPAP therapy, without humidification, inherently dries the airway and delivers filtered air from your environment into your respiratory system. While there is potential for bacteria buildup when a CPAP machine is not properly maintained, CPAP therapy in and of itself is not correlated with an increased risk for sinus infections.
Research from 2012 shows that nasal inflammation and sinus infections are common occurrences in OSA patients an additional 2016 study further adds to this claim, stating that those with OSA were 3.18 times as likely as those without OSA to develop chronic rhinosinusitis.
More significantly, however, it also showed that those who regularly used their CPAP machines actually had more tolerance to bacterial infiltration of their disease-fighting white blood cells. This same tolerance was not found in those who were not undergoing CPAP therapy, allowing us to conclude that regular CPAP therapy actually has a more protective effect rather than a detrimental one when it comes to sinus infections.
A 2017 study further revealed that those undergoing CPAP therapy did not experience a higher frequency of sinus infections than those who were not on CPAP therapy. It also found that your choice of mask, machine, and humidifier does not significantly impact the occurrence of sinus infections, either.
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When To See A Doctor For Your Sinus Infection
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that people should see their doctor if a sinus infection lasts for over 10 days, or if symptoms continue for longer than 10 days after treatment.
Chronic Sinusitis happens if the infection lasts longer than 8 weeks or when someone experiences 4 or more infections in a year.
You should also see a doctor if you have a sinus infection for more than 10 days, if your symptoms worsen, if you experience several infections in a year, no improvement after taking OTC medications or have a temperature over 100.4°F .
When To Use Antibiotics For Sinusitis
Though most cases of viral and bacterial sinusitis clear up quickly on their own, some dont. Some last longer than a week with no signs of getting better. They can cause a fever that lasts for a few days, severe facial pain or forehead headaches, or symptoms that get worse after they seem to improve.
In those cases, dont wait for the infection to heal on its own. Seek medical attention. If your primary care provider suspects a bacterial sinus infection, you will likely receive an antibiotic prescription. Remember to avoid antibiotics in the early days of an infection. Excessive antibiotic use can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics in the future. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology recommends you only take antibiotics if symptoms last longer than a week. In the meantime, allow your immune system to do its job.
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Is There A Right Way To Blow Your Nose
If you have a stuffy nose, trying to force yourself to blow your nose could make it worse. The best thing to do is to blow one side of your nose at a time gently into a tissue. You might want to first use some type of nasal rinse to loosen any material in your nose before blowing. Make sure you dispose of the tissue and then clean your hands with soap and water or an antimicrobial sanitizer.
What Happens If Your Cpap Humidity Is Too High
Very high humidity causes rainout, which is defined as a buildup of moisture in the mask and tubing that splashes onto your face, waking you up. Too much humidity can also lead to water accumulation that promotes microbial growth and increases your chance of developing sinus and respiratory infections.
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Getting Sinus Infection Medication Online
Although most cases of sinusitis arent that serious, if youve been suffering for more than a few weeks, its a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor. PlushCare is a fast, reliable online resource for doctor appointments. You can speak about your symptoms and discuss sinus infection medication options with a trained physician. Just make an appointment here, and have peace of mind about your sinus discomfort!
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you a lot of questions in order to develop a detailed medical history and find out about your symptoms. They will also do a physical examination. During the exam, your care provider will check your ears, nose and throat for any swelling, draining or blockage. An endoscope may be used to look inside the nose. In some cases, you might be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. If you needed an imaging exam, your provider would order a computed tomography scan.
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How To Relieve Sinus Pressure
The key to sinus infection treatment is to keep your sinus cavities moist. The following steps should help:
If symptoms persist for longer than a few weeks, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Visit your local FastMed for an evaluation and treatment. You may need antibiotics for a bacterial sinus infection, another prescription remedy, or referral to a specialist to effectively treat a chronic sinus condition.
* The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.
Should You Treat A Sinus Infection With Antibiotics
Over the past few months Ive seen patient after patient drag themselves to the clinic with coughing, sneezing, headaches and green or yellow nasal discharge, sometimes accompanied by ear and tooth pain. Some people with infection may experience fevers, chills or night sweats signs that the body is fighting a virus or bacteria. These are symptoms I expect as a primary care doctor especially during the spring seasons. They are the telltale signs of sinusitis. But if that sums up symptoms you have, do you need antibiotics? The question may be more complicated than you think.
Each year, more than 30 million Americans endure sinusitis an inflammation of sinus spaces surrounding the nose that makes it difficult to drain fluid that normally flows through the sinuses. Much like a detective weighing clues, us health providers use symptom severity and duration to determine the cause of a patients sickness.
The World Health Organization has called antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health, saying misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
At a health professionals discretion, antibiotics can be prescribed if a person appears very sick or has any underlying chronic disease that may make them prone to becoming sicker.
Left: With spring comes sinus infections. And many questions from my patients about how to best to treat them. Photo by Michael Heim / EyeEm and Getty Images
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When Do I Really Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
When do I really need antibiotics for a sinus infection? is a question many patients have when suffering from bothersome sinus and allergy problems. While sinus infections can be quite painful, antibiotics often do not help in treating the condition.
Sinus infections affect approximately 37 million people in the U.S. each year and can be caused by:
- Nasal polyps or deviated septum causing nasal obstruction
The majority of sinus infections are viral in nature, and antibiotics do not cure viral infections. Taking antibiotics for viral infections also will not:
- Keep you from being contagious to others
- Relieve symptoms or make you feel better
In order to distinguish a bacterial sinus infection from an infection caused by a virus or other contributing factor, your doctor will observe your symptoms and possibly conduct other tests, such as a CT scan or cultures.
Antibiotics are only effective on bacterial infections, and even in cases involving bacteria, the body can often cure itself of mild or moderate infections within a few days.
When Antibiotics Are Appropriate Treatment
In addition, antibiotics can be given to those whose symptoms have gotten worse or those who show no improvement after seven days.
If antibiotics are given, a 10- to 14-day course is recommended, according to the practice guidelines. Amoxicillin or amoxicillin clavulanate are typically the first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin.
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What Is The Treatment For Sinusitis
The first step to treat sinusitis is to clear your nasal passages. This helps your sinuses drain properly. Draining your sinuses helps flush out a bacterial infection. If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to fight it.
Here are a few common treatment options for sinusitis:
Nasal rinse or inhaling steam: To clear your sinuses, you rinse your nose with warm saline solution using a neti pot or a special rinse bottle.
Use lukewarm distilled or boiled water that is stored in a clean container. You can buy nasal saline packets in most pharmacies. You can also follow a recipe to make your own nasal saline rinse from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Or you can breathe hot steam through your nose for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a day. Do not use steam if it triggers your asthma or makes it hard to breathe.
Nasal corticosteroid sprays: These are topical nasal sprays that contain steroids that help decrease swelling. Use your nasal spray as directed by your doctor to avoid side effects. Point it toward your ear when you spray it into your nose and away from your nasal septum .
Allergy treatment: If allergies are causing sinusitis, allergy treatment may help. These treatments may include nasal saline rinses, antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, leukotriene modifiers, and immunotherapy . An allergist can test you for allergies and help you come up with a treatment plan.
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.
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