When To Visit A Doctor For Your Sinus Infection: Symptoms To Consider
Sinus infections may be caused by a cold, the flu or allergies, but they can also be triggered by bacteria, including streptococcus pneumonia or staphylococcus aureus. Sometimes it can be difficult for patients to determine if they have a cold or a sinus infection because they share similar symptoms.
A doctor may diagnose a sinus infection if two out of four primary symptoms are present:
A sinus infection may cause additional symptoms, including:
- Low-grade fever
- Pain in one or both ears
- Dull ache in the upper jaw or teeth
- Redness or swelling around eyes
- Visual disturbances, such as double vision
Failure to treat severe sinus infections can lead to extremely dangerous infections such as meningitis or cellulitis. If the infection spreads to your eye sockets, you are at risk for eye damage or permanent blindness. There is also a risk of permanently losing some or all of your ability to smell.
If you suspect you might have a sinus infection, it is better to err on the side of caution by scheduling a visit to see your doctor than to take the risk of the infection spreading.
Other Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
The symptoms of a sinus infection often resemble those of a bad cold. These can include a runny nose, headache, facial pain, and nasal congestion. In addition to typical cold symptoms, a sinus infection may cause yellow- or green-tinged mucus. You may also experience post-nasal drip and a sore throat, along with puffiness and soreness around the face and sinuses. You may also have a dry, unproductive cough and a fever. Fatigue and bad breath are also symptoms of sinus infections.
Different sinuses also present different types of pain if infected. For example, infection of the sinuses around your eyes may result in red, puffy eyes that look like an allergic flare-up, while infection of the sinuses in your cheeks may cause excessive bad breath and pain in your teeth.
What Are Complications Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for a sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency .
In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye . Rarely, these infections may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems, diabetes, and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.
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How To Relieve Sinus Pressure
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Many people experience sinus pressure from seasonal allergies or the common cold. Sinus pressure results from blocked nasal passages. When your sinuses cannot drain, you may experience inflammation and pain in your head, nose, and face.
Your sinuses are paired in two, and are found in four main areas of the face:
- frontal, in your forehead
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What Is A Common Cold
It’s an illness caused by many different kinds of viruses, which are tiny infectious particles.
You can’t miss the symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
You may also get a cough and a mild fever. The symptoms usually build, peak, and slowly disappear. Some medications can ease symptoms. For example, may decrease drainage and open the nasal passages. Pain relievers may help with fever and headache. Cough medicine may help, as well.
Colds typically last from a few days to about a week or longer.
Sometimes, a cold may cause swelling in the sinuses, hollow spaces in your skull that are connected to each other. The swelling can prevent the flow of mucus.
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Sinus Infection While Pregnant
Pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges that can make dealing with a sinus infection much harder than normal. For one, you are more likely to get sick, as pregnancy suppresses the immune system.
These natural changes in immunity exist to strike a balance between the mothers health and to protect the baby from disease. Additionally, certain parts of the immune system are suppressed to prevent the body from rejecting the fetus as something foreign.
While these are all natural functions, they unfortunately make sinusitis a pervasive threat, particularly for those who have been susceptible to infections in the past. Additionally, several conventional sinusitis treatments are unsafe for pregnant women, so it is important to know what you can and cannot use to treat your sinus infection while pregnant.
The good news is that, despite these challenges, a sinus infection will most likely not affect your unborn child. The first step is to determine whether or not you have sinusitis.
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When To See S Doctor For Sinus Jaw Pain
It is critical to decide the right time to see a doctor while facing sinus jaw pain. Most of us try to fix everything on our own which might be a good trait in some aspects of life but when it comes to our most valuable assets, our body then we have to make sure that we are taking expert advice.
It is wise to reach out to a dentist as soon as you face any kind of pain in your tooth. You can also wait for a day or two if the pain is not too serious, however, if the pain is making it hard for you to focus on anything else then you should visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Doctors can assist the patients to figure out their problems exactly and pinpoint the things that need to be addressed immediately. You can reach out to a general physician if you do not have the access to an expert and they can refer you to someone who is an expert in sinus infections.
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What Treatment Options Are There For Each Type Of Problem
A/ Conservative Management including exercise:
Physiotherapy is an excellent choice for conservative management of your neck pain symptoms
Physiotherapists are highly trained medical practitioners.
Cervical Fusion Surgery
The below information and images have been taken from .
Spinal fusion is a surgery that permanently joins together one or more bony vertebrae of the spine.
Fusing the bones together prevents movement at that level, gives back the normal disc space between the bones, and helps prevent future damage to the spinal nerves and cord.
Spinal fusion is usually a last resort and done only if all other treatments have been explored.
It will not fix your back problem or provide complete pain relief.
It will stop the motion in the painful area of your spine allowing you to increase your function and return to a more normal lifestylethough one that may not be totally pain-free.
Neck pain usually responds well to physical therapy and exercise, so make sure you have done your bit towards a successful rehabilitation before considering surgery.
What you do before and after surgery can help get you back on your feet sooner. Its important to have realistic expectations and prepare properly for your recovery.
What is spinal fusion?
At each level of the spine, there is a disc space in the front and paired facet joints in the back.
Working together, these structures define a motion segment.
See the below illustration:
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.
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When To See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
Weve probably all suffered from a sinus infection before. The pain and swelling around your eyes and nose, pressure in your ears, headaches, you cant breathe all of the symptoms are awful. So, when is it time to see the doctor?
If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, its probably time for a visit to the doctor to get a prescription. If left untreated, serious cases may lead to acute or chronic sinusitis.
What are preventative steps or measures to avoid a sinus infection?
- Wash your hands regularly
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke
- Stay away from people who show symptoms
- Use a humidifier to improve air quality in your home
Pay Attention To Your Neck Tension
Neck tension is something that everyone has complained about at one point in their lifetime. However, too much tension in the neck is something that should never go ignored. Extensive neck tension restricts your nervous system communication that travels to your sinus passages.
This restriction is ultimately what creates the sinus infection in your body. When there is nowhere for your sinus fluids to go, they become a continual breeding ground for bacteria to grow.
So, the next time that you feel some prolonged tension in your neck, dont hesitate and make an appointment to meet with your chiropractor.
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When Should You See A Doctor For Sinus Infection Symptoms
The CDC recommends that you see a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement
- Fever longer than three to four days
Right now, it’s best to see a doctor sooner rather than later. “In the era of COVID-19, COVID testing for acute upper respiratory infections is wise and may help prevent exposure to others and guide care decisions when symptoms worsen,” Dr. Stewart advises. A care provider can then help evaluate patients based on those test results and, if a sinus infection is suspected, they can also determine whether it’s a viral or bacterial infection.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year, the CDC suggests. That, or feeling as though your sinus infections never completely go away, may be signs of chronic rhinosinusitis , or chronic sinusitis, according to Dr. Gudis. A sinus infection is considered “acute” when it goes away before eight weeks, but it’s considered “chronic” when it lasts longer than that, per the ACAAI.
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Dont Settle For Chronic Sinus And Nasal Problems
If youre living with long-term unexplained congestion, difficulty breathing through your nose, or facial pressure — maybe even a dampened sense of smell — that seriously affects your daily quality of life, it doesnt have to be that way. Dukes sinus specialists offer advanced options that can provide the relief you need.
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Diagnosing And Treating A Sinus Infection Online
Sinus infections are one of the most commonly treated conditions by Amwell physicians. Sinus infections are often mistaken for the common cold, but they are different conditions. While the two conditions are similar, the most likely symptoms for a sinus infection might include:
- Thick, yellow, foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Pressure or pain around the eyes or cheeks
- Cold like symptoms that won’t go away or get worse
Many people think antibiotics are the number one treatment for sinus infections, but this is usually not the case. According to guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 90 to 98 percent of sinus infections aren’t caused by bacteria, meaning antibiotics will not work. Antibiotics are typically used to treat infections or diseases caused by bacteria. If your case of sinusitis is viral, antibiotics will be ineffective. In fact, antibiotics can be harmful to you if used inappropriately. Doctors can help determine if you have sinusitis, the type of sinusitis, if treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Depending on the cause and severity of the infection, your treatment plan may include:
- Home treatment options to help promote nasal drainage and ease symptoms i.e. salt water rinses
- A recommendation of over the counter medications including:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories i.e. Ibuprofen
How To Prevent Sinus Infections
You can prevent sinus infections by making simple lifestyle changes and being mindful of protecting your health.
- Observe hand hygiene. Always ensure your hands are clean to avoid acquiring bacteria and germs.
- Get vaccinated. Have yourself immunized with the flu and pneumococcal vaccines to limit the chances of catching colds quickly.
- Avoid sick people. close contact with people who have respiratory infections. Having a sick person around you increases the chance of infection transmission.
- Quit smoking. Shift to a healthier lifestyle and cease smoking cigarettes.
- Use a humidifier. A humidifier is a recommended product for people with sinusitis. It keeps the air moist at home, which relieves your sinus.
- Avoid allergy triggers. Avoid irritants like dust, smoke, and pollen if you have allergies.
- Keep household clean. Dirt triggers allergies which can exacerbate sinusitis. Maintain a clean and tidy house for better air circulation and prevent irritation in the nose.
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Expertise Combined With Convenience Create An Exceptional Health Care Experience
We want to be your medical home, and we also want to make it as convenient as possible for you to get the care you need. This is why we have a Saturday Sick Clinic for urgent issues where you can speak with our excellent team of physician assistants and nurse practitioners. In addition, weve also implemented Phreesia, which is the nations leading Patient Intake Management Solution. This means your check-in and payment process is easier and more streamlined than before. Schedule an appointment with us today.
Rhinosinusitis / Sinusitis Is This A Drainage Problem Caused By Herniated Discs
Above I suggested the connection between cervical spinal instability and a patients Eustachian tube dysfunction and sinusitis. Lets look at the sinusitis part of his problem and also connect that to cervical spine instability.
First, lets look at a case study in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy. It looks at possible sinus headaches and the development of rhinosinusitis and a connection to neck pain.
Here are the summary learning points:
- Headaches can be associated with rhinosinusitis and may present a diagnostic challenge because of symptomatic overlap with other recurring headaches.
- Neck pain has received extensive attention in migraine, tension-type, and cervicogenic headaches but not as a comorbid feature of headache in those with rhinosinusitis.
- This study investigated the occurrence of neck pain and cervical musculoskeletal dysfunction in individuals with self-reported sinus headaches.
- Patients in this study were asked to assess their Cervical range of motion , had a cervical segmental examination, muscle endurance, and pressure-pain threshold tests.
- Findings or tests and examinations: Neck pain and cervical musculoskeletal dysfunction are common among persons with sinus headaches and may be a comorbid feature or contributing factor to headaches attributed to rhinosinusitis. Further research is needed to understand these associations.
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Mild Vs Severe Case Of Sinus Infection
You can tell the difference between a mild case and a bad case of sinus infection. Mild cases respond well to home remedies, while severe cases do not improve with various self-care methods such as resting, drinking water, eating soup, giving yourself a steam treatment, and performing nasal irrigation with a saline solution.
Symptoms of a sinus infection include ear pain, headaches, facial pain and tenderness, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, fever, and fatigue. If these symptoms persist or become intolerable despite treatment, or if they improve only to return, its time to seek medical assistance. Doctors usually recommend observing the symptoms for 10 days to see how they are progressing. If they persist for more than 10 days, the underlying cause of the sinus infection will need to be treated for symptom relief.
It is very likely that the infection-causing bacteria will need to be treated with antibiotics. However, a sinus infection could be a result of a viral infection such as a cold or respiratory illness, in which case antibiotics will not work. In addition, it could also be caused by allergies or anatomical defects. There are several possible causes of a sinus infection and a series of tests will need to be done to make a definitive diagnosis. Although very rare, an untreated sinus infection can spread to the brain and surrounding area, and cause abscesses or blood clots.
Causes For Sinus Infection:
Acute bacterial sinusitis is often preceded by an acute viral upper respiratory tract infection. This leads to inflammation of the sinuses and mucous is formed as a part of our bodys defense mechanism. Formation of mucous blocks the sinuses making it difficult for them to drain.
- Viral and bacterial infection
- Blowing the nose during an acute viral infection tends to push infection into the sinuses.
- Air pollution, especially tobacco smoke
- Allergies to dust, pollen, chemicals and animal dander
Patients having nasal deformities like nasal polyps and deviated nasal septum are at higher risk for recurrent cold and cough infections.
Having a recent dental procedure can equally increase chances of having a sinus infection.
Although it is difficult to differentiate between bacterial and viral sinusitis viral sinusitis typically lasts for 7-10 days, while bacterial sinus infection is rather persistent.
Majority of acute sinus infections are caused by the following microorganisms:
- Streptococcus pneumonia
- Moraxella catarrhalis
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