Looking After Yourself At Home
If your symptoms are mild and have lasted less than a week or so, you can usually take care of yourself without seeing your GP.
The following tips may help you feel better until you recover:
- Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve a high temperature and pain check the leaflet that comes with your medication first to check it’s suitable, and never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
- Use over-the-counter nasal sprays or drops to help unblock your nose and allow you to breathe more easily these shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time.
- Apply warm packs to your face to soothe your pain and help mucus drain from your sinuses.
- Regularly clean the inside of your nose with a salt water solution to help unblock your nose and reduce nasal discharge.
Bacterial Sinus Infections: When To Suspect
- Yellow or green nasal discharge is seen with both viral and bacterial sinus infections. Suspect a bacterial infection if the discharge becomes thick . But, it also needs one or more of these symptoms:
- Sinus Pain, not just normal sinus congestion. Pain occurs mainly behind the cheekbone or eye or
- Swelling or redness of the skin over any sinus or
- Fever lasts more than 3 days or
- Fever returns after it’s been gone for over 24 hours or
- Nasal discharge and post-nasal drip lasts over 14 days without improvement
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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Treating Chronic Sinus Problems
“Acute bacterial sinusitis that occurs after a head cold usually responds to antibiotics, but chronic sinusitis may require anti-inflammatory medications, irrigation, and sometimes surgery to ‘open up traffic’ between the sinuses and the nasal passages,” Flores says.
Options for treating chronic sinusitis include:
- Antibiotics for four weeks or more
- Antifungal medication
- Antihistamines or allergy shots for allergic sinusitis
- Surgery to open and drain sinuses or to remove nasal obstructions that block sinus drainage
“Allergic fungal sinusitis is difficult to treat and often requires surgery,” Flores says. “It is more common in people who have diabetes or a weakened immune system from other causes.”
Managing Your Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
If you have chronic sinusitis, your doctor may ask you to see an allergist, an ENT, or both.
They can help you get started with treatment, but there is a lot you can do to manage sinus problems on your own:
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep your mucus thin and flowing
- Use steam or hot compresses to loosen up thick mucus secretions
- Keep you environment moist by using a clean humidifier
- Use over-the-counter saline nasal sprays or irrigations to open nasal and sinus passages
- Avoid overuse of over-the-counter decongestant sprays that can cause rebound congestion
Remember that sinusitis symptoms could be due to a sinus infection, but they also might be the result of an allergy or fungus.
Your doctor can help you find out the true cause and get you to the right specialist for treatment.
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Sinus Pressure Points To Relieve Sinus Pressure Congestion And Pain
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
Sinus pain and pressure can be unbearable at times, which is why its good to be aware of the various sinus pressure points that can help relieve sinus pain.
This recurring and frustrating source of pain often becomes more noticeable during allergy season. The pressure is frequently a result of blocked nasal passages, which can lead to inflammation in the face and head.
Aside from seasonal allergies, sinus pressure is also a potential symptom of the common cold.
Pressure builds in these areas because of the construction of the sinuses. They are paired and found in the following four facial regions:
Five Ways To Relieve Sinus Pressure
The pain, facial pressure and congestion of sinus infections affect more than 26.9 million Americans roughly 11 percent of adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most sinus infections, also called sinusitis, do not need to be treated with antibiotics, and will usually go away within 7-10 days.
One of the most annoying symptoms is the sinus pressure around the eyes, head and cheeks. Fortunately, there are several home remedies and medications that can help provide relief.
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Can A Sinus Infection Last For Months
Sinusitis wont go away at the drop of a hat. It tends to linger and, if left untreated, it can last for months. Again, its best to take a trip to your doctors office if your symptoms last longer than one week.
Note that there is a chance that long-term sinus issues may be caused by allergens. If this is the case, then your sinus symptoms will likely last until you can escape the allergen or have the allergies treated.
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- Sinus pain lasts more than 24 hours, after using nasal washes
- Thick yellow or green pus draining from nose and not improved by nasal washes. Exception: yellow or green tinged secretions are normal.
- Sinus congestion and fullness lasts more than 14 days
- Nasal discharge lasts more than 2 weeks
- You have other questions or concerns
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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.
Concussions And Other Head Injuries
What it feels like: A sensation of mild pressure in your head or a headache. Related symptoms include confusion, nausea, and dizziness.
What it is: A concussion is a mild head injury. It occurs when the brain shakes, bounces, or twists inside the skull, which can affect brain activity and damage brain cells.
Causes: Concussions and other head injuries are caused by sudden impact to the head or whiplash. Falls, car accidents, and sports injuries are common.
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What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is a long-lasting sinus inflammation and infection. It can linger over a period of time, typically longer than 12 weeks. The sinuses are four paired cavities in the head. These spaces are connected by narrow channels. The four spaces are named for the bones they are near: ethmoidal, sphenoidal, frontal and maxillary. The sinuses make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. This drainage works as a filtration system, keeping the nose clean and free of bacteria.
The sinuses can become infected when they are blocked and filled with fluid. This is called sinusitis. There are several kinds of sinusitis: acute, subacute, chronic and recurrent. Unlike chronic sinusitis,acute sinusitis typically lasts only a few days, but can last up to four weeks, before going away with minimal or no treatment. Chronic sinusitis may require different types of treatment. Surgery is sometimes needed in severe cases of chronic sinusitis that do not respond to other methods.
Chronic sinusitis is different than recurrent sinusitis because chronic sinusitis symptoms never really go away for long periods of time. In recurrent sinusitis, you have 4 or more bouts of sinusitis in one year, but you also have symptom-free periods in between.
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.
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Use Some Steambut Don’t Expect A Long
Steamwhether from a humidifier or a hot showercan provide some symptomatic comfort, but isnt really a long-term solution, Mas Takashima, M.D., chair of otolaryngology at Houston Methodist Hospital, tells Health.
Certain areas are moist anyway and you can cause an overgrowth of mold , he explains. But for people who feel dry air or excessively dry sinuses are contributing to their pain, steam can be helpful.
Youre Congested Because: You Have A Polyp
It sounds bad, but a polyp is a noncancerous growth in the lining of your nose or sinuses, which can block your ability to breathe. Symptoms of nasal polyps are very similar to symptoms of rhinosinusitis, most commonly nasal congestion, nasal drainage, change in smell and flavor, and facial pressure, explains Joseph Han, MD, Medical Director of the Division of Allergy at Eastern Virginia Medical School. They grow because of inflammation from conditions like allergies. If your doctor spots a polyp during an exam, you might be prescribed a nasal steroid spray or even surgery for those that are especially bothersome or dont shrink with medication. This is how bad it actually is to pick your nose.
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Treatment Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Nasal washes with saline. Antibiotics are not helpful.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. Antibiotics by mouth.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Treatment of the nasal allergy with allergy medicines also often helps the sinus symptoms.
- All Thick Nasal Drainage. Nasal secretions need treatment with nasal saline when they block the nose. Also, treat if they make breathing through the nose hard. If breathing is noisy, it may mean the dried mucus is farther back. Nasal saline rinses can remove it.
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.
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Chronic Sinusitis
Remember, your health is your business. You do not have to put up with feeling ill for long periods of time. Pay attention to how long you have sinus symptoms because this is something that your care provider will ask you. Keep track of things that you have done to make yourself feel better. If medications are prescribed, make sure you store them and take them as instructed.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
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Sinus Pressure Points On The Back Of The Head And Neck
There are areas around the neck and base of the skull that present an opportunity to relieve sinus pressure. The pressure points in these areas are located in delicate, cavity-like areas where the neck and skull adjoin. There are two such points.
One of them is the specific point where the neck meets the skull. It is right in the middle of the neck/head, near the base of your hairline.
To find it, place your finger at your hairline and move it either up or down until you find the cavity. By squeezing the point with your thumb for about five minutes, it may help clear sinus pressure.
The other area is found on the neck close to the base of the skull. The points are located at the highest point of the neck, just below the base of the skull.
To find it, place both of your thumbs at the top of your neck point and slowly separate them until you feel the cavities . Access the point by pressing slightly in and up and holding for about five minutes.
How To Get Relief Without Antibiotics
More than 20 million Americans will have at least one bout of sinusitis this year. Most will be uncomfortable, and many will miss work or school. Nearly all will recover from their sinus infections, but an unfortunate few may develop complications. If you understand sinusitis, you can reduce your chances of developing the problem and if sinusitis strikes, you’ll know how to speed your recovery and lower your risk of complications.
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Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
How To Handle The Issue
Sleeping with a humidifier near the bed and taking over-the-counter nighttime decongestants may help with sinus symptoms.4 However, in the case of a serious infection, they may not completely resolve the problem.
If you have a sinus infection, or any sinus symptoms that are severe or that persist for longer than a couple of weeks, then you may want to see a doctor. They will have the ability to diagnose the problem, recommend a solution, and get you breathing correctlyday and night.
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What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
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