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Do I Need Medicine For A Sinus Infection

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Sinus Pain And Pressure

Ask Dr. Mike: What is a sinus infection and how do I treat it?

Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.

The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.

Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.

Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.

Feel Better Sooner Without Antibiotics

Instead of taking antibiotics for sinusitis, Consumer Reports chief medical adviser, Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., recommends that you get plenty of rest, rinse your nose with a saltwater sinus rinse or spray, drink warm fluids, and inhale steam from a hot bath, shower, or kettle. For pain, he says, try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .

If needed, your doctor can prescribe a prescription corticosteroid spray, such as fluticasone or triamcinolone. A systematic review published in JAMA in 2015 found that after saline irrigation, the second-best treatment for chronic sinusitis was a topical corticosteroid spray for a few days.

Is Your Sinus Infection Acute Or Chronic

A short-term sinus infection is often referred to as acute sinusitis. Most cases of acute sinusitis last about a week, but this type of short-term sinus infection can last up to four weeks. If you suffer from a sinus infection that lasts longer than 12 weeks despite treatment from your doctor, its considered chronic sinusitis.

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Common Colds And Sinus Infections

A viral infection associated with the common cold is the most common cause of sinus infections .

This virus may jump to other people, causing a cold that may also develop into viral sinusitis.

In only 0.5 to 2 percent of cases do people develop bacterial sinusitis , which is typically a complication of viral sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis is not contagious.

In rare cases, fungi can cause a sinus infection, particularly if a person has a fungal allergy. But fungal sinusitis generally does not affect people with healthy immune systems.

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Sinus Infection Treatment Options

Sinus Infections ache remedy

There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.

The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.

There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.

Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus infection.

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How Do You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Naturally

But there are some things you can do to try to speed up the recovery process.

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat foods with antibacterial properties.
  • Add moisture.
  • Clear the sinuses with oils.
  • Use a neti pot.
  • Ease facial pain with warm compresses.
  • Use over-the-counter medications.
  • Get a prescription.
  • What kills a sinus infection? Generic antibiotics like amoxicillin or cefdinir can be used to stop the growth of or kill bacteria to resolve a sinus infection. Other popular antibiotics prescribed for sinus infections include Zithromax or Augmentin.

    Consequently, What foods cure sinus infections? Vitamins and minerals Colorful fruits and vegetables like get high praise from the scientists working on sinus healers world-wide. They contain lots of vitamin C which is known to fend off colds, allergies and sinus infections.

    What foods help clear sinuses?

    Take Antioxidants in Plenty

    Bright colored vegetables and fruits such as berries, kiwi, pumpkin, papaya, sweet potatoes, and pineapple are all rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Pineapple also contains enzymes that break down the buildup on the sinuses and reduces inflammation.

    When Is A Z

    Spoiler alert: its not! Because its so easy to use, the Z-Pak used to be a go-to prescription for sinus infections. But it turns out that only a minority of these prescriptions are appropriate because the majority of sinus infections are viral and not bacterial. In fact, studies have found that about a third of antibiotic prescriptions for sinus infections, sore throats, and ear infections arent even necessary. Overprescribing antibiotics increases the chance that bacteria will become resistant to them and disrupt the gut bacterial flora for months. Indeed, azithromycin is no longer recommended for bacterial sinus infections due to the risk of resistance.

    If you have a sinus infection, expect to feel lousy for several days. After all, your body is waging war against an infection. You might experience:

    • A runny nose

    • A sore throat

    • A cough

    Youre also likely to feel more tired and achy and maybe even experience a low-grade fever. Most people improve within a week, but symptoms can last up to 2 weeks. Coughs can linger for a week after that.

    Treating a sinus infection boils down to whether its viral or bacterial. Colds, for example, are viral. And antibiotics like the Z-Pak are not effective against viral infections. In fact, viral sinus infections have no cure. Treatment is aimed at managing symptoms and includes:

    If you still dont feel better, your healthcare provider may suggest nasal or lung inhalers for other symptoms.

    • Diarrhea

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    How To Tell If You Have An Actual Sinus Infection

    Even though we often say we have a sinus infection even if its just inflammation or an allergic response, there are symptoms of an actual infection that may be treatable with antibiotics. Nasal congestion and pain under the eyes or around the temples are, of course, main symptoms, but others include the loss of the sense of smell, green nasal discharge, mucus dripping down your throat, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and even bad breath.

    Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up without intervention, but if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, have your symptoms for 10 or more days, notice that your symptoms are getting worse and are not improved by OTC medications, or you have multiple infections in a years time, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

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    When To Go To The Doctor For A Sinus Infection

    Diagnosing & Treating Baby Problems : How to Treat Sinus Infections in Babies

    Sinusitis belongs to upper respiratory tract infections. It is one of the commonest and a relatively troublesome condition one can have. Yet, it is also one of those infections which patients often attempt to treat at home.

    So before you understand when to go to the doctor for a sinus infection, it would be worthwhile to go through a few basic facts about sinuses their infections and how to recognize which sinus is infected.

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    Causes And Risk Factors Of Sinus Infection

    The terms “sinus infection” and “sinusitis” are often used interchangeably, but sinusitis simply refers to the inflammation of the sinuses, with or without an infection. The medical term for sinusitis is rhinosinusitis because the illness affects the mucous membranes in both the sinuses and nose.

    Sinus infections ultimately develop because of sinus and nasal blockages that result in sinus inflammation. There are several underlying causes of sinus blockage, including various environmental, anatomical, and genetic factors. But the most common cause of the blockage is inflammation or swelling of the nasal passages because of the common cold or allergies.

    In healthy people, mucosal secretions are always moving and draining into the nasal cavity. But

    when blockage occurs, mucus fails to drain properly, increases in thickness, and fills the sinus spaces.

    The cilia also slow down their sweeping and cleaning, making it even harder for mucus to drain.

    When the mucus is unable to drain, it becomes the perfect medium for microbes to grow out of control and cause an infection.

    Risks Of Systemic Steroids

    You must be extremely careful when using systemic steroids. While some of the most effective anti-inflammatory drugs out there, they can suppress the normal steroid levels in the body. This can result in the following side effects:

    • mood swings
    • weight gain
    Thankfully, when taken responsibly in the short-term, these steroids wont cause most of the adverse effects listed above. If youve consulted with your doctor, and they deem it best for you to use this medication, its because they have gathered enough information to prescribe them to you. Another alternative to prednisone and other related systemic steroids is topical steroids, which significantly reduces the risk of running into the unwanted side effects above.

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    What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis

    Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.

    The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as from pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.

    It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.

    In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.

    In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.

    How Can I Unblock My Sinuses

    Ways to Relieve Sinus Pain, Aches and Congestion

    Home Treatments

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Take long showers or breathe in steam from a pot of warm water.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Use a nasal saline spray.
  • Try a Neti pot, nasal irrigator, or bulb syringe.
  • Use a micro-current wave device.
  • Place a warm, wet towel on your face.
  • Prop yourself up.
  • Is turmeric good for sinus? Turmeric is another natural spice that you can include in your sinusitis prevention plan. It contains many of the same healing properties as ginger, which is why the two can make a powerful combination when you need something to ease your sinus pain.

    Is drinking hot water good for sinus?

    Stay hydrated: be proactive about drinking fluids. Your body needs to be fully hydrated in order to recover from a sinus infection. Also, drinking hot liquids like tea or soup can help break down the stuffiness and mucus in your nasal cavities.

    Does Rice cause sinus? Having rice for dinner will cause inflammation and will trigger sinus allergy. Same goes for fruits, most of them have a cooling effect and can cause a headache or a runny nose. Fruits in the night are also not advisable, especially if you are prone to sinus.

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    What Home Remedies Help Soothe Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis Symptoms

    Sinus infections caused by viruses can use home treatments such as pain and fever medications , decongestants, and mucolytics. In addition, some health care professionals suggest nasal irrigation or a sinus rinse solution to help relieve symptoms of sinus infections, even chronic sinusitis symptoms. This irrigation is accomplished with a Neti-Pot or a sinus rinse kit . The last reference of this article shows a video of a sinus rinse procedure. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning about the use of Neti-Pots. The FDA cautions people not to use untreated tap water for rinsing, as contaminated tap water rinses lead to two deaths.

    Bacterial and fungal sinus infections usually require antibiotic or antifungal therapy so home treatments without them are often not successful. However, some authors suggest home treatments may reduce symptoms after medical therapy has begun some healthcare professionals recommend nasal irrigation after sinus surgery.

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    Related Resources For Sinus Infections

    * Prescription savings vary by prescription and by pharmacy, and may reach up to 80% off cash price.

    Pharmacy names, logos, brands, and other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

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    How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home

    In the first two weeks of a sinus infection, patients may use saline sprays, over-the-counter steroid sprays like Flonase, and over-the-counter decongestants.

    After 10 days, if the drainage is still colored, an antibiotic is likely necessary. Theres no homeopathic alternative to antibiotics. However, saline spray, topical steroid sprays, and decongestants work well with antibiotics to clear most infections.

    Can Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis Be Prevented

    Are antibiotics needed for a sinus infection?

    Currently, there are no vaccines designed specifically against infectious sinusitis or sinus infections. However, there are vaccines against viruses and bacteria that may cause some infectious sinusitis. Vaccination against pathogens known to cause infectious sinusitis may indirectly reduce or prevent the chance of getting the disease however, no specific studies support this assumption. Fungal vaccines against sinusitis are not available, currently.

    If you are prone to recurrent bouts of a âyearly sinus infectionâ it may be important to consider allergy testing to see if this is the underlying cause of the recurring problem. Treatment of the allergy may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections. In addition, sinus infections may be due to other problems such as nasal polyps, tumors, or diseases that obstruct normal mucus flow. Treatment of these underlying causes may prevent recurrent sinus infections.

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    When To Seek Medical Care

    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 3-4 days.

    You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.

    This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.

    Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:

    • Seasonal allergies
    • Colds

    What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis

    Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.

    Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives. Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever. Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose. About 30 million adults have “sinusitis.” Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.

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    Using The Right Water During Saline Rinses

    When using saline nasal rinses, tap water should always be boiled and then allowed to cool to ensure cleanliness distilled water or premixed solutions could also be used instead of regular tap water.

    Other home remedies for sinus infections include:

    • Drinking fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen and thin mucus. Avoid beverages that are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate the body, which could thicken mucus.
    • Breathing steam: Warm water is best . You can breathe in steam from either a bowl or shower.
    • Humidifying the air: Use a cool air vaporizer or humidifier,particularly at night while sleeping.
    • Avoiding environmental substances: Avoid tobacco smoke and chlorinated water that can dry up the mucus membranes and exacerbate symptoms.
    • Implementing treatment measures: At the first sign of infection, use antihistamines and employ regular nasal rinses.

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    Causes For Sinus Infection:

    The 5 Best Over

    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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