What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis emerges more insidiously than acute sinusitis. At times, however, the symptoms start suddenly and may resemble that of the common cold or acute sinusitis that just wont go away.
Chronic sinusitis is most likely if you have two or more of the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Mucus and pus-like discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain, pressure around your eyes and nose, or fullness
- Partial or complete loss of your sense of smell
Chronic cough, sore throat, and fatigue may also be seen in a chronic sinus infection. That said, these symptoms are not required for the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis.
Fungal Infection In Nose Ie Fungal Sinusitis
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There has been a notable increase in reported cases of fungal infection in the nose, or fungal sinusitis, over the last three decades according to The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
This is attributed to three main factors, namely heightened public awareness, use of immunosuppressive therapies e.g. cyclosporine medications that are used to fool the immune system in order to stop organ rejection, and excessive use of antibiotics.
With a suppressed immune system, fungi kick into action and invade the body, resulting in numerous side effects. The damp cavities in the sinuses are ideal for fungal activity and because fungi require no light in order to breakdown food substances, they thrive very well in there, causing fungal sinusitis.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery, there are four main types of fungal sinusitis and treatment varies from one to the other as follows:
What Are The Risk Factors
Colds are very contagious. Young children in daycare settings are especially susceptible to colds and bacterial infections, but people of any age can develop a cold or sinus infection if exposed to the germs causing infection.
Having nasal polyps or other obstructions in your sinus cavity can increase your risk for sinus infections. Thats because these obstructions can lead to inflammation and poor drainage that allows bacteria to breed.
Youre also at increased risk for a cold or a bacterial infection if you have a weakened immune system.
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When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
- Your symptoms are severe or they are getting worse after seven days.
- Your headache is severe and over-the-counter pain relievers don’t put a dent in it.
- You are running a fever of 100.4 degrees or more.
- You finished a course of prescribed antibiotics, but you still have symptoms.
If you have been having frequent bouts of sinusitis, you should see your healthcare provider to get a full diagnosis and check for problems that might be contributing to your episodes.
Lying Down Makes It Hard To Clear Sinuses
When we stand or sit upright, gravity is pulling downward from our sinuses to our esophagus. This means that when mucus drips down the back of the throat, it can go down the esophagus and drain effectively, simply because thats the way gravity works.
But when were lying down, gravity is still pulling toward the groundwhich means that it isnt pulling mucus down the esophagus anymore. Rather, mucus may pool in the back of the throat, irritating the tissue and causing a worse sinus infection.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Sinusitis
Though many cases of acute sinusitis can improve with little to no treatment, you should call the doctor if you experience any painful symptoms. An antibiotic may be needed for a bacterial infection.
If you find that your sinuses do not feel better after 10 days, symptoms have gotten worse, or you have symptoms that initially improved and then worsen five to six days later , you should contact your healthcare provider. Symptoms that continue after about four weeks may mean you have subacute or chronic sinusitis. If you develop other types of symptoms, such as severe eye swelling, or you are just not sure what you should do next, call your provider.
If you have facial pain, and you have healthy teeth, you can try things like nasal rinses and warm, wet washcloths on your face to see if you find some relief. If so, and if your symptoms go away in about 10 days, you probably have had acute sinusitis and it has gotten better on its own. If not, and you continue to feel ill after three or four weeks, call your provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Will Allergy Shots Help
Your doctor may call this treatment “immunotherapy.” Hereâs how it works: Theyâll put a little bit of the allergy trigger into your body. Over time you get used to the substance and donât react to it anymore.
Shots work best if you have symptoms for longer than 3 months each year. They can help lower your need for meds to control your symptoms.
Also, the FDA has approved four under-the-tongue tablets that can be taken at home. The prescription tablets treat hay fever and work the same way as shots — the goal is to boost your tolerance of allergy triggers.
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Forehead Pain And Swelling
An infection of one or both frontal sinuses that spreads to the overlying bone can cause a lump-like swelling of the forehead and possibly the front of the scalp. The swelling is usually limited to one side. This uncommon complication of sinusitis, known as frontal bone osteomyelitis, is rare but serious. Usual accompanying symptoms include fever, pain and tenderness of the involved bone, and frontal headaches. Frontal bone osteomyelitis was previously known as Pott puffy tumor, a misnomer because the condition is caused by infection of the frontal bone rather than a tumor. This complication of infectious sinusitis can develop at any age but is more common in adolescents and young adults than it is in older adults.
- An infection of one or both frontal sinuses that spreads to the overlying bone can cause a lump-like swelling of the forehead and possibly the front of the scalp.
How Long Do Sinus Infections Last
Many variables affect the duration of sinus infections. Most last more than 10 days, but when a sinus infection lasts more than twelve weeks, it is considered chronic sinusitis.
If after 10 days, your symptoms have not improved, see your primary care doctor. You may have an acute sinus infection.If it lasts four weeks, you potentially have a sub-acute sinus infection that needs more aggressive treatment.
If symptoms last over 12 weeks, youre likely dealing with a chronic infection. After such prolonged symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish sinus headaches from migraine headaches from severe allergies. After 12 weeks, diagnosing and treating the issue requires the medical expertise of an ENT.
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Signs Of A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is something you want to deal with right away to prevent it from escalating. However, its not easy to discern between the different symptoms and what they mean. After all, an infection manifests itself in a similar way to the flu or a cold, so you cant always act decisively.
With that in mind, here are some signs you have a sinus infection and should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.
How Is A Cholesteatoma Treated
Generally speaking, the only way to treat a cholesteatoma is to have it surgically removed. The cyst must be removed to prevent the complications that can occur if it grows larger. Cholesteatomas dont go away naturally. They usually continue to grow and cause additional problems.
Once a cholesteatoma has been diagnosed, a regimen of antibiotics, ear drops, and careful cleaning of the ear will most likely be prescribed to treat the infected cyst, reduce inflammation, and drain the ear. Your medical professional will then be able to better analyze the growth traits of the cyst and make a plan for surgical removal.
In most cases, the surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means that you dont have to stay in the hospital after the procedure. A hospital stay is only necessary if the cyst is very large or if you have a serious infection. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. After the initial surgery to remove the cyst, follow-up surgery to reconstruct any damaged portions of the inner ear and make sure that the cyst has been completely removed is often necessary.
Once the cholesteatoma is removed, youll need to attend follow-up appointments to evaluate results and ensure the cyst hasnt come back. If the cyst broke any bones in your ear, youll need a second surgery to repair them.
After surgery, some people experience temporary dizziness or taste abnormalities. These side effects almost always resolve themselves within a few days.
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How Do I Find Out What I’m Allergic To
Usually your doctor can diagnose allergies based on your symptoms and triggers. If your reactions are more severe or medication doesnât help, an allergist may do a skin test to find out what your triggers are.
They’ll put tiny bits of things that might cause an allergic reaction on your arm or back, and then scratch the surface of your skin. Any places that get red and itchy mean you have an allergy to that specific trigger.
Itâs not all that common, but your doctor may also do a blood test to help diagnose you. In some cases, blood tests are performed because a person should not undergo a skin test. However, they are not as sensitive as skin tests — and are generally more expensive — and they are not as reliable for diagnosing allergies to airborne substances, such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites.
Cold Vs Viral Sinus Infection Vs Bacterial Sinus Infection
Many cold symptoms, flu symptoms, and sinus infection symptoms overlap with each other. To make matters more complicated, not all symptoms arent necessarily guaranteed. For example, even if you have a bacterial sinus infection, you may or may not have a fever, or you may or may not have a sore throat, etc.
However, its still worth knowing the differing symptoms between all these health issues, especially when it comes to fevers.
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Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.
The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Are Sinus Infections Contagious
As already mentioned, the sinus infection most often starts off as a cold. When you have a cold, you may of course spread the virus but not the sinus infection.
The virus will be spread through the air or by passing it from hand to mouth, nose or eyes. It is thus important to wash your hands with soap and water and avoid close contact with those with colds or flu.
If you are the one with the cold/flu, cover the mouth and nose as well and properly dispose the discharge.
If the sinus infection is as a result of a bacteria complication, you cannot spread it.
How To Tell When Your Cold Has Become A Sinus Infection
As the temperatures drop here in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, the common cold is on the rise. The symptoms are no mystery: congestion and runny nose, cough, headache and perhaps a sore throat and mild fever. But sometimes that cold can lead to a less common condition that shares many of the same symptoms: a sinus infection.While treatment with antibiotics will do nothing to improve a cold, it could be necessary to clear up a sinus infection. Thats why its important to know how to tell the difference so you can seek care when its needed.Heres what you need to know
Mayo Clinic Q & A: Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms Resemble A Cold But Last Months
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Ive had an awful cold for months. My doctor recommends that I be tested for chronic sinusitis. What would that involve? How is chronic sinusitis treated?
ANSWER: Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, which are the air-containing pockets in the skull and facial bones around your nose. Chronic sinusitis develops when inflammation lasts for more than 12 weeks. Testing involves a visit to an ear, nose and throat, or ENT, doctor who will examine your sinuses. Most chronic sinusitis can be managed with medical therapy. However, if your symptoms or the inflammation do not respond to medical therapy, surgery may be necessary. The goal of treatment is to restore sinus health and function.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis often resemble a cold. A cold is usually caused by a viral infection and is often accompanied by a runny or stuffed-up nose, sneezing, sore throat, watery eyes and a fever. This kind of acute viral sinusitis usually lasts seven to 10 days.
In rare instances, you may get a bacterial infection as a result of a cold, resulting in acute bacterial sinusitis. If that happens, cold symptoms get worse after seven to 10 days. You also may have yellow or green nasal drainage, pain in your face or teeth, and a fever. Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks. When symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks, you may have chronic sinusitis. But some cases of chronic sinusitis can develop subtly, without a preceding viral infection.
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Sinus Infection Home Remedy
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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Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
You also may experience nasal congestion, facial pain, and an overall sense of pressure in your face and forehead. In some cases, you may even experience pain in your upper teeth.
Doctor Says Don’t Take Omicron Infections Lightly And Here’s Why
With Omicron, some studies are finding “the damage potentially to the lungs is less,” said Dr. Tipirneni. “I don’t think that jury is fully out though on that. And I certainly don’t think anybody should be taking Omicron infections lightly. And remember those folks again, that are still most vulnerable remain, most vulnerable are elderly, are immunocompromised those folks with chronic illnesses, lung disease. And don’t forget, we still have almost three quarters of our children that are still not fully vaccinated. And certainly every child under the age of five is vulnerable. So this is still very important. Still very concerning. Nobody should be taking this lightly. But it is good news that it is less severe, but remember because of the increased number of cases, we are still overall, still seeing a large number of folks going to the hospital, being critically ill requiring hospitalization, and that is still draining our resources. And it’s still a big concern for all of our communities.”
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How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Bad Breath
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.