Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
About Author: Lisa Coon
Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.
How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
Many sinus infections go away on their own. You can try some of these treatments at home to help you manage your symptoms and feel more comfortable.
- Press a warm, moist towel to your face for 5-10 minutes every day. This can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Drink lots of water and other fluids. This can help thin your mucus and reduce congestion.
- Breathe in warm, humid air. Using a humidifier helps, or you can take a hot shower or bath.
- Try clearing your nasal passages with a saline solution . A saline wash helps clear your nasal packages and reduces congestion. You can buy saline drops at your local pharmacy or make your own saline solution at home.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol and Advil can help reduce pain and manage other symptoms, like a fever or headaches.
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Diagnosis And Testing Of Fungal Sinusitis
To evaluate for the presence of fungal sinusitis, your healthcare provider will examine your head and neck using a nasal endoscope .
While computed tomography scans are used in most cases to check for the degree of invasion, magnetic resonance imaging scans are the preferred method for IFS cases, as they can identify growth in soft tissue.
A sample of mucus or pus in the nose may also be taken and sent to the lab to check for the presence of fungi. This procedure is commonly performed in NFS cases in which fungi do not invade the bloodstream.
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Find Relief From Sinus Infections At Kaplan Sinus Relief
At Kaplan Sinus Relief, we help people breath better every day with a variety of sinusitis treatment options, including balloon sinuplasty. We are here to answer questions like, Can you have a sinus infection without a fever? and more.
Whether you need to end all that snoring, repair a deviated septum, or end recurring sinusitis complications, we can help.
Give us a call today at 713-766-1818 or schedule an appointment online.
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Are Sinus Infections Viral Or Bacterial
Most sinus infections are viral, and most are caused by the virus that causes the common cold. How can you tell, based on symptoms, whether your infection is viral or bacterial? Normally, you can’t. Symptoms like bad breath, yellow or green mucus, fever and headache are not reliable signs of a bacterial infection.
Sinus Infection Treatment In Will County And Dupage County Illinois
If youre experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, the experts at Oak Brook Allergists can help you find relief especially if you have chronic sinusitis. Our allergy and immunology physicians and specially-trained assistants work together to provide you with the relief you need.
Make an appointment today by calling 574-0460, or you may request an appointment online.
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Types Of Viral Sinus Infection
A viral sinus infection is most often caused by a common cold, which can infect the lining of the ear, nose, and throat, and inflame the sinuses. There are more than a hundred different viruses that cause colds, the most common of which are rhinoviruses. Some other viruses that can cause sinus infections can include influenza viruses and parainfluenza viruses. Viruses, especially cold viruses, can change the mucus in the nose and cause nasal tissues to swell, blocking the sinuses.
Those With Underlying Medical Conditions May Be At Greater Risk Of Developing A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are fairly common, affecting more than 30 million Americans each year. However, people with certain underlying medical conditions may experience more frequent and severe cases of sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
- Sinus infections can occur as a result of viral infections, such as the cold or flu. Therefore, people with weakened or compromised immune systems may be at a greater risk for developing acute sinusitis.
- Sinus infections commonly arise due to complications with seasonal allergies, asthma, or other physical issues that can cause blockages in the nose or sinuses. People with these conditions are more likely to develop chronic sinusitis.
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What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Sinus Problems
Avoid dairy if you have had previous episodes of sinus infections Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus Other foods to avoid include tomatoes , chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion.
Amoxicillin remains the drug of choice for acute, uncomplicated bacterial sinusitis Amoxicillin is most effective when given frequently enough to sustain adequate levels in the infected tissue While often prescribed twice daily, it is even more effective if taken in 3 or 4 divided doses.
Treating A Viral Or Bacterial Sinus Infection
How you treat a sinus infection depends on whether bacteria or a virus is to blame. In the case of a viral infection, your surgeon or doctor is likely to recommend a wait and see approach, since there is no type of medicine that will kill the virus and speed up healing.
While you do have to wait for a virus to clear up on its own, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable in the meantime. Your surgeon might recommend using a saline rinse in your nostrils to help clear away mucus and debris. Pain relievers can also reduce any discomfort youre experiencing due to headaches or facial pain. A pain reliever can also help lower a fever.
Medicine is available to treat a bacterial sinus infection. If your surgeon determines that bacteria is the source of your infection, he might prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria and speed up healing. Depending on the type of bacteria thats causing the infection, you might need to take antibiotics for just a few days or for a few weeks.
Theres one thing thats important to understand about antibiotics: They wont help viral infections at all. In fact, they might make things worse. While they wont exacerbate the infection, antibiotics can cause some unpleasant side effects. They can also lead to antibiotic resistance, making future bacterial infections more difficult to treat. Its important only to take antibiotics if your doctor prescribes them.
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Can You Pass Along A Sinus Infection
If you are experiencing a viral sinus infection, you can’t spread the infection to others, but you can pass along the virus. Someone who catches the virus from you is then at a higher risk of also developing a sinus infection. You may be contagious for up to two weeks. Sinus infections can also be caused by bacteria.
Bacterial Or Staph Nose Infection
Why are bacterial cases common? Almost everyone carries the staph bacteria in the nose or on the skin surface. Under favorable conditions, the bacteria multiply leading to an infection.
The bacterial strain Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause. Most cases caused by S. aureus are secondary. Infections occur after colds, flu or when the nasal membranes become viable hence cannot filter out germs and foreign stuff.
Bacterial caused cases of nose or staph can produce localized signs or as inside-body symptoms in the case of invasive infections, i.e. when it attacks internal body organs.
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How Long Are You Contagious When You Have A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection caused by a viral infection lasts about seven to 10 days, meaning you’ll be contagious with the virus for up to two weeks. If your symptoms last more than 10 days, or if they subside after a week then return again a few days later, you likely have a bacterial sinus infection that cannot be spread.
Medications For A Sinus Infection
Sometimes, your sinus infection wont go away without care from your primary care doctor or otolaryngologists . Most bacterial sinus infections can be cured with the help of antibiotic medicines a type of medicine that kills bacteria. Antibiotics will help you feel better after a couple days, but its important to finish the entire amount that your doctor prescribed.
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Bacterial Vs Viral Sinusitis
Sinusitis is also classified by whether its viral or bacterial.
A viral sinus infection is much more common than a bacterial one. With viral sinusitis, a virus infects the lining of your facial and nasal cavities. It is typically caused by a viral upper respiratory infection.
A bacterial sinus infection is caused by bacteria infecting the lining of your facial and nasal cavities. It is usually caused by a virus first, with the bacterial infection coming later. This often starts in the nasal cavity before spreading to the sinuses.
Did You Know?
Bacterial sinusitis is much less common than viral sinusitis0.5-2.0% of cases are bacterial and they usually occur as a complication of viral sinusitis.
However, the two vary considerably in their durations. If you have a viral sinus infection, youll typically start to feel better in 5-7 days. Symptoms unique to bacterial sinusitis include:
- Your condition gets much worse after you seem to be improving
- You have a high fever of 100° F or higher
- Symptoms lasting longer than 7-10 days
How Do I Know If I Have A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are quite common. Sinus infections can be thought of as either viral or bacterial . When most individuals think of sinus infections, they are thinking of bacterial sinus infections but it is important to remember that sinus infections can be caused by viruses as well. In both cases, the symptoms of a sinus infection, as defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, are purulent nasal drainage that is accompanied by nasal obstruction and/or facial pain-pressure-fullness. According to guidelines, one must have discolored, purulent nasal drainage to meet the criteria of a sinus infection.
Viral sinus infections/”common colds” are more common than bacterial sinus infections. It has been estimated that the average adult will experience 2 to 5 colds per year. Viral sinus infections may produce similar symptoms as bacterial sinus infections: discolored nasal drainage with nasal obstruction and/or facial pain/pressure. However, the key distinguishing factor with respect to symptoms is that with viral sinus infections, the symptoms peak at around day 3 – 5 and begin to improve thereafter . This why it is important to think about both how long sinusitis symptoms have been ongoing as well as their trajectory when it comes to deciding whether the sinusitis is viral or bacterial.
Fever of above 100.5Â°F
Double sickening : when symptoms of a cold are getting better and then worsen as illustrated by the top blue dashed line in Figure 2.
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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.
What Is A Natural Antibiotic
Ginger. The scientific community also recognizes ginger as a natural antibiotic. Several studies, including one published in 2017, have demonstrated gingers ability to fight many strains of bacteria. Researchers are also exploring gingers power to combat seasickness and nausea and to lower blood sugar levels.
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Best In Class Treatment For Sinus Infections
If youre experiencing the symptoms of a sinus infection, the experienced ENT specialists at Chicago ENT can correctly diagnose your symptoms and help you breathe better.
Our team will work together to customize the ideal treatment plan for your needs. Schedule an appointment at Chicago ENT in Chicago, IL, and get the relief from chronic sinus infections you need!
Sinusitis Is Not A Regular Cold But Colds Can Cause Sinusitis
Your sinuses, which are hollow spaces in the bones around your nose, are lined with mucus that traps bacteria, dust and allergens and drains out through your nose.
When your sinuses become inflamed due to a cold, mucus cant drain, so it builds up and can lead to sinusitis, which can be viral or bacterial.
Sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, which leads to swelling that can cause obstruction and an accumulation of mucus, says Dr. Hur, an assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Sinusitis can be caused by allergies, nasal polyps, infections or a weakened immune system from medications or illness, he says.
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Common Symptoms Of A Bacterial Sinus Infection
- Same symptoms of a viral sinus infection
- Symptoms start to worsen after 7-10 days
- Fever that lasts multiple days in a row
- Typically requires antibiotics
So, lets go back to the original question: Can you have a sinus infection without a fever? As you can now see, having or not having a fever wont always help you determine if you have a sinus infection.
However, one thing that you can say with more certainty is that you probably have a bacterial sinus infection if you have a fever that lasts multiple days and does not let up.
Should I Stay Home If I Have A 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.
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Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and you’re very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
Related Conditions And Risk Factors
Sinusitis is a type of upper respiratory infection. Upper respiratory infections are infections that occur in your upper respiratory tract, which consists of your nose, sinuses, and throat. The common cold is a type of URI. Others types of URIs, besides the common cold, include:
- Laryngitis: Inflammation of the larynx, which is an organ that contains our vocal cords.
- Pharyngitis: Inflammation of the pharynx, which is the part of the throat behind your nose and mouth.
If left untreated, there can be rare but serious complications. A sinus infection can spread to the eyes, causing a range of symptoms ranging from swelling to blindness. Infectious sinusitis can also, uncommonly, lead to meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or osteomyelitis, an infection to the bones of the skull.
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