What Are Symptoms And Treatment
Typically, youll have facial pain/pressure, headaches, nasal drainage and congestion, decreased or loss of sense of smell, tooth pain and sore throat. Treatment depends on the cause but can include medications to decrease inflammation and treat the infection. Sometimes rinsing out your sinuses can help. At home this can be done by using a nasal saline solution or Neti pot. In severe cases, you may need to be treated by an ear, nose and throat doctor.
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:
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.
Conditions causing your chronic infections may include:
Signs That You May Have A Sinus Infection
posted: Dec. 17, 2020.
A sinus infection, likewise called sinusitis, is commonly confused with a terrible cold that doesnt let up. Why? Simply because a lot of these conditions symptoms are alike, like nasal congestion or a runny nose, headaches, and facial pain. Unlike a bad cold, however, the symptoms of sinus infections might be due to bacterial infections that usually require antibiotic treatment to be effectively treated.
So if you think youre suffering from a sinus infection, visit your ENT doctor in Pittsfield, MA, Dr. Giulio Cavalli of Giulio Cavalli Medical for an accurate diagnosis. By thwarting the progression of a sinus infection as soon as possible, you can avoid complications that may develop later on.
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How Is Acute Sinusitis Diagnosed
Acute sinusitis is usually diagnosed by discussing all of your symptoms and medical history with your doctor. In a physical exam, your doctor will look at the ears, nose, and throat to check for any blockage, swelling, and drainage. If allergies are suspected, your doctor will can have an allergy test performed to determine what allergens might be the cause of your sinusitis.
Signs You Have A Sinus Infection
Posted in Nose | January 14, 2022
Are you experiencing pressure around your nose, forehead, and eyes? Does your face feel like its overly full?
These are some of the more common signs of having a sinus infection. Your sinuses are tiny, empty spaces that connect the inside of your nose.
Theyre found behind your forehead and cheekbones. When you have a sinus infection, the lining of your sinuses swells up. The swelling of the lining of your sinuses prevents mucus from draining down your throat and nose properly. Factors that increase your risk of developing a sinus infection are:
Other telltale signs of a sinus infection include:
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Common Causes Of Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are caused by either viruses or bacteria, but they can be caused by fungi as well. Although is a very common condition, some people are at higher risk of developing the infection. They include people who:
Have abnormalities in the nasal passages, such as or a deformity
Have a weakened immune system
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Are Sinus Infections Contagious
A sinus infection caused by a virus is contagious. When you sneeze or cough, the virus can travel in droplets of moisture through the air. If another person breathes in the virus, they might develop a cold that turns into a sinus infection. In order to limit the spread of sinus infections, remember to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. And wash your hands frequently to avoid leaving the virus on objects that you touch.
If your sinus infection is caused by a bacteria or fungus, its not contagious. But you should still wash your hands frequently and cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
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When To See A Doctor
You dont necessarily have to see your doctor for your allergies. The exception is if youve never been diagnosed with allergies before or if your allergies seem to be getting worse.
You should also see your doctor if your OTC antihistamines arent working. They might recommend prescription medications instead. If your allergies have you particularly congested, they might also prescribe a .
Since sinus infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics dont generally help. However, if your symptoms worsen or last longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor for some relief.
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Start Treating Your Symptoms Right Away
Since viruses cant be cured, treating colds is primarily aimed at improving symptoms.
Its important to remember that with colds and other viruses, taking an antibiotic wont help you feel better any faster, says Dr. Woodard. In fact, taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good.
The overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which can make subsequent infections more difficult to treat.
Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and rinse out your sinuses with saline irrigation, which can help thin mucous and flush it from your nasal cavity, he says.
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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.
Related Conditions And Causes Of Sinus Infections
Colds, allergies, and sinus infections can cause similar symptoms, including stuffiness and headache. Whats more, both colds and allergies can cause sinus inflammation. So how can you tell the difference between these illnesses?
The truth is, even doctors can sometimes have difficulty differentiating among colds, allergies, and sinus infections. But the illnesses do present differently.
A hallmark sign that you have a sinus infection is that the illness is, as youd expect, severely affecting your sinuses. Both colds and allergies can cause congestion and runny nose, but sinus infections typically cause an aching sensation and pressure in the face, including in the ears and teeth.
Additionally, postnasal drop, reduced sense of smell, and halitosis are typically associated with sinus infections.
The mucus associated with a sinus infection is usually green or yellow, though color alone isnt enough to determine the cause of your nasal distress, as there are many reasons your nasal discharge may not be clear.
Both allergies and colds can cause sneezing, a symptom not typically seen in sinus infections. Allergies never cause fever, which is seen in both colds and sinus infections.
And if your symptoms last more than 10 days, you most likely dont have a cold.
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Quiz: Do You Have A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation and swelling of your sinuses. The sinuses are a group of air-filled spaces in the facial bones. When a person has a sinus infection, air and mucus become trapped in the swollen sinuses, promoting the growth of germs and other bacteria, eventually leading to an infection.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell if you have a sinus infection, a cold or other upper respiratory infection, or are suffering from allergies. Take our quiz to get a better idea if your symptoms might be due to sinusitis.
Concerned you may have a Sinus Infection? Learn more about sinusitis or speak with a medical provider.
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.
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Treating A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are different from colds because they are caused by bacteria growing in blocked sinuses. Because of this, they may improve with antibiotics. Depending on your situation, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, or other drugs that can help relieve your pain and lessen the swelling in your sinuses.
If you feel you may have a sinus infection that is worsening, visit your urgent care clinic or primary care physician as soon as possible. You could receive treatment to help you recover faster.
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.
This is called postnasal drip, and it may cause you to cough at night when youre lying down to sleep, and in the morning after getting up. It may also cause your voice to sound hoarse.
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Sinus Pain & Pressure
One of the more debilitating signs of a sinus infection, notably if its chronic, sinus pain includes headaches, pressure in the cheeks and eyes, and dental pain. It feels as though an invisible force is pressing on your face with a sledgehammer, using an extraordinary amount of pressure. Now try to be productive. A warm compress or inhaling steam from a shower can help with this.
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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Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses
Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.
Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.
You may feel pain in:
- on either side of your nose
- in your upper jaws and teeth
- between your eyes
This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.
Corticosteroid Drops Or Sprays
Corticosteroids, also known as steroids, are a group of medications that can help to reduce inflammation.
If you have persistent symptoms of sinusitis, your GP may prescribe steroid nasal drops or sprays to help reduce the swelling in your sinuses. These may need to be used for several months.
Possible side effects include nasal irritation, a sore throat and nosebleeds.
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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.
Are Sinus Infections Viral
Sinusitis can occur due to a viral infection. If excess mucus develops and cannot exit the body due to a blockage or nasal inflammation, it can cause a sinus infection. You may start with a viral cold that doesnt clear up and then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies can also lead to sinus infections, as can a deviated septum. When bacteria grows in the sinuses, it is a bacterial infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, sinusitis is typically caused by a virus, and less commonly caused by bacteria.
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How Do Doctors Treat Sinus Infections
One the diagnosis is made, the typical treatment for sinus infection is antibiotics to clear up the bacteria causing the sinus infection. Although, the overuse of antibiotics is a cause for concern, so many doctors will prescribe these medications if your symptoms extend beyond seven to 10 days.
Your doctor may also prescribe a topical nasal corticosteroid to reverse the swelling in the sinuses. Finally, over-the-counter medications to help you cope with the daily symptoms of a sinus infection while the medications begin to do their work.
Some of the typical over-the-counter symptom relievers include:
- Antihistamines can block the inflammation that swells your sinus passages
- Nasal decongestant sprays can be used on a limited basis
- Nasal saline washes can clear out heavy mucus
- Topical nasal corticosteroids
Sinus infections can last for several weeks, or if they are chronic, for even longer. If youre feeling ill, its a good idea to reach out to your doctor for treatment. Your clinical team can diagnose, and treat your illness to make you more comfortable and help you heal.Oviedo Medical Research specializes in Phase II through IV clinical trials designed to yield the medications and vaccines that doctors depend on. If youre interested in joining us for a clinical trial, contact us.
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!
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Facial Pain Caused By The Heart
An electrocardiogram may be necessary to see if your heart is causing the issues.
For this test, small, painless electrode monitors are placed on your chest, arms, and legs. These monitors are connected to an ECG machine, which takes a reading of your hearts electrical activity.
This test is helpful in diagnosing a heart attack or abnormal heart rhythms.