Care Advice For Sinus Congestion
Whats The Difference Between A Cold And A Sinus Infection
Most people want to take care of their health, but its not always easy. So many illnesses have symptoms that overlap, making it difficult to know when to see a doctor and when to ride it out alone. Because a cold typically involves nasal congestion and swelling of mucous membranes, it can be hard to tell whether you have a common cold or a sinus infection.
Reasons To Contact Your Greenfield Health Team Right Away :
- Fever higher than 102
- Rest, rest and rest listen to your body so it can fight the virus.
- Drink lots of fluids to keep mucous thin hot fluids are especially helpful.
- Boost humidity by inhaling steam .
- Rinse your nose with nasal irrigation.
Other things that might help:
- Steroid nasal sprays like prescription Flonase and now over the counter Nasacort these decrease inflammation. They probably help more for people who also have allergies.
- Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine which is prescription only in Oregon, and behind the counter in Washington can dry mucous and relieve sinus pressure and pain.
- Mucolytics such as guaifenesin Mucinex thin mucous so it can drain out.
Things that dont help :
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Hum Your Way To Sinus Pain Relief
Some people report that humming for one hour improves sinus pain, says Das. Researchers in Sweden have found that humming can keep your sinuses clear. How could that be possible? Humming may increase both airflow through your sinuses and the level of nitric oxide in your sinuses. The combination of nitric oxide and airflow may reduce your risk of sinusitis. So if you have a common cold or allergies, want to prevent a sinus infection, and know a happy tune that you dont mind hearing for an hour, you may want to try a little humming.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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Why Is My Snot White
White snot can be a sign that you are at the start of a cold or an infection. It typically comes with feelings of congestion, stuffiness, or inflammation. You get the white or cloudy sinus infection mucus color when the swollen tissues in your nose slow the flow of your snot. This pulls the water content out of your mucus and causes your snot to become more concentrated.
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.
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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.
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.
Why Does My Doctor Give Me Antibiotics For Green Mucus
Good question! If most sinus infections are viral, and viral infections will not improve with antibiotics, it makes little sense to treat every episode of thick, green mucus with antibiotics. Yet some patients request it and many doctors continue to prescribe them. Its likely that the improvement that follows antibiotic treatment would have happened even without antibiotics yet that sequence of events tends to perpetuate the idea that antibiotics are necessary.
There are times when antibiotics should be considered. For example, antibiotics might be worth considering when
- the infection drags on for more than 10 days, or if it gets worse after a week
- the discharge is thick and uniformly white
- there is a high fever that isnt improving
- there are severe symptoms that do not respond to the usual over-the-counter sinus and cold remedies.
Each case is different. So, talk to your doctor if your sinus symptoms have you thinking you may need antibiotics.
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Is Black Snot Bad
Unless youre a smoker or use certain types of illegal drugs, black snot may be a symptom of a severe fungal infection. There are four common types of fungal infections including:
Even if you are a smoker or use illicit drugs, if you are experiencing black mucus, you should call your doctor to rule out any serious diagnosis.
Sinus Infection Home Remedies Recommended By A Doctor
Philip Scolaro, MD
You probably dont give too much thought to your ability to breathe through your nose until you wake up with a sinus infection and that ability is gone!
Sinus infections, sometimes called acute sinusitis, can steal your joy pretty quickly.
A lot of viruses start with nasal symptoms. If you have a scratchy throat, congestion, and a runny nose, youve probably got a virus on your hands.
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Causes Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Part of the common cold. A cold infects the lining of the nose. It also involves the lining of all the sinuses.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. A problem when the sinus becomes infected with bacteria. . It starts as a viral sinus infection. Main symptoms are increased sinus pain or return of fever. The skin around the eyelids or cheeks may become red or swollen. Thick nasal secretions that last over 14 days may point to a sinus infection. This can occur in younger children.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Sinus congestion often occurs with nasal allergies . Sneezing, itchy nose and clear nasal discharge point to this cause.
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
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How Can I Avoid Future Sinus Infections
Once youve had a nasty sinus infection, you wont want to relive the experience. To help prevent them from occurring again, get your annual flu shot and steer clear of people with colds or the flu. Use your humidifier. Live as healthfully as you can get sufficient sleep, reduce stress and eat a wholesome diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and if you do smoke, take steps to quit. Last, but not least, always wash your hands.
Ultimately, sinusitis is a painful and revolting nuisance. But approaching them with these smart strategies could save you a world of hurt.
This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
- a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
- a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
- symptoms of allergies that dont clear with the usual allergy medicine
Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:
- pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
- swelling around the eye
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How A Pharmacist Can Help With Sinusitis
A pharmacist can advise you about medicines that can help, such as:
- salt water nasal sprays or solutions to rinse out the inside of your nose
You can buy nasal sprays without a prescription, but decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than a week.
Some decongestant tablets also contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. Be careful when taking painkillers and a decongestant. Do not take more than the recommended dose.
How Is A Sinus Infection Diagnosed And Treated
Your doctor will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. You might get a CT scan of your sinuses.
Your doctor may prescribe medication. They may recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days. , antihistamines, and other drugs help lessen the swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages.
Steam and hot showers can help you loosen mucus. Your doctor may also suggest nasal saline to wash mucus from your nose.
In rare cases, when a sinus infection doesn’t go away, long-term antibiotics or surgery may be needed.
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Sinus Infection Vs Common Cold: Whats The Difference
Sniffles. Headache. Cough. No doubt about it you have a sinus infection. Or maybe its just the common cold. With symptoms that may overlap, its easy to mistake one for the other, but effectively treating each one means understanding the differences. Board-certified physician Dr. Priti Ranjan and the primary care specialists at Nest Family Medicine in Plano, TX can help treat any acute illness, from a sinus infection to a common cold and much more.
Fever And Pain Reducers
If you have a fever and/or pain, take two acetaminophen tablets. After four hours, if you still have pain or fever, take two ibuprofen tablets. You can rotate these every four hours.
Valdez said it is very important to be careful when combining all these medicines to make sure you are not doubling up on a single agent. Some of these medications may contain a lower dose of any of the above mentioned agents, so check the labels carefully.
Remember those agents are: acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever/pain, dextromethorphan for cough and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine and guaifenesin for decongestants and expectorants.
Lastly, Valdez said to keep the following in mind:
- If you have a fever, do not go into work or school you should be fever free for 24 hours.
- Rest is the best medicine. Let the virus run its course if your body is run down it will take it longer to fight off the infection.
- To prevent sinus infections, get a flu shot , wash your hands often and cover your cough and sneeze.
by Alan S. Berger, M.D. | Oct 10, 2020 | Dry Sinuses
In our region of Pennsylvania, winter can either be a magical season of snow, gift-giving, and general good cheer, and it can also lead to an attack on the sinuses in the form of headaches, nosebleeds, and sore, dry noses.
- Sinus headaches
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What Does Clear Snot Mean
Clear snot is the color of normal or healthy snot and it is made up mostly of water, salt, and protein. Most of your nasal mucus will drip down the back of your throat and into your stomach without you noticing. Mucus is something your body consistently makes to help line and protect your ear, nose, throat, and sinuses.
If youre experiencing an abnormal amount of clear mucus coupled with a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and/or post nasal drip, you may have allergic rhinitis. Despite having cold-like symptoms, the lack of color in your nasal mucus is indicative that your bodys response is due to irritants and not a viral or bacterial infection.
Can Sinus Infection Last A Month
With chronic sinusitis, the tissues inside your sinuses become inflamed and blocked for a long period of time due to swelling and mucus buildup. Acute sinusitis only happens for a short time , but chronic sinusitis can last for months. Sinusitis is considered chronic after at least 12 weeks of symptoms.
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How To Find Out If You Have A Sinus Infection
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 85% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 904,880 times.
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a very common upper respiratory tract infection that affects millions of people every year. It happens when the membranes of the paranasal sinuses, which are the small, air-filled spaces in your skull around your nose, become inflamed. This causes pressure in your sinuses due to a build-up of air and mucus in the nasal cavity. If you are experiencing sinus pain, follow a few simple steps to find out if you have a sinus infection and learn some ways to ease the symptoms.
See Our Team To Help Relieve Your Sinus Infection Or Common Cold Symptoms
Whether you or your family members illness is caused by a sinus infection or the common cold, the symptoms they cause can be unpleasant. But the sooner a diagnosis can be made, the sooner you can begin feeling better. Dr. Priti Ranjan and the team at Nest Family Medicine in Plano, TX have you covered whether youve got a sinus infection or a cold. Call today to schedule an appointment.
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What Causes Yellow Snot
Even though having some mucus is normal, when it changes color, it lets you know your body is having an immune response. When the mucus becomes yellow it means that immune cells called neutrophils have activated in your body and are fighting a local infection, explains Dr. Carleton-Nathan.
The British Society for Immunology explains that as neutrophilswhich are green due to iron within the cellwork to kill germs, they actually end up dying. As they die, they end up in your snot and cause your snot to appear yellow or green. Dr. Carleton-Nathan adds that the infections they may be fighting include both viral infections, such as the cold and flu, and bacterial infections, which are less common causes of yellow snot.
The color may fluctuate between yellow and green, in this case, and shades may even vary as the infection or virus is cleared. The only time to really worry about the color, according to Dr. Carleton-Nathan, is if it is black (which could be a sign of fungal infection. Other than that, yellow, green and even red, pink or brown is not an immediate cause for alarm. In general, darker color can be caused from mucus that has been sitting in the sinuses for a longer time, explains Dr. Anthony Zabel, MD, a primary care physician at Indiana University Health.
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