What Is The Best Treatment For Recurring Sinus Infections
The best treatment depends on the situation because everyoneâs infections are unique. Sinus infections all have very similar symptoms but can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or funguses. The fact that sinus infections have these different causes means that doctors must take a catered approach when dealing with sinus infections. Some of the approaches the doctor might take are:
When You Should See A Doctors For A Sinus Infection
When is it time to visit the doctor? Any time youre having problems with your sinuses that are affecting your day-to-day life. We want to create an individual treatment plan to provide reliefparticularly if medication isnt making the situation much better.
A visit to the doctor is particularly important if:
You have chronic sinus problems throughout the year.
Your sinus issues keep you from doing the things that you enjoy.
You develop frequent sinus infections that require antibiotic treatment.
Youve found that over-the-counter medication doesnt relieve your symptoms.
What is the difference between a chronic and an acute sinus infection?
While the signs and symptoms of both chronic and acute sinusitis are very similar, chronic sinus infections last for at least 12 weeks.
During chronic sinusitis, the nasal passages remain swollen and inflamed despite several treatment attempts or use of over-the-counter medication. Acute sinusitis is a temporary infection that is most likely associated with a cold or virus.
If you have a chronic sinus infection, its time to schedule an appointment with one of our internal medicine physicians.
What Can You Take For A Sinus Infection While Pregnant
Instead of turning to quick fixes, it is important to learn what medications are safe. If your infection is bacterial, talk to a doctor to find out which antibiotics are safe to take during pregnancy to prevent your infection from getting worse and causing complications. Otherwise, try some of these safe and natural methods:
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When Should You See A Doctor About A Sinus Infection
If youve ever wondered whether you should wait out a sinus infection or see your doctor, youre not alone. Its certainly tempting to skip the office visit when you feel terrible and dont think that youll be told to do more than get some rest and take an over-the-counter medication. However, there are times when skipping that visit to the doctor can actually make things worse.
At-home treatments like humidifiers, increased fluid intake, sleeping with your head elevated, over-the-counter medications, and nasal rinses are all generally effective treatments. However, in some cases of sinus infections, they simply arent enough.
While some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own, there are definitely times where you should see your doctor. If a week has gone by and you havent noticed any improvement you should get an appointment with your doctor. This is also true if the sinus infection keeps coming back. If your symptoms get worse and include the following, seek medical care as soon as possible:
- Pain that is not relieved by over the counter medications
- Increased or spreading pain
- Increased nasal discharge
Once you see your doctor, they will assess whether your sinus infection is caused by a virus or bacteria. If its a bacterial infection, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic. Other prescriptions might also be prescribed, depending on your symptoms.
When To See A Doctor
If you have a simple sinus infection, sometimes at-home treatment with over-the-counter medications such as a decongestant. Physicians generally advise not to use an over-the-counter decongestant for more than 3 days, however, as it can make you more congested. Warm compresses and saline nose drops may also help.
However, sinus infections generally require seeing a doctor. You dont want your sinus infection to get more serious, and the discomfort that accompanies such infections is best treated by a medical professional.
You should make an appointment with your doctor if any of the above symptoms last more than ten days or keep coming back over a short period of time. Also, contact your doctor immediately if you have a high fever , a severe headache or facial swelling, problems with your vision, or a very stiff neck.
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When To Visit A Doctor
If you are contending with a severe headache or serious discomfort with your face, then it is recommended that you visit a physician. A visit to your doctor is also advisable if your symptoms are becoming worse, or if they have lingered for at least 10 days. You should also contact your physician if you have a fever that has remained for 3-4 days.
It is also recommended that you call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about symptoms that appear related to a sinus infection.
What A Doctor Will Do
Your physician will conduct a physical examination which will include questions surrounding your symptoms. The specific treatment will vary depending upon the factors surrounding your situation. In some cases, a decongestant might be recommended. In other cases. your doctor will advise you to use a saline mist.
A large percentage of sinus infections will improve without any need for antibiotics. But there are times in which your physician will recommend an antibiotic. Your physician will determine the best form of treatment based upon your specific strain of bacteria that has created the infection.
What Causes A Sinus Infection
In most cases, acute sinusitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, which means it usually develops after youve had a cold or the flu. Its possible for an acute sinus infection to develop into a chronic infection over time. However, most chronic sinus infections are caused by:
- Problems with the physical structure of your sinuses such as nasal polyps, narrow sinuses, or a deviated septum
- Allergies such as hay fever that cause inflammation
Certain health conditions are also known to accompany chronic sinusitis. These include:
- Primary immune deficiency disesase
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Diagnosing Upper Respiratory Infection
You may recognize most symptoms of an upper respiratory infection on your own, which may not need to be tested by a doctor. Symptoms of a common cold are often self-managed, but you may need to see your doctor for tests.
Your doctor will take your list of symptoms and your personal and medical history. They may physically examine your throat, tonsils, ears, nose, and lymph nodes to check for redness, swelling, and signs of infection. They may take your temperature and check your blood pressure and pulse.
Your doctor may also swab your throat and nose for a sample of your cells. The sample may be tested to determine the type of bacteria or virus you have. A blood test, x-ray, or a urinalysis may also be done to rule out other issues or check for complications.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
They may include things like:
- Thick, yellow, foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Pressure or pain around your face and eyes
- Blockage in your nose
- Fever or cough
These symptoms can also happen with a cold. But if they continue for more than 10 days, you may have a sinus infection.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Your symptoms last longer than 10 to 14 days or you have a cold that gets worse after 7 days.
- You have a severe headache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medicine.
- You have a fever.
- You still have symptoms after taking all of your antibiotics properly.
- You have any changes in your vision during a sinus infection.
A green or yellow discharge does not mean that you definitely have a sinus infection or need antibiotics.
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What Is A Common Cold
It’s an illness caused by many different kinds of viruses, which are tiny infectious particles.
You can’t miss the symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
You may also get a cough and a mild fever. The symptoms usually build, peak, and slowly disappear. Some medications can ease symptoms. For example, may decrease drainage and open the nasal passages. Pain relievers may help with fever and headache. Cough medicine may help, as well.
Colds typically last from a few days to about a week or longer.
Sometimes, a cold may cause swelling in the sinuses, hollow spaces in your skull that are connected to each other. The swelling can prevent the flow of mucus.
This Is When To See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
Also known as sinusitis, sinus infections are common as Autumn closes in. In the United States of America, there are about 28.9 million adults who experienced sinusitis. Although they are common, most people dont know when to see a doctor for a sinus infection.
Here is a guide to answer when to see a doctor. Read on to learn more about sinus infections, symptoms, and possible treatments.
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.
What Causes Meningitis And Encephalitis
Infectious causes of meningitis and encephalitis include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. For some individuals, environmental exposure , recent travel, or an immunocompromised state are important risk factors. There are also non-infectious causes such as autoimmune/rheumatological diseases and certain medications.
Bacterial meningitis is a rare but potentially fatal disease. Several types of bacteria can first cause an upper respiratory tract infection and then travel through the bloodstream to the brain. The disease can also occur when certain bacteria invade the meninges directly. Bacterial meningitis can cause stroke, hearing loss, and permanent brain damage.
Other forms of bacterial meningitis include Listeria monocytogenes meningitis Escherichia coli meningitis, which is most common in elderly adults and newborns and may be transmitted to a baby through the birth canal and Mycobacterium tuberculosis meningitis, a rare disease that occurs when the bacterium that causes tuberculosis attacks the meninges.
Fungal infections can affect the brain. The most common form of fungal meningitis is caused by the fungus cryptococcus neoformans . Cryptococcal meningitis mostly occurs in immunocompromised individuals such as those with AIDS but can also occur in healthy people. Some of these cases can be slow to develop and smolder for weeks. Although treatable, fungal meningitis often recurs in nearly half of affected persons.
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Thick Colored Nasal Secretions
Generally, thick nasal secretions are one of the symptoms of sinus infection. The secretions can be greenish, yellowish, white, or tinged with the blood. If these secretions drip into your back of the throat, it may be difficult to clear the throat. With one sinus infection, you are likely to have one stuffy nose. Your face can also feel full.
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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Managing Your Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
If you have chronic sinusitis, your doctor may ask you to see an allergist, an ENT, or both.
They can help you get started with treatment, but there is a lot you can do to manage sinus problems on your own:
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep your mucus thin and flowing
- Use steam or hot compresses to loosen up thick mucus secretions
- Keep you environment moist by using a clean humidifier
- Use over-the-counter saline nasal sprays or irrigations to open nasal and sinus passages
- Avoid overuse of over-the-counter decongestant sprays that can cause rebound congestion
Remember that sinusitis symptoms could be due to a sinus infection, but they also might be the result of an allergy or fungus.
Your doctor can help you find out the true cause and get you to the right specialist for treatment.
Structure Of The Middle Ear
outer ear or auditory canalmiddle ear eardrum
A narrow passage called the eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and nose. The eustachian tube functions to control the airflow and pressure inside the middle ear. It lies closed and opens with the swallowing movement allowing air to enter the middle ear. This mechanism maintains a constant pressure gradient and replaces the oxygen that has been absorbed by the lining of the middle ear. Sometimes the pressure is not equalized with the environment outside. This can be felt on an airplane or at high altitudes and may cause some discomfort.
The tympanic cavity also plays an important role in hearing. Three small bones called ossicles are found in the middle ear. These bones form a chain and conduct sound vibrations from the eardrum to the fluid-filled inner ear. Sounds are then converted into nerve impulses and carried to the brain by the auditory nerve.
Extending from the air space of the middle ear is the mastoid bone. It is made of small, connected air spaces and resembles a honeycomb. The structures that are responsible for facial expressions and balance are found in this part of the inner ear. While the exact function of this bone is not clear, it is known to be involved in chronic ear infections.
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When Should I Call The Doctor About An Ear Infection
- You or your child develops a stiff neck.
- Your child acts sluggish, looks or acts very sick, or does not stop crying despite all efforts.
- Your childs walk is not steady he or she is physically very weak.
- You or your childs ear pain is severe.
- You or your child has a fever over 104° F .
- Your child is showing signs of weakness in their face .
- You see bloody or pus-filled fluid draining from the ear.
- The fever remains or comes back more than 48 hours after starting an antibiotic.
- Ear pain is not better after three days of taking an antibiotic.
- Ear pain is severe.
- You have any questions or concerns.
How Severe Are The Symptoms
Most sinus infections go away on their own without severe symptoms or complications. If a sinus infection is caused by bacteria, you may need antibiotics.
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Heres what to do next whether you think that you have a sinus infection or COVID-19.
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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.
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:
- your forehead
- 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.
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