Sinus Infection Treatment Options
Mild sinus infections can be managed at home using over-the-counter decongestants, sinus rinses, and rest. If the symptoms dont go away after about a week or 10 days, then its time to schedule an appointment with a doctor.
These are some of the treatments used by ENTs for sinus infections:
- Medications: First, the doctor will identify the type of sinus infection, then prescribe an appropriate medication. Common medications include antibiotics, antifungal medications, nasal corticosteroids, or NSAIDs.
- Surgery: If minimally-invasive treatments arent effective in clearing up the infection, then surgery might be recommended. For example, the doctor might use balloon sinuplasty or functional endoscopic sinus surgeryl to open up the sinus passages.
- Underlying Causes: Why are you experiencing frequent sinus infections? A skilled ENT can help with preventive treatments to minimize the risk of recurring infections in the future.
Our team of ear, nose, and throat specialists dedicates the time and attention needed to support your unique health concerns. By designing a custom treatment plan, we help each patient find relief from mild and severe medical concerns.
Whats The Best Way To Get Sinus Pressure Relief
Over-the-counter options include nasal decongestants and nasal steroid sprays. Some people try saline spray and nasal irrigation to find relief. Others stick with over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain and fever symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids, applying warm compresses to the sinus area, light facial massage and vaporizer use can also keep congestion moving on the way out.
This is a very complex problem and depending on the severity and the level of inflammation there are a host of diagnostic exams and tests to be performed before a true diagnosis can be made so that a treatment plan can be formulated, Winarsky says.
As such, there is no silver bullet or one pill to take that can alleviate all the symptoms.
While a sinus infection can go away on its own, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctorespecially if you seem to be getting a lot of sinus infections. Also, nasal discharge, fever, congestion or pain that lasts more than 10 days warrants a trip to see your physician.
But Sometimes Antibiotics For Sinus Infections Are Needed
So how does one judge when it is appropriate to prescribe antibiotics for a sinus infection? There are several sets of official guidelines, which are all similar. When a patient has thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pressure or pain for at least 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment. If a patient has had those symptoms, but the symptoms seemed to start improving and then got worse again, then even if its been less than 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment.
The authors, however, also suggest that doctors discuss watchful waiting with patients and explain that most sinus infections clear up on their own in one to two weeks, and its a safe option to hold off on antibiotics. The symptoms can then be treated with a cocktail of over-the-counter medications and supportive care, like nasal saline irrigation, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants, and pain medications.
Of course, many patients expect and demand antibiotics for sinus infections, and even those who are open to watchful waiting may hear about the rare but possible complications of things like, oh, brain abscess, and opt to treat.
In the case of my patient above, she met criteria for treatment. She weighed the watchful waiting option against the potential risks of antibiotics for her sinus infection, and chose the prescription. I can tell you from very close follow-up that she improved quickly, though in truth, we will never really know if she would have gotten better anyway.
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When To Go To The Doctor For A Sinus Infection
Sinusitis belongs to upper respiratory tract infections. It is one of the commonest and a relatively troublesome condition one can have. Yet, it is also one of those infections which patients often attempt to treat at home.
So before you understand when to go to the doctor for a sinus infection, it would be worthwhile to go through a few basic facts about sinuses their infections and how to recognize which sinus is infected.
Can Sinus Infections Lead To Ear Infections
Yes. A sinus infection can cause fluid to be trapped in the ear behind the eardrum. Bacteria and viruses can grow and can cause an ear infection. Its especially important to get to the doctor if youre feeling pain or pressure in the ear.
When you have a sinus issue, its important to understand that the nose and sinuses are a unit. This means you could be dealing with rhinosinusitis, which is inflammation of the nasal and sinus cavities. Sinusitis refers to an infection of the sinuses only.
There are many reasons why the nose and sinuses become inflamed it can be an anatomical issue or an infectious one. A former injury or birth defect, as well as sensitivities to allergens can cause some of the physiological impairments that lead to sinus issues.
Next Steps & Resources:
- To make an appointment with Dr. Winarsky or another physicians, call or visit our website
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When To Seek Urgent Care For A Sinus Infection
Most minor sinus infections get better on their own without the need for medical treatment. More severe sinus infections, however, require urgent care.
First and most importantly, it is important to seek urgent care for a sinus infection if the symptoms begin to worsen or last for an extended amount of time. In the event you have severe trouble breathing due to your sinus infection, then be sure to come in for a visit as soon as possible to have your sinuses cleared out. Also, keep a close eye on your symptoms and seek medical attention if they do not improve after a week.
Additionally, urgent care is highly encouraged if your child develops a sinus infection as they have less of an ability to fight off the infection quickly. Also, it can be much more challenging to diagnose the cause of the sinus inflammation in children. In some cases, the reason could be due to an underlying allergy that you were not aware about.
When you visit, expect us to thoroughly examine you or your childs symptoms and document any information that is relevant to make a proper diagnosis. It may be helpful for you and your child to make a list of all of the symptoms that you or your child has been experiencing, any medications that are currently being taken and any allergies that may exist. Also, consider any questions you may want to ask the doctor at your visit.
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.
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Sinus Infection Home Remedies And Prevention
Along with treatment, specific home remedies can help you improve faster and keep the symptoms at a tolerable level for the duration that the sinus infection exists. Also, you can even give yourself a better chance to prevent obtaining an acute sinus infection altogether with proper lifestyle changes in place.
For home remedies, rest and eating healthy is the best way to recover promptly. When the body is fighting off a sinus infection, or any infection for that matter, it needs proper rest and nutrients to do so. With that said, there are several quick, easy things to do while you rest, such as:
- Stay hydrated
- Clean out your nasal passageway
- Elevate your head while sleeping
- Place a humidifier in your home
- Take hot showers
Ultimately, it comes down to the focus on relieving the pressure built up in your sinuses. The best way to do that is to keep your nasal passageway from getting clogged. Using a warm compress, placing a humidifier in your home and elevating your head while resting is all excellent tactic to implement to keep the nasal passageway clear and breathing easily.
So how do you prevent a sinus infection from occurring in the first place? While it is not always possible to avoid, there are precautions you can take to help minimize your risk, including:
- Receiving a flu shot
- Keeping your distance from others who are sick
- Planning for an allergy attack
- Practice good hygiene
Initial Stages Of A Sinus Infection
In most situations, a sinus infection is a secondary infection that occurs after another illness or health concern. For example, you might have a head cold that develops into a sinus infection because of the congestion. Or, chronic allergies can cause conditions that result in sinus infections.
When a sinus infection occurs, it means that there is swelling, inflammation, and infection in the sinus areas. Typically, sinuses are open cavities filled with air. When drainage is blocked, then an infection can occur.
In the earliest stages of a sinus infection, youll likely feel discomfort and pressure in the sinus areas. Its common to have congestion, which could lead to a blocked sinus making it hard to breathe through one side of your nose.
As the symptoms progress, the pain intensifies. An untreated sinus infection can disrupt every area of your life, making it hard to get through the day because of the pressure and pain.
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Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
Is It A Cold Covid
One of the challenging things about recognizing COVID-19 and other illnesses is that they can share some of the same symptoms. Many articles have been written comparing the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza, as these two illnesses have perhaps the most in common. But many symptoms of COVID-19 also resemble those of a cold or sinus infection . Learn to tell the difference and how to get the right treatment for your illness.
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Lingering Sinus Infection Or Chronic Runny Nose
A lingering sinus infection is different from a chronic runny nose. Chronic runny nose typically comes from allergies or other irritants in the air. However, this can turn into an infection over time.
When the sinuses become infected, the allergies, irritants, or viral cold have caused swelling in the nose thats blocked the drainage pathways. Consequently, fluid and mucous accumulate in the sinuses, where it has become infected with bacteria.
If youve been sick more than 10 days and begin to experience other symptoms like facial pressure, headache, and fever, youre dealing with more than a chronic runny nose.
Whats The Difference Between Sinusitis And Rhinitis In Dogs
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. The sinuses are air-filled, bony cavities that connect with the nasal cavities. During a sinus infection, these cavities become filled with fluid and develop inflamed lining.
Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose. If both the nose and sinus cavities are affected, the term rhinosinusitis is used.
Both of these conditions can occur alone, or as part of an upper respiratory infection. They also appear similar in dogs, causing many of the same signs of illness.
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Common Signs Of Sinus Infection And When To See A Doctor
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common infections that a person can have. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 35 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with a sinus infection in the year 2017. And many others may have suffered from sinus infections without ever seeing a doctor. Despite sinus infections being so common, they are still one of the most uncomfortable infections experienced and require adequate care and attention, whether being treated at home or by a doctor.
A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses, which are cavities located in the front of the face around the eyes and behind the nose, become blocked or too much mucus builds up causing inflammation and swelling. When sinuses are functioning normally, they lighten the weight of the skull, and also help filter and moisten the air you breathe. When sinuses are blocked, your head can feel heavy or full, your voice may become raspy, and you can even experience tooth pain, among other aggravating symptoms.
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 youre 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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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.
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.
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When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue.