Over The Counter Medications
For help alleviating sinus pressure and pain, try ibuprofen and a decongestant. Some medications include a combination of pain reliever and decongestant.
Mild antihistamines like Claritin and Allegra are helpful in moderation. Strong antihistamines like Benadryl are often way too drying. Be careful not to take antihistamines too often.
Even though you want your nose to stop running, too many antihistamines can make it more likely that youll get sinus infections in the future.
Drugs like Mucinex and Flonase can also be helpful in thinning the mucus in your nose and sinuses.
If you use Afrin, make sure you stop after three days. Though it can seem like a miracle drug, using it more than three days in a row can lead to something called rebound congestion. In other words, when you stop using the Afrin after continuous use, your nose becomes more congested than it was in the first place!
My Favorite Home Remedy For Ear Pain Warm Compresses
When I was a little girl, I remember having an ear infection accompanied by one very sore ear. To help me feel better, my mom took a small throw pillow and warmed it up in the oven. She left it in a bit too long, though, and it started to singe. She put the fire out, and I rested my head on one slightly charred pillow and the pain went away.
Nowadays most houses have microwaves, which make it easier to heat up a warm compress for earache treatment. You can buy or make a compress.
We recommend hot packs from Core Products, a small business located in western Wisconsin. They make soft covered hot/cold packs that we use as foot warmers at night and for treating headaches and earaches.
To make a simple warm compress for ear pain relief, place popcorn or rice into an old sock or small pouch. Seal the end and heat in short bursts until warm. Hot water bottles are a great option if you dont have a microwave just make sure you dont get the water too hot.
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When To See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
If you have a sinus infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have severe symptoms like a severe headache or facial pain, such as nausea, your doctor may recommend antibiotics. It is best to see a doctor if you begin to have more severe symptoms after taking antibiotics, but then start to worsen again after taking antibiotics. If you have symptoms for more than 10 days, or if they progress after improvement, you should see a doctor. If you have a viral infection, taking ibuprofen and testing it out is the best option. If you have a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be required however, the infection may not be completely resolved in a short period of time.
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When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
Signs Of A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections: Theyre painful, annoying, and sometimes debilitating. Powering through work amid an infection is like attempting to stroll through molasses youd just have better luck giving up. The signs of a sinus infection are distinct, setting themselves apart from other nasal and sinus dilemmas.
But occasionally a sinus infection is mistaken for allergies or a viral infection. Without the proper information, its reasonable to assume that a simple sinus inflammation could be confused for a common cold or the more ominous COVID-19.
Having said that though, things like colds and allergies factor into sinus infections. If youve had one, more than likely, youve previously had a virus or an allergic reaction to something. Even after the symptoms of said cold and allergic reaction dissipate, a sinus infection still develops.
Before we start on the signs of a sinus infection, here are two types of sinus infections you should be mindful of. First, acute sinus infections are more common and less debilitating. Second, chronic sinusitis lasts much longer and occurs more frequently. If you experience the latter, its time to visit a specialist, like the ones at the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute.
Anyway, heres why you opened the blog in the first place.
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How To Use Mucinex
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, as directed by your doctor, usually every 12 hours with a full glass of water. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not take more than 2400 milligrams in 24 hours. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed.
Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. Fluids will help to break up mucus and clear congestion.
Tell your doctor if your condition returns, or if it is accompanied by fever, severe sore throat, rash, persistent headache, or if it persists or worsens after 7 days. These may be signs of a serious medical problem. Seek immediate medical attention if you think you may have a serious medical problem.
Is Digital Imaging Necessary For Sinus Infection Diagnosis
In most cases, the examination and conversation with a doctor are sufficient to diagnose the infection and put together a treatment plan. For cases of acute sinus infection, it usually isnt necessary to have digital imaging.
But if the infections are recurring, the ENT will want to see what is happening with the structure within your sinuses. In this situation, you will likely need to have a digital scan, such as sinus x-rays or computerized tomography .
Primary care physicians can provide basic diagnostics and treatments for sinus infections. Patients are usually referred to an ENT for help with chronic or recurring sinus infections. If you need fluid samples for a lab culture, an endoscopy, or digital imaging, then our team of ENT specialists can offer these services in our office.
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Inhale Menthol And Camphor
Another inhaled odor that can help open up sinus passages is menthol, which is an ingredient in popular ointments that are used specifically to treat a stuffy nose. These ointments also contain eucalyptus oil and camphor, which combine with menthol to create a powerful scent that immediately relieves sinus pressure. This ointment can be rubbed on your chest and under your nose to deliver its soothing benefits. Unlike eucalyptus oil, this ointment should not be placed in the mouth.
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Ear Infection Treatment For Otitis Media
Otitis media in children and adults may be treated with therapies including:
- Applying a warm compress and taking acetaminophen to reduce pain
- If infection persists or if there is fever, Antibiotics may be prescribed
- Monitoring children for any effect on hearing or possible hearing loss
- If ear infections are chronic, surgery may be suggested
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About Author: Laura Nightengale
Laura Nightengale was a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. When shes not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.
How To Treat An Ear Infection
For mild to moderate ear infection pain, your doctor may decide to prescribe pain medication, ear drops and/or antibiotics to clear out the infection. For serious ear pain, your doctor may decide to lance your eardrum to let the infection drain out before the healing process begins.
Acute otitis media typically requires treatment from a physician.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
Sinus surgery is generally recommended as the best treatment option for chronic sinus issues. Non-surgical treatment methods are nearly always tried before sinus surgery is suggested however, in cases when an ENT Institute physician and patient find that sinus infections are recurrent and/or non-responsive to medication, Endoscopic sinus surgery can be used to enlarge the openings that drain the sinuses and relieve sinus pressure.
The surgeons at ENT Institute have the expertise and advanced technology to perform the necessary sinus surgery. A clinical history of the patient will be created before any sinus surgery is performed as a careful diagnostic workup is necessary to identify the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis. Often, the specialists at the ENT Institute will complete a CT scan of the sinuses to determine the best approach.
Which Home Remedies And Otc Medications Soothe Sinus Infections And Sinusitis Symptoms And Headache Pain
Home care can help relieve sinus infection or sinusitis symptoms, open the sinuses, and alleviate dryness.
Home Remedies to Promote Drainage
- Drink plenty of water and hydrating beverages such as hot tea.
- Inhale steam two to four times per day by leaning over a bowl of hot water or using a steam vaporizer. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways.
OTC Medications to Thin Mucus
Expectorants are medications that help expel mucus from the lungs and respiratory passages. They help thin mucous secretions, enhancing drainage from the sinuses. The most common is guaifenesin . OTC sinus medications also can combine decongestants and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms and eliminate the need for the use of many prescription medications. Read label ingredients to find the right combination of ingredients or ask the pharmacist.
OTC Medications to Relieve Pain
Pain medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. These medications help to open the airways by reducing swelling. Acetaminophen can be used for pain and fever but does not help with inflammation.
Nasal Saline Irrigation
There are several methods of nasal irrigation, and a popular sinus remedy is the Neti-pot, a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdins magic lamp.
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Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
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Use Humidifiers Within The Home
Wherever you can, keep your sinuses moist. When they dry out, the pressure feels worse, and you can suffer more symptoms, such as dizziness and headaches. Humidifiers are the easiest and quickest way to keep your sinuses moist throughout the day, especially when you are in the home. They help to add moisture to the air, regardless of the temperatures and humidity outside. If you live in an area known for dry heat, you will want to consider a humidifier for other reasons. They are excellent for keeping the skin moist and supporting the heat of the rest of your body.
Keep the humidifiers running throughout the night. This is often when most people experience drier temperatures and need the help. You can avoid waking up with the feeling that you have been in the sauna.
If you cannot use a humidifier for any reason, you will need to consider your other options to keep your sinuses moist and clear. One of the best options is a nasal saline spray.
Most people will think of the pharmaceutical options, but they are not necessary. You can make your own with just some filtered or pre-boiled water. You will want to make sure the toxins and minerals are removed from the water before using it as a saline spray.
Dont use the saline mixtures within the ears. You can cause damage to your hearing. Only opt for ear saline treatments when used by a trained professional.
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Causes Of Ear Infections
A middle ear infection is caused by a bacterium or virus in the middle ear. This infection often results from another illness cold, flu or allergies that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes. Ear infections themselves are not contagious, but the illnesses that lead to them are. Middle ear infections are more common in children than adults because their eustachian tubes are narrower and more horizontal, making it more difficult for the tubes to drain and more likely to get clogged.
Factors that may impact the development of middle ear infections include:
- Age Children 6-24 months are most likely to develop middle ear infections
- Middle ear structure & developmental stage When eustachian tubes and immune systems are immature, OM is more likely to develop
- Group childcare Childcare environments often expose children to more infections and colds that can lead to middle ear infections
- Bottle-feeding Bottle-feeding a child while he/she is lying down has been linked to development of middle ear infections
- Seasonal allergies Changing seasons and high pollen counts can lead to allergic reactions that increase the chances of developing an ear infection
- Winter and cold weather Colds and flu are more common in cold weather and when seasons change, making middle ear infections more likely
- Air quality Exposure to tobacco smoke and high air pollution also increase risk
How Is Smelly Earwax Treated
Its important to not stick objects in your ear in an attempt to get rid of the wax. This includes cotton swabs and paper clips. Trying to dig out the problem can cause objects to lodge further into the ear. It can also seriously damage your eardrum or ear canal.
Home remedies will partly depend on the cause of your smelly earwax.
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What Types Of Treatments Are Available For Ear Infections
Many children recover from ear infections without medical intervention. However, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics depending on the cause and extent of your childs infection. Usually, treatment includes several days of amoxicillin, azithromycin, or augmentin. You may also need to treat a ruptured eardrum with antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eardrops.
If your child is experience severe ear pain, your doctor may suggest using an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage discomfort and aid in sleep. If pain continues, prescription eardrops may be available to anesthetize the eardrum so long as there is no drainage from the ear.
Some parents find that home remedies are effective for alleviating discomfort during an ear infection. Examples include applying a warm compress to your childs ear or putting a few drops of warm olive oil into the ear canal. However, you should never place anything inside your childs ear without first consulting his or her doctor.
Tips To Prevent The Clogged Ear:
- Avoid placing extreme temperatures on the ear.
- A warm shower for 15 minutes can provide relief from blocked ears.
- Scuba diving or diving needs to be done slowly so the ears get used to the pressure. Do not do it if you are suffering from respiratory infections like asthma, cold, bronchitis, sinus, etc.
- Consumption of foods like garlic, onions, radish, jalapeno, pepper, chilies, etc. helps to provide relief from congestion.
- Warm soups soften the mucus to prevent the clogged ear. You can also have broths, tea or coffee, etc.
- Inhaling and exhaling gently through closed mouth and nostrils will help you unplug the ears.
- Yawning also helps to unblock the ears if it is caused due to pressure.
- When flying, suck a sweet or chew a chewing gum. Chewing gum opens up the Eustachian tubes and relieves the excess pressure in the ears and opens up the clogged ears.
- Never use waterpik or any other mechanized water jet on the ear.
- Never scratch your ear drum with a finger nail to unclog it, as it will damage the ear drum.
- Make sure to consult your doctor if there is a foreign object in the ear while removing the wax.
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any other methods that works better than the mentioned above. Share your experience, suggestions and queries in the comments section below.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Sinus Infection
Symptoms of a sinus infection often include headaches caused by the pressure and swelling of the sinuses or sinus cavities. Serious sinus pressure may mean your ears wont pop. Other symptoms include pain in your ears, pain below your eyes, and sinus discharge, which will appear as a green-yellow color. Sinus discharge, which may inflame your sinuses, can result in congestion.