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Sinus Infection Do I Need To See A Doctor

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Favorite Resources For Finding A Specialist

Ask Dr. Mike: What is a sinus infection and how do I treat it?

Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders. Their website provides a valuable search tool to find a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.

Duration Of Sinus Infection

Acute sinusitis causes inflammation and symptoms that often develop quickly and last 7 to 10 days if caused by a viral infection. But the illness can last for up to 4 weeks if it’s caused by a bacterial infection.

Chronic sinusitis lasts for 12 weeks or more. This inflammation can continue for months or years more, and people often describe them as a never-ending cold.

Sinusitis may also be classified as:

  • Subacute, in which symptoms last for more than 4 weeks but less than 12 weeks
  • Recurrent acute, in which there are at least four acute sinus infection episodes within one year
  • Acute exacerbation of chronic rhinosinusitis, in which symptoms worsen in a person with chronic sinusitis

But having symptoms of sinusitis doesnt always mean that you have a sinus infection.

Instances Of Chronic Sinusitis

Over 30 million Americans have sinus infections each year. However, some people may have sinus infections more frequently.

People with chronic sinusitis experience different levels of symptom severity. Some may have symptoms clearing up in a few days, while some may suffer longer. Even if you only have minor sinus infections but experience them frequently, you need to visit an otolaryngologist. A sinus infection once in a while is no big deal, but having this issue multiple times a year needs medical attention.

An otolaryngologist can also help diagnose conditions or anything that can be a risk factor for sinus infections. Here are several risk factors your doctor can identify:

  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Nasal polyps
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory tract infections

Chronic nasal congestion is a significant risk factor as it may cause bacterial buildup. This can then cause recurring sinus infections.

You may need a nasal procedure for permanent relief in the case of a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or chronic sinusitis. Your doctor might surgically remove abnormal tissue growth or enlarge and clean your nasal drainage area with a balloon sinuplasty.

Chronic allergies may need immunotherapy to reduce your immune systems reactivity to allergens. Your otolaryngologist may have access to allergy treatments to provide you long-term relief.

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What Are The Treatment Options

Sinusitis is treated differently based on the cause. Most cases of acute sinusitis, about 98 percent, are caused by a virus, not bacteria, and should not be treated with antibiotics. Acute viral sinusitis may be treated using pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, steroid nasal sprays, or salt water irrigation in the nose. These treatments are also good options for acute bacterial sinusitis. Most people get better naturally from acute bacterial sinusitis, called watchful waiting, but some patients with acute bacterial sinusitis may get better faster with an antibiotic.

Chronic sinusitis is treated differently than acute sinusitis. Because chronic sinusitis is caused more by inflammation than infection, the treatments for chronic sinusitis aim to control the inflammation. Salt water nasal irrigation and/or nasal steroid sprays are the main treatments for the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Antibiotics may sometimes be helpful but not always.

Other factors, including allergies, nasal polyps, asthma, and problems with the bodys ability to fight infections, can go along with sinusitis and make it worse unless they are also treated.

X-rays or CT scans of the sinuses are not necessary to diagnose uncomplicated sinusitis if you have the symptoms of sinusitis . If your doctor suspects a complication or if you have repeated episodes or prolonged sinus symptoms, a CT scan of your sinuses may be needed.

Surgery

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Corticosteroid Drops Or Sprays

Why Do I Need to See a Doctor for My Sinus Infection?

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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How To Get Rid Of Sinusitis

If you want to get rid of your sinusitis, you and your ENT will need to work together to discover the source of your sinus infections. For example, your sinusitis might always be precipitated by a cold, or you could have a deviated septum and sinusitis or sinusitis and sleep apnea. Regardless, finding the root cause behind your recurrent or prolonged sinusitis will help determine treatment.

Once the source of your sinus infections is found, you and your ENT will need to discuss treatment options. For those with recurrent sinus issues, one treatment, in particular, has proven itself effective again and again. That treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to perform and requires little to no recovery time.

When Does A Sinus Infection Require Urgent Care

While a minor sinus infection does not require a trip to urgent care or indicate a reason for significant concern, a more severe sinus infection in which the symptoms become intolerable or last for an extended amount of time may need medical assistance for the underlying cause of the sinus infection to be appropriately treated.

During a sinus infection, it is essential to keep an eye on the symptoms and come in for a visit to our urgent care facility in the event the symptoms become intolerable or no sign of improvement is noticed after more than a week. At our urgent care facility, we can efficiently and effectively diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your sinus infection.

While prevention is the best way to handle a sinus infection, it is not always possible to prevent, especially when caused by the common cold. Therefore, it is essential to know exactly what to do if a sinus infection develops.

If you or your child develop a sinus infection that becomes concerning for any reasons, do not hesitate to come in for a visit or give us a call to find out the next step to take. There is no appointment needed, and we promise you quick and effective care here at our urgent care facility.

Questions to Ask Your Urgent Care Provider

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When To See The Doctor For Sinus Infection

Symptoms that last more than 10 days without improvement and are worsening after you started to improve is cause for concern. If you have symptoms like severe headache or facial pain and a fever that lasts longer than three to four days, you should seek immediate medical care. Your doctor will be able to help diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and will provide an active plan of treatment.

While sinus infections are common, they can also be life-threatening. If a sinus infection becomes severe and goes untreated, it can spread to the brain.

When To Seek Help For A Sinus Infection

Sinus Infection Antibiotics! Why won’t my doctor write a prescription?

Most adults and some children have had at at least one encounter with a sinus infection. As a result, you probably know how annoying and sometimes painful sinus infections, or sinusitis, can be.

With winter approaching, sinus infections become more prevalent and may impact your day-to-day life. It is important to know when and how to treat them if you experience sinus discomfort.

Sinusitis symptomsSinus infectors occur when then the space around your nasal passages, or sinuses, is swollen, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, sinus drainage slows down, causing mucus to develop. This buildup is what prompts irritation and stuffy noses.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there are two types of sinus infections: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis has a duration of up to four weeks, while the chronic form of sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeks and sometimes lasts for multiple months or years.

For the more common acute sinusitis, the symptoms include congestion, cough, yellow or green-colored discharge from the nose or throat, tenderness and pressure around the eyes and a decreased sense of smell and taste, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Additional symptoms can include fever, headache, tiredness and pain in the upper jaw, ear and teeth.

When to see a doctor Unfortunately, antibiotics can only be prescribed for bacterial sinus infections. Therefore, you commonly have to wait before seeking treatment for sinus infections.

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Seeking An Ent Doctor

A healthcare professional who specializes in ear, nose, and throat diseases can accurately diagnose what condition you are suffering from. They are also able to provide treatment options depending on your status. If you are dealing with any of these situations, make an appointment soon, you may need surgery. We suggest that you ask your ENT doctor about Balloon Sinuplasty.

While the most common treatment for sinusitis is functional endoscopic sinus surgery, this treatment is often invasive. Patients are known to experience long recovery times, severe bleeding, and scarring. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe procedure that doesnt resort to cutting and removing the tissue and bone in the nasal cavity. It expands the area to return breathing and sinus drainage to normal.

If you live in the New York metropolitan area, contact Dr. Eric Cohen. He is a board-certified otolaryngologist who has treated patients with sinusitis for over 20 years. He is also one of the leading practitioners of the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure and can answer any question you may have about the treatment.

Causes For Sinus Infection:

Acute bacterial sinusitis is often preceded by an acute viral upper respiratory tract infection. This leads to inflammation of the sinuses and mucous is formed as a part of our bodys defense mechanism. Formation of mucous blocks the sinuses making it difficult for them to drain.

  • Viral and bacterial infection
  • Blowing the nose during an acute viral infection tends to push infection into the sinuses.
  • Air pollution, especially tobacco smoke
  • Allergies to dust, pollen, chemicals and animal dander

Patients having nasal deformities like nasal polyps and deviated nasal septum are at higher risk for recurrent cold and cough infections.

Having a recent dental procedure can equally increase chances of having a sinus infection.

Although it is difficult to differentiate between bacterial and viral sinusitis viral sinusitis typically lasts for 7-10 days, while bacterial sinus infection is rather persistent.

Majority of acute sinus infections are caused by the following microorganisms:

  • Streptococcus pneumonia
  • Moraxella catarrhalis

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Sinus Infections: When To See A Doctor

Winter season is approaching as so does common respiratory illnesses, like sinus infections. Sinusitis annually affects about 35 million American citizens. This medical condition is primarily symptomatic of nose congestion, which creates constant pain and discomfort while attempting to breathe. Depending on the type of infection, sinusitis can either clear up on its own or require medical attention.

How Do You Treat It

What is the best antibiotic for a Sinusitis Infection?

Its smarter to go to a doctor to treat your sinus infection. You can choose to treat it yourself and improve your body to fight against the infection. Start by avoiding anything that irritates your nose and eyes.

Make sure you wash your hand frequently to keep your sinuses from getting infected and irritated by viruses. Relieve your breathing by adding a humidifier to moisturize the room air. Try using nasal spray decongestants as these will keep your sinuses moist and prevent any swelling present in the passages.

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Can A Sinus Infection Last For Months

Sinusitis wont go away at the drop of a hat. It tends to linger and, if left untreated, it can last for months. Again, its best to take a trip to your doctors office if your symptoms last longer than one week.

Note that there is a chance that long-term sinus issues may be caused by allergens. If this is the case, then your sinus symptoms will likely last until you can escape the allergen or have the allergies treated.

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:

Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.

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Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections

Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.

Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 5)

What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis

ASMR: Doctor Visit For Sinus Infection

You have acute sinusitis when you have had cloudy or colored drainage from your nose for up to four weeks, plus one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Stuffy, congested, or blocked nose
  • Pain, pressure, or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes
  • Long-lasting cold symptoms
  • Symptoms that do not improve within 10 days of getting sick, or initially get better then worsen again

You might have chronic sinusitis if you have at least two of the four symptoms note below for at least 12 weeks. An ENT specialist would also need to see polyps, pus, or thickened mucous in nose, or get a CT scan, to fully diagnose chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms include:

  • Stuff congested, or blocked nose
  • Pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes
  • Thickened nasal drainage

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Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice

Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.

If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.

Omicron Symptoms Usually Appear Like This

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has surged worldwide in record timeit was only three weeks ago that the first case was identified in South Africa. Last week, it accounted for 73% of new COVID infections in the United States, according to the latest CDC data. It’s highly contagiousscientists estimate it’s twice as transmissible as the Delta variant, which itself was twice as transmissible as the original COIVD strainwhich calls for an abundance of caution. How do you know if you’ve been infected with Omicron, how severe is it, and what should you do? Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

1 These May Be The Primary Symptoms of Omicron

Dr. Katherine Poehling, a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, told NBC News on Wednesday that the prominent symptoms of an Omicron infection are:

  • Cough

  • muscle pain, especially low back pain

How severe do the symptoms tend to be? Read on.

3 Symptoms May Vary Based on Vaccination Status

4 But Research Isn’t Conclusive

But experts warn that more data needs to be gathered before it can be conclusively said that Omicron causes different symptoms. “It’s still too early to say that there’s any difference in symptoms between the Omicron variant and previous versions,” Ashley Z. Ritter, an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania told the New York Times on Wednesday.

5 Another Potential Difference

7 Is It Omicron?

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Nasal Congestion And/or Discharge

When your sinuses are inflamed, you may have difficulty breathing through your nose. We colloquially refer to this as a stuffy nose, though congestion can also result in the opposite: a runny nose. When mucus production is normal, we dont notice it, but when you have a buildup of mucus, you may feel it dripping down the back of your throat and nose.

If your mucus is yellow or green and thicker than normal, and you feel as though its either difficult to breathe properly or that youre blowing your nose more than usual, you likely have a sinus infection.

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