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.
What Your Urgent Care Doctor Can Do For A Sinus Infection
When you visit your urgent care doctor with sinus infection symptoms, your doctor will conduct a physical exam. Theyll especially want to look at your ears, nose, and throat, and theyll be looking for signs of inflammation and infection.
Your urgent care doctor may do blood work to determine whether your sinus infection is caused by bacteria or a virus. If your sinus infection is bacterial, your urgent care doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If your sinus infection is viral, your doctor will recommend some supportive treatments for you to try at home. Viral sinus infections wont respond to antibiotic treatment.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection to help you feel better.
Er For Severe Sinusitis Symptoms
While sinusitis can be managed at home, you might wonder when to see a doctor for a sinus infection.
You must go to an ER doctor for immediate medical treatment if you experience severe symptoms like difficulty breathing and unbearable pain.
Doctors will have to quickly examine to assess what proper antibiotics to give you to alleviate the pain and help you recover fast.
If you are in Kingwood, Texas, go to Kingwood ER to get the best medical treatment in an instant.
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Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
What Can I Take For A Sinus Infection
For most people, sinusitis should improve on its own over the course of 2 or 3 weeks. To help manage the symptoms of a sinus infection while you are recovering, you can:
- use a salt solution to clear out your nose
- apply a warm pack to the face to help relieve pain and decongest your sinuses
A doctor may advise taking painkillers, such as paracetamol, or another medication, like a nasal spray, to help relieve your symptoms. Speak to a pharmacist or doctor for further guidance before taking any medication.
You should also see a doctor if your sinus infection persists or starts to get worse despite taking these steps. They may recommend steroid nasal sprays or solutions to help with the swelling in your sinuses.
They may prescribe antihistamines if your symptoms are caused by an allergy or antibiotics if they suspect you have a sinus infection caused by bacteria.
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When To Worry About Your Lingering Sinus Infection
Philip Scolaro, MD
Sinus infections have a way of making time stand still in a bad way. When youre constantly congested, battling headaches, and feeling sinus pressure, even a short duration of sickness can feel like its never going to end.
What if it doesnt? If your lingering sinus infection becomes chronic, it may be time for more aggressive treatment.
Heres what you need to know about sinus infections and when its time to take the next step in treatment.
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What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
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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.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Because sinus infections are so common, we often claim to have one as soon as we have a runny nose or a feeling of pressure in the forehead or behind our eyes. In fact, we might have a cold or even allergies that mimic a sinus infection. A cold can vary in the symptoms it causes and how badly it can make you feel. But typically it will get better within 10-14 days. A lingering cold does not technically cause a sinus infection. But as the cold lingers, a sinus infection is more likely to develop.
Allergies also cause inflammation of the lining in your nose due to irritants such as pollen and dust. The symptoms that develop can be very similar to those of the common cold and a sinus infection.
A sinus infection should be suspected if your symptoms dont resolve within a couple of weeks. The cause can be either a viral or bacterial infection of the lining of the sinus cavities. Here are the most common symptoms:
- A pressure feeling around the eyes and behind the cheeks
- A headache that continues to worsen instead of improving
- A bad taste in your mouth
- A yellow or green drainage from your nose or into your throat
- A tired feeling that isnt improving
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Contact Us For Sinus Infection Treatment
If you or a loved one is suffering from a sinus infection, we are here for you. The Southern California Sinus Institute is Californias premier sinus center, and we offer a variety of treatments to alleviate your symptoms and address the root cause of your infection. Our services range from an in-office nasal endoscopy to deviated septum repair in more serious cases.
Whatever is causing your pain and discomfort, we can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment and take the first step in your journey to regain your health and vitality.
Schedule An Appointment Today!
Considered the best sinus surgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Alen Cohen is an expert at successfully treating patients through the use of minimally invasive techniques for the surgical management of nasal and sinus disorders.
How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Sinus infections can last several days. Viral sinus infections are usually most severe three to six days after they start, and then begin to improve by day 10. A viral sinus infection can develop into a bacterial infection, which typically lasts longer than 10 days. Patients will usually respond to antibiotics within two to three days after a bacterial sinus infection is diagnosed and treated. After that, sinus infections can resolve anywhere between seven and 14 days.
There are three types of sinusitis. All three are based on length of symptoms:
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Causes Of The Common Cold Covid
The common cold and COVID-19 are both caused by different viruses. The virus that causes the cold affects the upper respiratory tract, while the novel coronavirus can affect both the upper and lower respiratory tract.
A sinus infection is caused when your sinuses get blocked and fill with fluid, allowing bacteria to grow. The blockage can be due to allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or a virus like the cold. The infection can cause swelling or inflammation in the sinuses. This can cause several symptoms, many of which are similar to that of a cold.
What Happens If A Sinus Infection Is Left Untreated
For some lucky people, sinus infections may go away if left untreated. Rest and hydration will certainly help with this.
For others, however, sinusitis wont go away until you seek treatment. If this is the case, a sinus infection left untreated may cause further complications .
When sinusitis spreads to areas around the eyes, you may experience redness and swelling, which can reduce vision. The most severe form of sinusitis reaching the eye is called cavernous sinus thrombosis and can actually cause blindness. It is treated by antibiotics and drainage of sinus fluids.
Sinusitis that reaches the brain may cause meningitis and brain abscesses.
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When To Visit A Doctor For Your Sinus Infection: Symptoms To Consider
Sinus infections may be caused by a cold, the flu or allergies, but they can also be triggered by bacteria, including streptococcus pneumonia or staphylococcus aureus. Sometimes it can be difficult for patients to determine if they have a cold or a sinus infection because they share similar symptoms.
A doctor may diagnose a sinus infection if two out of four primary symptoms are present:
A sinus infection may cause additional symptoms, including:
- Low-grade fever
- Pain in one or both ears
- Dull ache in the upper jaw or teeth
- Redness or swelling around eyes
- Visual disturbances, such as double vision
Failure to treat severe sinus infections can lead to extremely dangerous infections such as meningitis or cellulitis. If the infection spreads to your eye sockets, you are at risk for eye damage or permanent blindness. There is also a risk of permanently losing some or all of your ability to smell.
If you suspect you might have a sinus infection, it is better to err on the side of caution by scheduling a visit to see your doctor than to take the risk of the infection spreading.
What You Need To Know About Sinus Infections
As the fall months approach, the potential for seasonal allergies, runny noses and sinus infections increases.
Sinus infections happen when fluid builds up in the air-filled pockets in the face. This allows germs to grow. Viruses cause most sinus infections, but bacteria can also be the culprit.
When people say they have sinus pressure, they may mean nasal congestion, Grayson said. Bilateral congestion could mean a person has a viral infection or an allergic reaction. Viral infections dont pick and choose a side.
Grayson adds that people who live in more humid climates like the South tend to suffer more from seasonal allergies because the humidity allows more fungus to grow, and long growing seasons allow for other trees, grasses and weeds. Living in cities can also affect people with allergies due to dust mites.
If your sinus pressure is isolated, you might have a bacterial infection, she said. Thats when you really should go see a doctor. With a virus, you just have to let it run its course.
Some people do get repetitive events, and people who work with small children, such as teachers or day care workers, are more likely to get recurrent viral infections.
Jessica Grayson, M.D.That pesky flu
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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
Can I Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
If you have a true sinus infection, you will eventually need to visit a medical professional. But in the early stages you can help ease your symptoms with one or more of these treatments:
Remember that at-home treatments should be discontinued if symptoms arent improving. A timely visit to the urgent care can help speed recovery and get you feeling better quickly.
If you are in need of sinus infection treatment and your regular doctor is unavailable, make a visit to M.D. Express Urgent Care. With 6 convenient locations open 7 days a week, The Doctor is Always In!
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Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.
The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Treatment For Sinus Infection
How is sinusitis treated? There are several ways to treat sinus infections, depending on the severity of the case.
For mild sinusitis, you can get rid of the symptoms with:
- Medications to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms
- Saline solutions
However, your doctor will have to order a CT scan to check on your sinuses when the sinus infection does not go away even after the treatments mentioned.
It is possible to have surgery if the doctor finds structural problems in your sinuses. People with polyps and fungal infections are most likely to undergo surgery.
and book a free medical consultation if you develop sinus infection symptoms.