I Keep Tabs On My Symptoms
Jonathan Overdevest, MD, assistant professor of rhinology and skull base surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, lets time call the shots on how best to treat his sinus infections.
âWe all want to find ways to minimize the impact of our symptoms and introduce treatments that will expedite our recovery,â he says. âThe challenge lies in knowing what symptoms need higher level care and those that will improve on their own.â
Time becomes an important distinguishing factor in knowing what symptoms may require escalated treatment.
âIn general, any perceived sinus infection thatâs accompanied by severe symptoms persistently high fever, chills, changes in vision, unrelenting severe headache or outward alteration of appearance would require more urgent physical evaluation,â he says.
For less severe situations, monitor your symptoms to identify whether theyâve persisted for more than a week or were bad, then initially improved, only to get worse again over a period of seven to 10 days. If either of these scenarios holds true, youâre more likely to have an acute bacterial sinus infection that would benefit from a course of antibiotics.
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Should I Go To Urgent Care For A Sinus Infection
Should I Go to Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection?
Everyone has had a sinus infection at some point. They come with plenty of facial pain, nasal drainage, headaches. However, most people dont know what they should do when they come down with one. Should I go to urgent care? Should I tough it out at home? Do I need to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist?
Answering those questions isnt as difficult as it sounds. In fact, you can almost surely cross seeing a specialist off your list. Though it might not feel like it at the time, a sinus infection is a fairly common illness that affects tens of millions of adults each year. With that being said, some sinus infections can be treated effectively at home while others might need to be treated by a professional.
How to Tell if You Have a Sinus Infection
Inside your skull, there are several pockets of air. These are called your sinuses and help with a variety of things in daily life. For example, they keep your head from being too heavy. However, they are also prone to infection when fluid backs up into them and allows germs to take over. This leads to sinuses that are clogged by thick mucus that causes the various symptoms of a sinus infection.
How to Treat a Sinus Infection at Home
When to Seek Medical Care for a Sinus Infection
Not everyone who has a sinus infection will need to seek medical care. However, there are some times when home remedies simply arent enough.
Risk Factors For Sinusitis
The main risk factor for a sinus infection is having a cold or hay fever, which leads to inflammation and blockage in the sinuses.
Risk for sinusitis is also higher in those with a deviated septum or narrow sinus structure, which allows fluid to more easily get trapped.
If you have a medical condition such as cystic fibrosis or weakened immune system, you also are more likely to develop a sinus infection.
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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.
Do You Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
A viral sinus infection will likely resolve itself on its own, but it can take a few weeks to do so. If the sinus infection is caused by bacteria, it is likely to need antibiotics in order to resolve. But antibiotics arent a cure-all. They will not cure a sinus infection that was caused by a virus or an irritant in the air.
Urgent Care Clinic In Rochester And Le Roy Ny
At Cornerstone Urgent Care Center, our friendly and professional healthcare providers will get to the root cause of your sinus infection through a review of your medical history, a physical exam, as well as diagnostic testing. Our goal is to give you immediate relief from symptoms and coordinate your care with your primary care physician.
You dont have to go to the emergency room to treat your sinus infection. We treat sinus infections and a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions that seem to occur during non-business hours or on weekends.
Visit Cornerstone Urgent Care Center at 2968 Chili Avenue without making an appointment. We are open Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm. You may check in online to let us know you are coming. We look forward to providing you with prompt medical care!
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Seeing Your Ent Doctor About Sinus Pain
When youre dealing with issues with your sinuses you may not be sure when to see your ENT doctor in Flint, MI, about confronting these sinus problems. Sinus problems can be a sign of something more severe affecting you and its important not to ignore any signs of pain or issues that you may be experiencing.
If you notice that youre experiencing sinus pain and its difficult to breathe and function on a daily basis, it may be time to visit your ENT doctor as soon as possible. Sinus problems can be a sign of other issues, such as:
- Deviated septum
There are different symptoms that are associated with each issue, but most commonly, it may be hard to breathe, and you may experience facial pain, a sore throat, and a runny nose. You may also have issues breathing out of one side of your nose. If youre dealing with sinusitis, it may go away on its own within 10 days, but if symptoms continue or are severe, you should be sure to visit your ENT doctor as soon as possible for treatment. Depending on what issues youre dealing with, your ENT doctor can prescribe different medications or treatments to help relieve your symptoms and your pain.
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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
- 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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Nasal Discharge: Cause Treatments And Prevention
What is nasal discharge?
Mucus isnt just a slimy material in your nose it actually has a useful purpose. It traps bacteria, other germs, and debris, and prevents them from entering your lungs.
In some cases, such as when you have a cold or allergies, mucus may flow out of your nose or down your throat. When mucus comes out of your nose, its called nasal discharge. It can also be called post-nasal drip or rhinorrhea.
Although its annoying, nasal discharge is common and usually goes away on its own. But in some cases, its a sign of an underlying health problem that might require medical attention.
There are many potential causes of nasal discharge. Some of the most common include infections and allergies.
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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. Its highly contagiousscientists estimate its 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 youve 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, dont miss these Sure Signs Youve 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:
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 Isnt Conclusive
But experts warn that more data needs to be gathered before it can be conclusively said that Omicron causes different symptoms. Its still too early to say that theres 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
The Right Way To Treat A Sinus Infection
5 min Read Time
Your head is throbbing, especially around your eyes. You cant stop coughing, and for some reason, your breath is terrible. Blowing your nose is a mess.
Bad news: You could have a sinus infection. Most frequently triggered by the common cold, over 30 million American adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.
So, what exactly are sinus infections? How can you tell if you have one? And holy cow how can you feel better as quickly as possible?
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Common Causes Of Sinus Infection
You can easily get sinus infections, depending on your environment. If you stay in a house filled with mold and dust, you can get sinus infections more often than other people. You also get a higher chance of developing the infection when you have a cold or allergy.
Other people with the following also have a higher risk of getting sinus infections:
- Weak immune system
- Often smokes or drinks
People with other medical conditions, such as HIV, also risk getting a sinus infection. Try to take note of your allergies and medical conditions as not to get complications. You could get complications like vision problems and skin infection.
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.
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When Do I Need To See My Doctor About A Sinus Infection
If your symptoms last for more than seven days without improvement or if you develop severe symptoms, its important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
You also need to see your doctor or seek medical attention if:
- You have a fever that is higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- You have sinus pain that is getting worse
- Your sinuses are swollen and tender to the touch causing extreme discomfort
- You have a severe headache or facial pain
If you are uncertain about needing medical treatment, please consult with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:
- Discolored nasal discharge
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.
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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 its 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.
What Causes It
Sinusitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. When the lining of the sinus cavities gets inflamed from a virus like a cold, it swells. The swelling can block the normal drainage of the sinuses, leading to a buildup of fluid. Bacteria or fungi may start to grow, causing more swelling and pain.
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What Can I Do
While you wait for your infection to run its course, you can take steps at home to feel better.
Look into nasal sprays. Store-bought saline nasal spray loosens up mucus, temporarily clearing it from your nasal passages. A steroid nasal spray like fluticasone may help tame inflammation, especially if you have underlying allergies. Unsure about using a steroid? Follow package directions and go to your HCP with questions.
Be wary of decongestant nasal sprays, like oxymetazoline . Using them for longer than three days could cause rebound symptoms persistent stuffiness eased only by the spray itself. Dryness and addiction are also possibilities.
Embrace sinus rinses like the neti pot. Many sinus infection veterans swear by nasal irrigation systems, such as plastic squeeze bottles or teakettle-shaped neti pots. These devices are filled with a sterile saline solution and used to flush snot from your sinuses.
Neti pots and their ilk are widely available and typically safe, as long as you handle them properly. Dont use water directly from your tap. Instead use distilled water, a sterile saline solution or water that has been boiled and then cooled.
Try over-the-counter medicines. Experts recommend analgesics including acetaminophen , ibuprofen and aspirin to ease pain, as well as decongestants like pseudoephedrine to alleviate the pressure of congestion.
Finally, you may want to avoid flying or scuba diving, since either can aggravate sinus pain.
Words From Our Patients
I have been suffering from allergies & asthma my whole life, and the doctors at this care center were able to pin point exactly what I needed to take for each problem.
I have never ever felt rushed during my visits. They have provided me with the best care anyone can get.
If you are looking for quality care in a professional and friendly setting, look no further. Allergy Asthma Care Center is the place to go.
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