Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
What Causes Pressure In Your Sinuses
Sinus pressure is caused by the swelling and inflammation of the membranes inside your sinus passages. This irritation causes the membranes to produce more mucus to try to flush out whatever is causing the inflammation. The excess mucus then adds to the pressure inside the sinus cavities.
Some trigger of sinus pressure include:
- Infection caused by a virus such as the cold or flu
- Infection caused by bacteria
Which Antibiotics Are Most Effective For Bacterial Sinusitis
Antibiotics are indicated for sinusitis that is thought to be bacterial, including sinusitis that is severe or involves the frontal, ethmoid, or sphenoid sinuses, since this type of sinusitis is more prone to complications. Penicillins, cephalosporins, and macrolides seem to be equally efficacious. A 5- to 10-day regimen of amoxicillin 500 mg 3 times a day is recommended as first-line therapy.
One study suggests that a single dose of 2 g of extended-release azithromycin may be more effective than a 10-day course of amoxicillin/clavulanate. However, azithromycin is not likely a good choice in sinusitis because symptoms may improve only because of the anti-inflammatory efficacy of the agent and because it has poor efficacy against S pneumoniae and H influenzae. The risk of adverse effects should be weighed against the severity of disease and patient comorbidities prior to initiating antibiotic treatment.
Patterns of bacterial resistance should also be taken into account in the choice of antibiotic.
Lucas JW, Schiller JS, Benson V. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2001. Vital Health Stat 10. 2004 Jan. 1-134. .
Slavin RG, Spector SL, Bernstein IL, Kaliner MA, Kennedy DW, Virant FS, et al. The diagnosis and management of sinusitis: a practice parameter update. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Dec. 116:S13-47. . .
Lusk RP, Stankiewicz JA. Pediatric rhinosinusitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997 Sep. 117:S53-7. .
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When To See Your Doctor
You need to seek medical help if:
- You have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, or a cold that gets worse after the first week.
- Your headache is not relieved by standard medication.
- Fever is present.
- You have symptoms after finishing your antibiotics.
- Your vision has changed during the infection.
When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
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Where Are The Sinuses Located
The sinuses are named according to their location in the skull bones:
- The frontal sinuses are located over the forehead, above the eyes on both sides.
- The maxillary sinuses are located over the cheek area, in the bone known as the maxilla, located under the eyes on both sides of the face.
- The ethmoid sinuses are located in the bone that divides the eyes and nose.
- The sphenoid sinuses are located in the sphenoid bone at the center of the skull, behind the eyes.
The sinuses are lined by mucous membranes that secrete fluid and are connected to the nasal cavity by small channels or ducts. The sinuses are sometimes collectively referred to as the paranasal sinuses because of their proximity to the nose.
Inflammation due to any cause can cause a buildup of fluid and increased sinus pressure, causing the typical symptoms of a sinus headache.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Fungal Sinusitis
If you have symptoms of a sinus infection, see your provider for an evaluation. Its also important to call your provider if you have sinus problems that dont seem to go away .
If you have a condition that weakens your immune system or you take immunosuppressant drugs and you notice sinus infection symptoms, get help immediately. People who have weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of death from a fungal sinus infection. Some infections spread quickly, so its essential to seek treatment right away.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you have symptoms of a sinus infection, see your provider. They will determine whats causing your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate treatment. If you have these symptoms and you take immunosuppressant medications or have a condition that weakens your immune system, get help right away. Invasive fungal sinus infections are very dangerous and can worsen quickly. They may be fatal without prompt treatment. If you have a compromised immune system, talk to your provider about getting regular checkups to monitor your health.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Sinus Infection Medications
The most common side effects of sinus infection medications differ by the type of medication you use. Decongestants tend to cause nervousness, insomnia, and a loss of appetite. Side effects of antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Antihistamines and steroids can cause dizziness and sleep disturbances.
This is not an exhaustive list of sinus infection medication side effects. If you experience any adverse reactions from a medication or treatment, its always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.
The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.
There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.
Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus infection.
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What Is A Fungus
A fungus is a living organism. It cant make its own food, so it takes its nutrients from decomposing matter in the soil, water or plants where it lives. Fungi live in the air, on surfaces, and on humans and other animals.
Scientists classify fungi in groups. They include mold, yeasts and mildew. Some fungi are big enough to see , and some are so small you can only see them with a microscope.
There are more than 100,000 species of fungi. They live all around us, and most arent dangerous. But some fungi can invade the body and multiply, leading to serious health problems. Different types of fungi cause infections in many parts of the body. Some examples are yeast infections, thrush and toenail fungal infections.
Risk Of Unnecessary Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Taking unnecessary antibiotics for a sinus infection is not only ineffectual, but can actually be harmful to the patient. Risks of taking unneeded antibiotics include:
- Increased chance of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection at a later time
- Destruction of healthy stomach bacteria, which can allow harmful bacteria to grow
- Possible side effects, such as upset stomach, rash, or dizziness
- Allergic reaction
According to studies conducted by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology , 60-70% of patients with sinus infections fully recover without the use of antibiotics. Additional research shows that almost 90% of U.S. adults diagnosed with acute sinusitis are prescribed antibiotics.
This overuse of antibiotics for sinus infections, as well as other conditions, can lead to antibiotic resistance, a state in which bacteria change over time as a reaction to antibiotic treatment, in order to survive and multiply, thus making the antibiotics less effective.
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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.
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.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle
At-home remedies can greatly reduce sinus infection symptoms, although they do not treat the infection.
Saltwater nasal irrigation is one of the treatments of choice for the symptoms of chronic sinusitis in adults, though studies show no benefit for children.Nasal irrigation is easy to do at home using a neti pot or other sinus rinse methods.
Using a steam vaporizer or a warm or cool mist humidifier may help keep your mucus thin. Inhalation of steam mixed with eucalyptus, chamomile, or peppermint may also help. While there’s no scientific research that these additives improve symptoms, you may find them soothing.
Hot vaporizers are a burn hazard and should not be used near your face or around children.
Other helpful tips:
- A hot shower may relieve pain, promote drainage, and open up the sinus cavities.
- Reduce facial pain and swelling by applying a warm compress to your face.
- Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
Diabetes And Sick Days: What Meds Are Ok
In the midst of cold and flu season, you may wonder what medications are safe to take without greatly impacting blood glucose levels when you have diabetes. Overall, it’s the sickness that increases blood glucose in people with diabetes, not the medication used to treat it. However, some medications should be used with caution. Stacey O’Donnell, R.N., B.S., C.D.E., nurse manager, at Joslin Diabetes Center, goes over different types of medications and how they could impact your diabetes. Examples: Tylenol, Aspirin Effect on diabetes: No effect. Use cautiously if you have renal disease. Anti-inflammatory Examples: Ibuprofen, such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin Effect on diabetes: No effect. Also should be used carefully if you have renal disease. Examples: Allegra, Bumex Effect on diabetes: Caution should be used in patients who have diabetes with renal disease, cardiac disease and high blood pressure. General guidelines for taking medications for people with diabetes are to avoid products containing sugar, such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, lactose and honey, O’Donnell says. Also, choose products with little or no alcohol. A suggested list of sugar-free cough and cold medicines includes: Chlor-Trometon tablets Dimetapp Elixir Scot-Tussin DM Liquid Cerose-DM LiquidContinue reading > >
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How To Treat Bacterial Sinus Infection
Taking rest and consuming plenty of fluids are highly effective natural remedies for a sinus infection and need to be used in case of both viral and bacterial sinus infections.
Congestion in the sinuses can be reduced by trying the following steps:
- Applying a moist and warm washcloth to the face several times throughout the day.
- Drinking a good amount of fluids for thinning the mucus.
- Inhaling steam for 2 to 4 times a day.
- Spraying with a nasal saline many times throughout the day.
- Using a humidifier.
- Using a Neti pot for flushing the sinuses.
- Note: The use of OTC spray nasal decongestants should be done very carefully. They are helpful in the beginning but continuous use can worsen nasal stuffiness.
Use the following self-care methods for easing sinus pressure or pain:
- Dont board an airplane if you are congested.
- Refrain from bending forwards and avoid sudden temperature changes.
- Make use of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Antibiotics can be required for treating a bacterial sinus infectionas they can fight the bacteria that have grown inside the sinuses.
Antibiotics should be prescribed for adults for preventing serious complications or speeding up the recovery process only if the diagnosis confirms that the patient is suffering from an acute bacterial sinus infection.Antibiotic treatment becomes necessary for adults if the following symptoms are observed.
Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
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How Do Immunomodulators Work To Improve Asthma Control
Mepolizumab is a biologic therapy that has been found to control the blood cells that often trigger asthma. Nucala targets Interluken-5 which regulates the levels of blood eosinophils . Genetically engineered, Nucala keeps IL-5 from binding to eosinophils and, thereby, lowers the risk of a severe asthma attack.
Nucala is administered by injection once every 4 weeks and is meant to be used in conjunction with other asthma treatments as a maintenance medication. By using Nucala, patients have been found to not only experience fewer asthma incidents, but they are able to reduce the amount of their other asthma medications. Side effects include headache and a hypersensitivity reaction that can cause swelling of the face and tongue, dizziness, hives, and breathing problems.
Omalizumab, an immunomodulator, works differently from other anti-inflammatoryÃ medications for asthma . Xolair blocks the activity of IgE before it can lead to asthma attacks. Immunomodulator treatment has been shown to help reduce the number of asthma attacks in people with moderate to severe allergic asthma whose symptoms are not controlled with inhaled steroids.
Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
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