If You Are Exposed To Pollutants You Might Get Chronic Nasal And Sinus Inflammation
The environment that you live or work in may be contributing to frequent sinus infections, especially if you are exposed to pollutants on a regular basis.
Based on the findings from a 2017 study, researchers at Johns Hopkins found a connection between continuous exposure to pollution and chronic nasal and sinus tissue inflammation. This study was done on mice, though the consequences seen in the mice were said to mimic human chronic sinusitis. Previous studies, however, have found correlations between exposure to air pollution and blocked sinuses, which can lead to sinusitis.
If the symptoms of a sinus infection persist beyond 10 days, Daneshrad said you should seek the aid of a physician.
“If a course of antibiotics does not resolve the infection or if infections recur frequently, then you should be seen by a specialist to determine if there is a physical blockage of the sinuses,” he added.
Should You Have Sinus Surgery
Chronic sinus problems can be linked to problems with your nasal passages, such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum. If there is a specific structural issue that is causing your chronic sinusitis or sinus headaches then an ENT specialist may be able to correct it surgically. In order to find out if sinus surgery is a good idea, youll need to be assessed by an ENT specialist. The doctor will check that surgery is possible and then discuss the risks and benefits with you in detail. Having the procedure could permanently improve your breathing and prevent sinus problems.
What Are The Different Types Of Sinus Infections
Sinusitis is categorized based on how long the condition lasts as well as its frequency:
- Acute sinusitis usually lasts a few weeks, but less than a month. There is a subcategory of acute sinusitis, called recurrent acute sinusitis, which occurs when someone gets four or more sinus infections in a year, with symptoms resolving after each one.
- Subacute sinusitis lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts three months or more.
Recommended Reading: What Does A Sinus Infection Smell Like
Make An Appointment With An Ent Specialist
After thinking about your symptoms, its time to reach out to an otolaryngologist who can examine your ears, nose, and throat. They can provide the proper diagnosis and rule out other conditions that might cause similar symptoms, like allergies, tonsillitis, or a deviated septum. From there, theyll provide the proper treatment regimen based on the results.
Personalized Care For Sinus Infections
Whether you are experiencing an acute sinus infection or you have chronic sinusitis, Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is here to help. Our patients receive customized care and our undivided attention, ensuring a quality treatment plan to help find relief.
For more information about ENT services for families in the Collin County or Dallas area, call Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat. Well schedule a consultation for you to visit a doctor at a nearby office in Frisco or Plano, TX. We have an online appointment form you can use or call to schedule a visit: 596-4005.
Also Check: Iud And Yeast Infection Treatment
Why Do I Keep Getting Sinus Infections
Did you know that almost 12% of American adults suffer from recurring sinus infections? If your sinus infections just dont quit, you may have chronic sinusitis, a condition that occurs when your sinuses are inflamed for more than three months.
At Integrative Primary Care in Houston, board-certified internist Syed Farhat Zaidi, MD, has extensive experience helping patients who struggle with sinus infections. If you keep getting them, you might wonder why. In this blog, Dr. Zaidi explains what causes sinus infections and why you may be getting them over and over.
When To See A Doctor
You dont necessarily have to see your doctor for your allergies. The exception is if youve never been diagnosed with allergies before or if your allergies seem to be getting worse.
You should also see your doctor if your OTC antihistamines arent working. They might recommend prescription medications instead. If your allergies have you particularly congested, they might also prescribe a .
Since sinus infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics dont generally help. However, if your symptoms worsen or last longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor for some relief.
Recommended Reading: Best Supplements For Sinus Infection
Read Also: Can Being Pregnant Cause A Yeast Infection
Routines To Avoid Getting Sinus Infections
Avoid over-exposure to household products
There are avoidance routines that you can carry out that may help prevent another sinus infection from reoccurring. Always try to avoid contact with cigarette and cigar smoke from people around you. Another way is avoiding common household products, like hairspray and cleaning products that give off fumes or strong odors. Fumes are known to be irritants to your sinuses and can make your sinus problems worse. You can also avoid exposure to very dry environments. If possible, try to avoid mass transportation, by bus, train and air. When traveling an enclosed area with many people, bacteria and viruses commonly spread and dry air increases the rate they enter your nose. Air travel can also cause significant pressure and blockage to your sinuses. Avoid extended periods of swimming pools with chlorine and activities such as diving if you are prone to sinusitis. Chlorine in the nose irritates the lining of the sinuses and nose. Diving may force water into the sinuses from the nasal passageways. These are some or the ways you can avoid the recurrence of sinus infections or from having the worsening of existing infections.
Will A Sinus Infection Go Away Untreated
The human body is an amazing collection of complex systems that work together to keep you healthy. The sinus cavities may not get a lot of attention, but they play a critical role in some of the most important bodily functions. They help you communicate through speech or song, they regulate air temperature and humidity to assist in breathing, they also produce and drain mucus to fight infection. The sinuses work together with other systems in the ear, nose, and throat to keep your body at peak performance.
When these systems are working properly, they are able to effectively prevent and fight against bacteria, fungus, and viral infections. Because of these self-healing properties, the body is able to clear up most sinus infections on its own. Researchers estimate that more than 75% of sinus infections will improve or clear on their own within 7 – 10 days. However, for those sinus infections that are frequent or lasting, the long-term health implications are serious. Major health complications are not common, but could include abscesses or brain infections.
Even if you avoid these rare complications, standard symptoms can have devastating consequences for your quality of life. Headaches, facial pain, congestion, fatigue, sleep loss, drainage, and bad breath may seem ânormalâ to someone suffering from a sinus infection, but they can cause havoc in areas such as:
Read Also: Under Arm Yeast Infection Treatment
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Chronic Sinusitis And Other Issues Like Migraine Headaches
You probably cant tell the difference between all of these things. So, in cases where you have a constant headache, or facial pain, or tooth pain, you should call your healthcare provider to get a diagnosis. This is especially true if you have tried different therapies and have not been able to find relief. Your primary healthcare provider might even find it difficult to diagnose you properly and might suggest you see a specialist. This would be an otolaryngologist, commonly called an ear, nose and throat doctor.
First Line Of Defense Against Sinusitis: Nasal Irrigation
One of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective ways to prevent and treat sinus problems is nasal irrigation. Using a homemade solution, you can often relieve sinusitis symptoms, reduce reliance on nasal sprays and antibiotics, and improve your quality of life. At least once a day, follow these steps:
Read Also: What Antibiotic Is Used For Dental Infection
What Should You Do If You Have A Sinus Infection
When you think you have a sinus infection, you might be worried about what to do next. After all, a stuffy nose and nasal pain can make everyday tasks more difficult, especially if you’ve been dealing with symptoms for a while. If this sounds like you, the first step is to relax. The second step is to follow these directions for your pathway to breathing better.
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.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Tooth Infection At Home
How To Tell The Difference Between Covid
Allergy and sinus symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 symptoms. An otolaryngologist explains how to tell them apart and when you should seek treatment.
Allergy season has become more complicated since the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have allergies or sinus problems, you may not be sure how to tell the difference between those symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. Jessica Southwood, MD, otolaryngologist, offers expert guidance to help you better understand these three conditions.
Since sinus and allergy symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms can seem similar and have some overlap, it is important to familiarize yourself with the differences. That way, you and your provider can manage your health care appropriately.
Also Check: Ways To Clear Sinus Pressure
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Antibiotics For Yeast Infection
How Do Sinus Infections Start
Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinus or nasal cavity becomes inflamed. What can start as inflammation in your sinuses from a respiratory infection, allergies or environmental pollutants can spark a sinus infection when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen, causing mucus to become trapped and germs to grow.
“Once you have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection, that virus can then settle into the sinuses and cause inflammation as well,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, an otolaryngologist and chair of Houston Methodist ENT Specialists. “About 95% of sinusitis is caused by a virus making it much more common than bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is also much more infectious as well.”
Certain conditions, such as having allergies, asthma or a respiratory infection, can make people more susceptible to getting chronic sinus infections, and it is important that these patients be evaluated to address the cause and not just the sinusitis symptoms.
“There are many causes of chronic sinusitis. “Patients with a weakened immune system are more prone to getting recurrent acute sinusitis,” explains Dr. Takashima. “Sometimes, however, the issue may be anatomy, such as a deviated septum , scarring from previous sinus surgery, or nasal polyps, which result from chronic inflammation in the nose. Once the polyps get to a certain size, they rarely regress on their own and they narrow the sinus drainage pathways.”
How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
There is little information about the prevention of acute or chronic sinusitis. But the following measures may help:
- Avoid contact with allergens or irritants that trigger your nasal allergies.
- Keep your nasal passages as free and clear as possible. This is important if you have allergies.
- Avoid infections by washing your hands often during common cold season. Also avoid touching your face.
Also Check: Best Medication For Kidney Infection
How To Prevent Chronic Sinus Infections
There are some simple things you can do around the house to prevent sinus infections from developing in the first place. Among the easiest and most common include the following:
- Run a humidifier when possible. This will help keep that dry air away.
- Wash your hands frequently. Its good hygiene, and it can help prevent the spread of germs that cause infections.
- Wash surfaces and clothing frequently. On the one hand, this helps eliminate germs. But, perhaps, more importantly, vacuuming, washing your sheets, and all that can help keep allergens at bay. The less pet dander or dust on your sheets, the easier youll breathe. And that means your sinuses are less likely to become clogged.
- Take a warm shower with lots of steam! This will help replenish or relieve those mucus membranes when youre dealing with that dry air.
- Drink plenty of water. This is for the same reason: when youre hydrated, your mucus membranes are less likely to dry out.
Treatment For Sinus Infection
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.
Why Sinusitis Keeps Coming Back
Sinus infections can be incredibly painful, and they can become debilitating if when they are not diagnosed and treated properly. The relief of a cured sinus infection quickly evaporates when the telltale symptoms of an infection return and patients are left wondering why sinusitis wont stay away. In addition to causing discomfort and/or missed days of work, untreated and recurrent sinus infections can lead to more permanent damage in the sinus cavities and nasal passages.
While the very occasional, acute sinus infection is relatively normal, recurrent or chronic sinus infections are not. If a sinus infection returns again after youve finished a round of antibiotics and/or have followed your physicians at-home treatment instructions to the letter, please schedule another appointment ASAP.
You may need a referral to an ENT specialist to determine why the sinus infection continues to come back, and whether anatomical corrections may be necessary to fix the problem once and for all.
What Are The Common Home Remedies To Treat Sinus Infection
The nine common home remedies to treat sinus infection include:
- At-home vaporizer or humidifier: It may help relieve sinus symptoms. Sometimes a hot shower may also relieve sinus symptoms.
- Use of lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus oil while breathing steam may relieve nasal pressure.
- A warm compress over the nose and forehead helps relieve sinus pressure.
- Use of a syringe or a neti pot to stream a solution of non-iodized salt, baking soda, and lukewarm distilled water through the nostrils to help keep nasal passages clean. Also, a patient may choose a product from a pharmacy that is already prepared and ready to mix from packets.
- Drink warm water to stay hydrated.
- Drinking warm ginger tea with turmeric may help relieve nasal congestion.
- Drinking warm water with apple cider vinegar may help in fighting a sinus infection. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, and magnesium which aids in treating sinus infection. It works by loosening up the mucous and clearing nasal passages.
- Eat a balanced diet that also includes spices, and a diet rich in vitamin C and minerals help build immunity to fight infection.
- Sleep with the head elevated at night or keeping a humidifier running at home to avoid an arid environment may help relieve sinus pressure.
You May Like: How To Diagnose Viral Infection
Causes Of Chronic Sinusitis
Your sinuses are small, air-filled pockets located behind your nose, forehead, cheekbones, and eyes. Theyre constantly producing mucus to help keep your airways clear and healthy. However, viruses and allergens can cause an overproduction of mucus, which leads to sinus headaches, congestion, and other symptoms. This is known as sinusitis.
Sinus infections can be difficult to treat, especially if you have cramped sinuses that are prone to infection. Many people with chronic sinusitis suffer from one or more of the following:
- Nasal polyps
- A deviated septum
- Bone growths within the nose
Any one of these issues makes it easy for your sinuses to become congested and infected over and over again.