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.
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How Do You Treat It
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.
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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When To Seek Help For A Sinus Infection
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.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis is characterized by inflammation in your sinuses. It is considered chronic when it lasts for over 12 weeks. General sinusitis usually occurs as the result of an infection and can be cleared up with antibiotics. However, when the condition is chronic, antibiotics usually do not help since bacteria is often not the culprit.
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Chronic Sinusitis And The Symptoms
Chronic sinusitis is a type of sinusitis that usually lasts longer than 12 weeks. People with allergies and other immune problems such as asthma are the most at risk of having chronic sinusitis. Treatment for this condition depends on the underlying cause. Chronic sinusitis symptoms are usually the same as acute sinusitis, which usually occurs due to the common cold. Some of these symptoms include:
- Pain and pressure above the eyes, sides of the nose, and the cheeks
- Pain in the throat
- Feeling congested
- Frequent sneezing
Doctors used to think that if acute sinusitis went untreated, it would become chronic. Today, they are not so sure if this is still the case.
How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
In the first two weeks of a sinus infection, patients may use saline sprays, over-the-counter steroid sprays like Flonase, and over-the-counter decongestants.
After 10 days, if the drainage is still colored, an antibiotic is likely necessary. Theres no homeopathic alternative to antibiotics. However, saline spray, topical steroid sprays, and decongestants work well with antibiotics to clear most infections.
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Can I Prevent Sinus Infections
There are some things you can do to help prevent sinus infections such as:
- Washing your hands often, especially after you blow your nose, sneeze, or cough, and especially during cold and flu season
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands
- Practicing sinus hygiene by using a neti pot or nasal irrigation to rinse your sinuses regularly
- Quitting smoking and avoiding any secondhand cigarette smoke
- Minimizing your exposure to environmental and workplace irritants such as dust, smoke, and fumes
- If you have allergies, manage them effectively with medication or immunotherapy and by avoiding the allergens if possible
- Using a humidifier when the air is dry
- Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
These may help to prevent sinus infections and sinus issues or at least reduce the severity and duration of sinusitis if you do get sick.
What Naturally Kills A Sinus Infection
One of the first things that you should do to relieve your sinus infection is to drink lots of water. This is because it helps to keep your sinuses moist and prevents them from getting blocked.
Moreover, drinking hot liquids like tea or soup is also helpful. You can also take hot showers if you have sinus congestion.
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What Is The Cause Of Sinus Infection
The most common symptom of sinusitis is stuffy, runny nose. It may also come with a green or yellow discharge. The pain that is associated with sinusitis is increased when you move your head and is more likely to be felt in the face. The affected area may have a decreased sense of taste. If you have had a sinus infection for several months, it may be time to see a doctor.
The first sign of a sinus infection is painful pressure in the nose. This pain usually comes over the cheek, forehead, upper jaw, and teeth, and increases with bending forward. A thick, green discharge is another sign of a sinus infection. You may experience a cough, mucus, or even a loss of taste, depending on which sinus is affected. To relieve the pain, use a hot compress.
Changing the air in your home can help lower your risk of getting a sinus infection. For example, keeping the humidity in your home at forty-five percent or above will reduce the amount of air that irritates your sinuses. You can also purchase an OTC nasal corticosteroid spray, which can reduce swelling and relieve some of the discomfort caused by your infection. These treatments are generally safe and effective, but you should always consult your doctor to make sure they are right for you.
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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 Call A Doctor
- Pain in the face or upper teeth.
- Pain extending from the bridge of the nose to the lower eyelid.
- Headache that is not relieved by an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Nasal discharge that starts out clear and later becomes thick and discoloured .
- Cold symptoms that last longer than 10 days or get worse after the first 7 days.
- Mild or chronic pain in the face that lasts longer than a month, has changed, or has not been checked by a doctor.
- Not feeling any better within 3 to 5 days after starting antibiotics for your sinus infection.
Drinking Lots Of Fluids
One of the most important natural treatments for sinusitis is to drink lots of water. Water makes up about 50% of the human body.
The body needs water to perform its natural healing processes and to reduce inflammation. Drinking lots of water can relieve the pain and swelling associated with sinusitis.
Its important to remember that sinus infections can be caused by a number of factors, including the change in seasons, exposure to the sun, or even too much sugar or dairy.
In the case of chronic sinusitis, you should see a medical professional, especially if your symptoms last more than a few days.
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Diagnosing Upper Respiratory Infection
You may recognize most symptoms of an upper respiratory infection on your own, which may not need to be tested by a doctor. Symptoms of a common cold are often self-managed, but you may need to see your doctor for tests.
Your doctor will take your list of symptoms and your personal and medical history. They may physically examine your throat, tonsils, ears, nose, and lymph nodes to check for redness, swelling, and signs of infection. They may take your temperature and check your blood pressure and pulse.
Your doctor may also swab your throat and nose for a sample of your cells. The sample may be tested to determine the type of bacteria or virus you have. A blood test, x-ray, or a urinalysis may also be done to rule out other issues or check for complications.
Is It Time To Consider Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is a procedure that your ENT surgeon can use to treat moderate to severe sinus surgery. If youre no longer responding to treatments like nasal irrigation, antibiotics, and decongestants, then you may be a candidate for sinus surgery.
During the procedure, Dr. Davis uses an endoscope to locate and remove bone and tissue in the sinuses that are preventing drainage. Sinus surgery creates larger drainage pathways to reduce the chances of mucus buildup after recovery. In addition, medicated sinus rinses can better penetrate the opened sinuses to help reduce inflammation. Patients will need to undergo general anesthesia for the procedure, which usually takes between one and three hours. However, recovery is typically quick, with very little pain.
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Common Signs Of Sinus Infection And When To See A Doctor
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common infections that a person can have. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 35 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with a sinus infection in the year 2017. And many others may have suffered from sinus infections without ever seeing a doctor. Despite sinus infections being so common, they are still one of the most uncomfortable infections experienced and require adequate care and attention, whether being treated at home or by a doctor.
A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses, which are cavities located in the front of the face around the eyes and behind the nose, become blocked or too much mucus builds up causing inflammation and swelling. When sinuses are functioning normally, they lighten the weight of the skull, and also help filter and moisten the air you breathe. When sinuses are blocked, your head can feel heavy or full, your voice may become raspy, and you can even experience tooth pain, among other aggravating symptoms.
Common Symptoms Of Sinus Pain
Urgent Care Forest Hill doctors identified the following earliest signs of a potential sinus problem:
- Pain or pressure in the eyes and cheekbones
- Swelling of the face
Acute sinus pain usually occurs at least three times a year and lasts for about 10 days to two months. A chronic sinus problem, however, recurs more than four times a year and lasts over two months.
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Chronic Sinus Infection Treatment
Chronic sinus infections typically have a more mysterious cause than acute infections people with chronic sinus infections often require life-long treatment to keep symptoms at bay.
In addition to the options above, treatment for chronic sinus infections may include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and changing home or work conditions to reduce exposure to environmental toxins and allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, or cockroaches
- Leukotriene modifiers, which reduce inflammation through a different mechanism than steroids
- Surgery to reopen sinuses affected by issues like nasal polyps and deviated septum
Recent research suggests other treatment options may also exist for chronic sinus infections, including:
- Nasal probiotics of the beneficial bacteria lactobacilli
- The drug dupilumab, derived from a human antibody, which the Food and Drug Administration approved to treat chronic sinus infections with nasal polyps in 2019
- A regime combining oral and intranasal corticosteroid irrigations
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.
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When To Go To Er For Sinus Infection
Have you been dealing with a stuffy nose for quite some time already? Maybe its no longer the usual cold or allergy.
Sinusitis can be the culprit, especially if the prolonged infection seems not to go away even with medications.
Now, what is a sinus infection? Read on to know if this might be the reason for your clogged nose.
Causes And Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Sinus inflammation, also known as sinusitis, is a condition where the nasal passageway becomes inflamed due to an infection or allergies. There are two different types of sinus infections: acute sinus infection and a chronic sinus infection. Acute sinus inflammation can be caused by another condition or infection, such as the common cold or allergies. A chronic sinus infection has a much more complicated diagnosis and almost always requires medical assistance to keep under control.
The two leading causes of an acute infection are either a bacterial infection or a viral infection. While they are similar, bacterial infections have a different treatment procedure than a viral infection, which is why it is essential to get the diagnosis right. Bacterial infections that cause sinusitis are far less frequent than a viral infection.
Depending on the severity of the sinus infection, as well as the cause and type of sinus infection, the symptoms differ. Nevertheless, several more common symptoms apply to almost every case of sinus infections, these include:
- Nasal congestion
The very first symptoms that you may experience with a sinus infection are nasal congestion and runny nose. You may need more advanced treatment that can only be prescribed by a medical professional.
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Complications Of Sinus Infection
Sinus inflammation can spread to the bones and soft tissues of the face and eyes. This can cause:
- Cellulitis of the face or around the eyes
- Abscesses of the eyes
Left intreated, sinus infections can also lead to serious intracranial complications, including blood clots within the cavernous sinus, pus between the skulls and dura mater , and meningitis.
The Difference Between A Common Cold And A Sinus Infection
There is a large crossover between the symptoms of a cold and a sinus infection, making it confusing to self-diagnose. In both a cold and sinusitis, you might experience postnasal drip, low-grade fevers, headaches, fatigue, a cough, congestion, etc. Outside of the sinus pressure and green snot that is suggestive of sinusitis, the main difference is the recovery time.
Your cold should go away within 10 days, maximum. So, how long does a sinus infection last?
If you have a common cold that lasts longer than two weeks, you might actually have a sinus infection. Acute sinus infections can last up to four weeks. If your sinus infection lasts for more than 12 weeks without any relief, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor.
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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.