Do I Have Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis is when the tissue in the sinus cavities is swollen or inflamed. It can be caused by a few conditions. The most common is a viral infection, such as a cold, that does not go away. Bacteria, allergies, or other causes may be responsible.
Chronic sinusitis, also called chronic rhinosinusitis, is a particularly persistent type of sinusitis. If it lasts for more than 12 weeks, its considered chronic sinusitis, whereas if it is an isolated case that goes away on its own within a few weeks, it is called acute sinusitis .1
Chronic sinusitis can affect your quality of life. It may cause discomfort, trouble breathing through your nose, problems sleeping, and other issues. If you have persistent sinus problems, you may benefit from having them treated by a doctor.
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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.
Is Your Sinus Infection Acute Or Chronic
A short-term sinus infection is often referred to as acute sinusitis. Most cases of acute sinusitis last about a week, but this type of short-term sinus infection can last up to four weeks. If you suffer from a sinus infection that lasts longer than 12 weeks despite treatment from your doctor, its considered chronic sinusitis.
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Is There A Right Way To Blow Your Nose
If you have a stuffy nose, trying to force yourself to blow your nose could make it worse. The best thing to do is to blow one side of your nose at a time gently into a tissue. You might want to first use some type of nasal rinse to loosen any material in your nose before blowing. Make sure you dispose of the tissue and then clean your hands with soap and water or an antimicrobial sanitizer.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know
The holiday season.With planned end of the year gatherings, the new Covid surge is prompting worries and cancellations. The Times asked experts to share some holiday guidance, as well as some tips on using at-home virus tests . Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.
Bidens new plan.President Biden announced new steps to confront the surge in Covid cases, including setting up new federal testing sites, readying military medical personnel to help hospitals and buying 500 million rapid tests to distribute free to the public, though experts warned the measures would not stop an Omicron surge.
Around the world.After infections skyrocketed to record levels in South Africa, new cases have started falling, suggesting its Omicron wave may have peaked. In Europe, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark adopted tough restrictions, while France, Spain and Italy are taking a more measured approach.
But South Africas observations may not apply to the United States and other countries. Most South Africans have already been infected with Covid-19, and the median age in South Africa is 27 both of which might cause the variant to have milder effects there than in the U.S., where the median age is 38, Dr. Yang said. The data also showed that, although children tended to have mild symptoms, they were 20 percent more likely to be hospitalized during the Omicron wave compared with the first wave.
How to Manage the Current Covid Wave
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Nasal Saline Washes And Topical Nasal Corticosteroids
Additional treatment options include nasal saline washes, which help move thick secretions from the nasal passages, and topical nasal corticosteroid sprays that reverse inflammation and swelling. The latter also effectively shrink and prevent nasal polyps. Corticosteroid sprays do not get absorbed into the bloodstream and can be used for extended periods without the risk of dependency.
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What Causes Meningitis And Encephalitis
Infectious causes of meningitis and encephalitis include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. For some individuals, environmental exposure , recent travel, or an immunocompromised state are important risk factors. There are also non-infectious causes such as autoimmune/rheumatological diseases and certain medications.
Bacterial meningitis is a rare but potentially fatal disease. Several types of bacteria can first cause an upper respiratory tract infection and then travel through the bloodstream to the brain. The disease can also occur when certain bacteria invade the meninges directly. Bacterial meningitis can cause stroke, hearing loss, and permanent brain damage.
Other forms of bacterial meningitis include Listeria monocytogenes meningitis Escherichia coli meningitis, which is most common in elderly adults and newborns and may be transmitted to a baby through the birth canal and Mycobacterium tuberculosis meningitis, a rare disease that occurs when the bacterium that causes tuberculosis attacks the meninges.
Fungal infections can affect the brain. The most common form of fungal meningitis is caused by the fungus cryptococcus neoformans . Cryptococcal meningitis mostly occurs in immunocompromised individuals such as those with AIDS but can also occur in healthy people. Some of these cases can be slow to develop and smolder for weeks. Although treatable, fungal meningitis often recurs in nearly half of affected persons.
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How To Stop Sinus Drainage In The Throat
Mucus is a substance normally produced by the body. It serves an important role, as it moistens, cleans and protects the lining of the nose and sinuses. But when this mucus is abnormally thick or produced in excess, its presence can be more noticeable and annoying as it drains down the back of the throat.
This sinus drainage, or post-nasal drip, leads to coughing and irritation, and contributes to the misery of colds and seasonal allergies. While sometimes medical attention is indicated, this symptom can usually be alleviated by home treatments.
How To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
If you want to get rid of your sinusitis, you and your ENT will need to work together to discover the source of your sinus infections. For example, your sinusitis might always be precipitated by a cold, or you could have a deviated septum and sinusitis or sinusitis and sleep apnea. Regardless, finding the root cause behind your recurrent or prolonged sinusitis will help determine treatment.
Once the source of your sinus infections is found, you and your ENT will need to discuss treatment options. For those with recurrent sinus issues, one treatment, in particular, has proven itself effective again and again. That treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to perform and requires little to no recovery time.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Recurring Sinus Infections
The best treatment depends on the situation because everyoneâs infections are unique. Sinus infections all have very similar symptoms but can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or funguses. The fact that sinus infections have these different causes means that doctors must take a catered approach when dealing with sinus infections. Some of the approaches the doctor might take are:
Did Your Sinus Infection Really Go Away
Related to a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection, sinusitis is generally categorized as:
- Acute sinusitis, typically lasting 2-4 weeks
- Subacute sinusitis, lasting from 4-12 weeks
- Recurrent sinusitis that occurs several times a year
- Chronic sinusitis, diagnosed when your symptoms persist for 12 weeks or longer
Its important to note that acute sinusitis can improve after a couple of days but then appear to return, sometimes with more severe symptoms. This, however, is a worsening of the original illness and not a new or recurrent sinus infection. Recurrent sinusitis is that which occurs four or more times a year without any symptoms between these episodes.
Your evaluation at Petoskey ENT Specialists starts with a detailed discussion of your symptoms as your provider investigates the potential causes of your sinusitis and your best treatment options.
How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
Many sinus infections go away on their own. You can try some of these treatments at home to help you manage your symptoms and feel more comfortable.
- Press a warm, moist towel to your face for 5-10 minutes every day. This can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Drink lots of water and other fluids. This can help thin your mucus and reduce congestion.
- Breathe in warm, humid air. Using a humidifier helps, or you can take a hot shower or bath.
- Try clearing your nasal passages with a saline solution . A saline wash helps clear your nasal packages and reduces congestion. You can buy saline drops at your local pharmacy or make your own saline solution at home.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol and Advil can help reduce pain and manage other symptoms, like a fever or headaches.
Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Sinus Infection
For those who suffer chronic sinusitis, the symptoms of sinus infection are easily recognizable. Viral, fungal, and bacterial sinus infection symptoms can feel very similar. Because we share common symptoms, it is easy to believe that all sinus infections are the same and all sinus infections have similar treatments. The truth is, your sinus infection is unique and your treatment should be customized to meet your specific needs, achieve your individual goals, and fit within your budget.
The best treatment for your sinus infection is the one that is designed specifically for you. The most successful physicians understand this and take a comprehensive approach to design a treatment plan that makes use of a wide variety of tools. Depending on your health condition and your unique needs, these tools may include:
About Author: Lisa Coon
Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.
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Medications And Specialist Treatment
Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve the pain of a headache or pressure from swelling. These include ibuprofen or acetaminophen . Nasal sprays with corticosteroids also help with inflammation. OTC sprays include fluticasone and mometasone . Nasal sprays can also help make nasal polyps get smaller. This will help you breathe better if theyâre blocking your nasal passages.
If your sinusitis is caused by an infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection and relieve some of your symptoms. Chronic sinusitis isnât often caused by an infection, but serious infections that result in sinusitis may require antibiotic treatment to prevent complications.
If your chronic sinusitis is caused by allergies, your doctor may refer you to an allergist. An allergist can conduct tests to figure out what youâre allergic to. They can then give you regular allergy shots to gradually allow your body to become immune to those allergens. Allergy shots may not take effect until several years after beginning the treatment, but they can help relieve allergy symptoms drastically in the long term.
Get Rid Of Sinus Infections Once And For All
Number of adults in U.S. with diagnosed sinusitis: 29.4 million
Do you feel like your head is going to explode?Is the pressure behind your eyes unbearable?Are you so congested that you cant breathe?
Sinus infections can be absolutely miserable. Your head feels like its been invaded by a foreign substance and the sinus pressure can be extremely painful. It can be near to impossible to try to work, go to school or take care of your family when you feel this way. If dealing with painful sinus infections has become a way of life for you, especially during the fall and winter months, then we are here to finally offer you some answers for relief.
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Should You Visit A Specialist
If your sinus infection just wont go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:
- Youve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
- Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
- You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks
Living with a sinus infection is miserable and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.
What Are Sinus Infections
A sinus infection occurs when swelling in your nose and sinuses prevents mucus from draining as it usually does. About a quart or two of mucus is produced by your nose and sinuses each day, and the substance helps to cleanse and humidify your nasal passages. Normally, it drains down the back of your throat and is mixed with saliva and swallowed without you noticing. Inflammation, however, causes it to become backed up.
If a sinus infection lasts for less than four weeks, its classified as acute sinusitis. If it lasts for more than 12 weeks or continues to recur even after treatment, you have chronic sinusitis.
Abnormal Growths Or Other Anatomical Abnormalities
The body is a mysterious and complex series of systems. Seemingly out of nowhere, tissues can thicken, cells can excessively multiply causing tumors, or small issues that didnt cause problems in the past can begin to cause you trouble. If your nasal passages or sinus cavities experience abnormal growths of any kind, they can usually be removed through surgery. If it is a tumor or mass, we will biopsy the tissue to make sure it is not cancerous.
Most anatomical abnormalities affecting the bony or soft tissues comprising the sinus cavities can be repaired via surgery, greatly eliminating the experience of recurrent sinus issues.
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.”
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Why Do I Get Sinus Infections So Often
Millions of Americans suffer bouts of sinusitis each year, with inflamed nasal passages and sinuses causing uncomfortable symptoms. In some cases, the misery continues despite attempts to treat the infection. Symptoms may also seem to get better, only to return.
In this blog, the ear, nose, and throat specialists at New York ENT explain why you might be getting a lot of sinus infections.
Choose The Expert In Ent Treatment And Smell Clearly Again
Dr. Nguyen is a national expert in ear, nose and throat treatment. For more than 15 years, he has been helping people seek relief from their nasal and sinus conditions. Let Houston Sinus and Allergy use the newest technology and our vast experience to customize a solution for your health needs.You can reach us by calling , or fill out the form at the top of the page tobook an assessment to start feeling better!
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