When Antibiotics Are In Order
The main reason to prescribe antibiotics is for patient comfort, Dr. Sindwani says. The medical field used to be more convinced than it is today than untreated sinusitis would inevitably become a chronic issue, he says.
We dont think that way as much, he says. We dont know that an untreated acute sinusitis, if left untreated, will grumble along and cause people to have a chronic sinus infection.
Some people think thats two separate things, with chronic sinusitis more likely due to underlying issues like allergies or immune problems.
How Is Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms of a sinus infection have continued for more than 12 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may use an endoscope .
In very few cases, your provider might order a biopsy to see if the infection has spread. Biopsies involve taking tissue or bone samples to example under the microscope.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis emerges more insidiously than acute sinusitis. At times, however, the symptoms start suddenly and may resemble that of the common cold or acute sinusitis that just wont go away.
Chronic sinusitis is most likely if you have two or more of the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Mucus and pus-like discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain, pressure around your eyes and nose, or fullness
- Partial or complete loss of your sense of smell
Chronic cough, sore throat, and fatigue may also be seen in a chronic sinus infection. That said, these symptoms are not required for the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis.
Also Check: How To Make A Tooth Infection Stop Hurting
Accurate Sinus Diagnosis And Treatments Is Essential
The only way to stop recurring sinus infections once and for all is to have an evaluation by a specialist who has the specialized training and experience to accurately diagnose their cause. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, we can discuss the options. The goal is always to provide the patient with all the available options, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help you find the best treatment plan for you.
What Can I Do To Find Relief From A Sinus Infection
- Place a warm compress over your face to help relieve pressure.
- Breathe in steam by placing a towel over your head and leaning over a bowl or sink full of hot water to allow the steam to relieve congestion. WARNING: Make sure that the water is not too hot because steam can cause burns.
- Rinse the sinuses. Dr. Takashima recommends using the squeeze bottle over the neti pot for effective nasal irrigation.
- Keep the nasal passages moist by using a saline nasal spray.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
What Are Some Sinus Infection Causes
Sinus cavities are the empty areas around our eyes and nose. They help us to manage the air we breathe and help our ability to speak, breathe, and sing. Our sinus cavities are where our mucus is produced and where sinus infections occur.
The mucus in our sinus cavities trap things like mold, bacteria, viruses and dirt. When working correctly our mucus traps the foreign substances and our bodies drain it out so that it can not make us sick. Sometimes however, the trapped substances will cause our bodies to react with swelling and inflammation. The mucus then gets trapped due to the swelling and an infection develops.
You May Like: Can You Give Yourself A Yeast Infection
How Do I Stop Excess Sinus Drainage
There are a variety of reasons why someone may suffer from excess sinus drainage. Allergies as well as the common cold virus can lead to sinus drainage. The sinus cavities in your head are narrow passages. An excessive amount of drainage can be more than an annoyance. It can lead to painful sinus infections if the fluid builds up in these narrow passages and becomes infected.
You can use several techniques to reduce drainage. Some people believe that certain foods, such as dairy products, increase the amount of drainage that you produce. While there is little science to back this up, you may give it a try. Dairy products are one food product that many people are sensitive to, so cutting back may decrease the amount of drainage.
Drinking plenty of water is another cure that may help reduce sinus drainage. While the effectiveness of this is not proven either, in general, drinking plenty of water helps thin sinus secretions. This can lead to less noticeable drainage.
Scar Tissue In The Sinus Cavities
Previous injuries, anatomic defects from birth, or previous sinus injections can all cause scar tissue to build up in the sinuses. This blocks the cavities from functioning and draining properly, which can trap irritants in the cavity. Recurrent sinus infections can continue causing more scar tissue, further compounding the problem.
If Dr. Hester notices that scar tissue is impacting sinus function, he may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery to clear the tissue away.
Also Check: Does Kidney Infection Go Away By Itself
Is It A Sinus Infection Or Cold
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a sinus infection and a cold as the symptoms can be very similar. Sinus infections often develop after a cold.
Sinusitis tends to last longer than a cold. Cold symptoms tend to get steadily worse, peaking at 35 days, then gradually get better. Sinus infections may last 10 days or more.
Some symptoms are more likely to be caused by sinusitis than a cold, including:
- swelling of the tissue in the nose
- green discharge from the nose
- a swollen or tender face
Unlike a cold, sinusitis can become chronic, which means it lasts longer than eight weeks. Chronic sinusitis causes swelling and irritation in the sinuses and usually develops after a person has had acute sinusitis. Sometimes the symptoms go away and then come back again.
Ongoing sinus symptoms even if they get better and then come back may indicate chronic sinusitis.
Sinus infections often go away on their own without medical treatment. There are, however, some things a person can do at home to relieve the bothersome symptoms.
To treat sinusitis symptoms with home remedies , try:
Avoid using decongestants on a long-term basis without talking to a doctor first because they can make congestion worse if used for too long.
- symptoms last longer than 10 days with no improvement
- fever lasts longer than 3-4 days
- the pain is very intense
- a person with a suspected sinus infection has a drugs that suppress the immune system, or organ failure
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.
Also Check: Can Antibiotics Get Rid Of Tooth Infection
Have You Lost Your Sense Of Taste
Today, if youve lost your sense of taste, its likely that your first thought is that you might have COVID-19. While COVID-19 certainly can cause a loss of taste and smell, a sinus infection could also be the culprit. The quickest way to tell the difference and make sure youre not spreading the coronavirus to those around you is to get tested.
If a cold or allergy has caused a nasal blockage and loss of taste, then reducing inflammation is key in the fight against a sinus infection. If youve tried all the home remedies and youre still not finding relief, its time to get help.
Our team will work with you to find a treatment plan thats right for your circumstances. Dont let a sinus infection keep you from enjoying your favorite foods. Give ENT Associates of Lubbock a call today.
What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Infections
So many people across the United States and even the world are dealing with painful sinus symptoms and living with chronic sinusitis. Sinus infections are not only painful they are also distracting. They can put you in a sour mood, impact your relationships and just make life more difficult to navigate. Symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and sinus pain can impact careers, family time, sleep, trips, and so much more.
Recommended Reading: Pelvic Exam For Yeast Infection
Other Remedies For Symptom Relief
Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.
Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.
If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.
Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.
damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.
Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.
Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.
You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:
- avoiding the allergen
- doing allergic immunotherapy
Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.
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
- Oral steroids
- 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
Also Check: How Do They Check For Kidney Infection
What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:
- Tenderness or pressure in the face .
- Post nasal drip .
- Nasal discharge or a stuffy nose.
- Toothache, ear pain and/or headache.
- Loss of the senses of taste and smell.
- Halitosis .
The combination of symptoms and the fact that they last for such a long period of time can make you miserable. You’ll probably have trouble sleeping through the night and may have dark circles under your eyes.
Also Check: Will Prednisone Help With Ear Infection
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Chronic Sinusitis
Remember, your health is your business. You do not have to put up with feeling ill for long periods of time. Pay attention to how long you have sinus symptoms because this is something that your care provider will ask you. Keep track of things that you have done to make yourself feel better. If medications are prescribed, make sure you store them and take them as instructed.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections
Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 5)
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.
Fall Allergies And Sinusitis
Autumn has arrived, and you canât stop sneezing and sniffling. You may be suffering from allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
Autumn has arrived, and you donât feel so good. You canât stop sneezing and sniffling. The return of cool weather leaves you feeling not invigorated but miserable.
Like all allergies, hay fever stems from a glitch in the immune system. Instead of attacking harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, it tries to neutralize âinvadersâ that ordinarily are quite harmless — in this case weed pollen grains that fill the air from August through October .
In someone with hay fever, inhaling these tiny particles triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions, resulting in the release of histamine, a protein that causes the all-too-familiar symptoms. In addition to sneezing, congestion, and fatigue, histamine can cause coughing post-nasal drip itchy eyes, nose, and throat dark circles under the eyes and asthma attacks.
You May Like: Best Otc Treatment For Sinus Infection
Sinus Infection Home Remedies
The doctor may want you to try home remedies if the infection canât be cured with antibiotics. There are many products out there that claim to cure sinus infections naturally but they aren’t typically backed up by any science. Instead, you may want to try a few tried and true methods listed in our other blog post.
You Have Asthma Which Might Be Connected To Sinus Infections
Ordon said that more than half of those who have asthma also have chronic sinusitis . If you have allergies and frequent sinus infections, he said steroid nasal sprays or antihistamines are typically recommended.
Don’t Miss: Antibiotics For Uti Bladder Infection