Do you suffer from a sinus infection as a result of some disease or allergies?
Well! Sinus infections often occur in the nasal cavity and cause infection, swelling, or inflammation in it.
Sinus infection or rhinosinusitis occurs when the hollow cavities in your sinus contain mucus.
It is present in the hollow cavities and is about an inch across, your cheekbones hold the maxillary sinuses, i.e the largest cavities, however, the lower center o your forehead contains the frontal sinuses.
It is important to note that between your eyes are the ethmoid sinuses, and behind your nose are sphenoid sinuses.
These are linked with soft pink ties Mucosa. Most often your sinus cavities are empty, except they contain a thin layer of mucus.
A sinus infection occurs due to a viral infection and often continues even after other respiratory symptoms leave your body.
In some cases, it can be due to a bacterial infector or fungus, though, they are very rare.
Let’s learn more about it in detail.
Types of Sinus Infection
There are different types of sinus infections. These include Nasal discharge, sinus headaches, nasal congestions, chronic sinus, and acute sinus.
These types are defined by the tome they persist, discharge, causes of the conditions, etc.
Let’s discuss them as follows:
If you are suffering from a sinus infection, you will have to blow your nose more often.
This nasal discharge can be green, yellow, or cloudy and comes from the infected sinuses and drains into the nasal passages.
Moreover, this discharge can also pass through your nose and drain down at the back of your throat.
It can also occur in the morning after you wake up and make your voice sound hoarse.
In case inflammation occurs in the sinus, it can restrict your breathing through the nose.
This infection often causes swelling this blocking the nasal passages and sinuses.
Moreover, you will not be able to smell or taste anything as you normally do and your voice may also sound ‘stuffy’.
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Other Types of Sinus Infections
Other types of sinus infections are as follows:
Sinus infection can cause pressure and swelling that often leads to headaches.
Pain due to this infection can also give you earaches, dental pain, and pain in the jaws and cheeks.
It is important to note that the headache may be severe in the mornings as the fluids have been collecting in your sinus all night.
It can also get worse when the biometric pressure of the environment suddenly changes.
Stuffed, runny nose, and pressure on the cheekbones, near your eyes, or over the forehead are often the symptoms of acute sinus.
Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the membranes that lines your nose and surrounding sinuses.
Moreover, it often impends your ability to drain mucus and is due to cold-causing a viral infection.
However, it can be due to non-infectious causes. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, this one is the most common type of infection.
This one affects about 1 in 8 adults every year.
An important thing to keep in mind is that the symptoms of chronic sinusitis can last for 3 months.
Due to this condition, the tissues inside the sinus can become inflamed and blocked for longer periods of time.
Moreover, about 30 million Americans have this condition, however, it can also make breathing difficult. Long-term inflammation and blockage in the sinus cavities cause it.
Difference between Chronic and Acute Sinus
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, acute sinus lasts for a short period of time. and can last for less than 4 weeks in most cases.
It occurs due to cold or other respiratory illnesses.
On the other hand, chronic sinus can last for more than 12 weeks and can also recur.
Facial pain, infected nasal discharge, and congestion in the nasal cavity are the main criteria for it. Moreover, the symptoms of acute and chronic sinus, both are mostly the same.
Thus, it is important to consult your doctor to learn about your infection, find its causes, and get the treatment.
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Symptoms of a Sinus Infection
Symptoms of sinus infection are as follows:
Pain in the Sinuses
One of the most common symptoms of sinus is pain and if your sinuses present above and below your eyes and behind the nose hurts, it is a sinus infection.
Slight pressure, inflammation, and swelling in your sinus can lead to aches or hurting.
Moreover, you can also feel pain in the forehead, on either side of your nose, jaws, and teeth.
It can also result in pain between your eyes and can cause headaches.
Throat Irritation and Coughing
In case the discharge from the sinus drains into the throat it can cause irritation and it can be long-term and lead to persistent coughing.
Coughing can also get worse when you lie down or wake up in the morning, thus, causing difficulty sleeping.
For this, try to sleep upright with your head elevated to reduce the intensity of coughs.
Sore Throat and Hoarse Voice
Raw and aching throat can result from postnasal drip and can start as a tickle, and can get worse and cause irritation.
If this infectious disease lasts for weeks or more, the mucus leads to irritation and inflammation of your throat.
This can moreover, result in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice.
Visiting the Doctor
If you have the following:
- nasal discharge
- congestion in the sinus cavities
- facial pain that lasts for 10 days or more
Then it is important to visit your doctor or book an appointment. Moreover, a fever is not a usual sign of acute or chronic sinus, however, it can develop.
In some cases, some underlying medical conditions can also cause chronic infections to recur.
In this case, you will need to visit a specialist doctor or a special treatment may be required to treat the underlying medical condition.
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Treating Sinus Infections
There are a number of treatment options available for the treatment of sinus infections.
Most often, you can treat this infection at some if you are suffering from an acute or short-term infection.
However, if the cause of infection is chronic, it can often cause pain in your head and pain.
You can also develop fever, and in this case, you will need to visit the doctor for treatment.
Nasal decongestants like oxymetazoline can help to relieve short-term sinus infections, however, you should avoid using it for more than 3 days.
This is because nasal decongestants can cause a rebound effect in nasal congestion. Keep in mind that if make also make the congestion worse if you use it for long periods of time.
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe steroid nasal spray like triamcinolone or mometasone to relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion.
These sprays help to reduce the risk of rebound and are also available as OCT medications.
However, if you are suffering from allergies, then you can use OTC medications that contain antihistamines and decongestants.
- Allegra, etc.
Thus, consult your doctor before taking any medication to make sure it is the right choice for your condition.
Antibiotics for Sinus Infection
Certain antibiotics like amoxicillin can help to treat acute sinus that is not affected by other treatments.
These treatments are nasal decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, pain medications, or sinus irrigation.
It is important to consult your doctor before taking antibiotics, as they can cause side effects.
These side effects include rash, diarrhea, or stomach issues.
Moreover, the overuses of antibiotics can lead to superbugs which are bacteria causing serious infections and are often not treated easily. Getting flu shots before the season changes can also prevent sinus infections from developing.
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A number of studies suggest that nasal irrigation is effective for both acute and chronic sinuses.
Moreover, it is also helpful for treating allergic rhinitis and seasonal allergies.
Many doctors recommend that you can use tap water by boiling it and allowing it to cool, or you can even use water from the filtration system.
You can also mix OTC premixed solutions for this process as well.
To make nasal solutions at home, mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/2 teaspoon o table salt and 1/2 tsp of baking soda.
By spraying this mix into your nasal cavity, it can help relieve the symptoms of congestions.
Moreover, it helps to clear the sinus for discharge, relieve dryness, and flush allergies. You can use salt water alone as well.
Herbal treatments have been used for many years for the treatment of sinus infections.
For example, GeloMytrol contains essential oils and Sinupret is a mixture of elderflower, cowslip, sorrel, verbena, and gentian root.
Different studies show that these are effective treatments for acute and chronic sinusitis.
However, you should not use herbs or their mixture all by yourself as using too little or too much can cause side effects like allergy or diarrhea.
Sinus Infection in Children
If your child is suffering from a sinus infection, it can also affect their nose and ears due to allergies.
They may have this infection if they are showing the following signs and symptoms:
A common cold that lasts for more than 7 days along with fever, thick or yellow drainage from the nose, and swelling around the eyes.
Thus, it is important to consult your child’s doctor as they can prescribe a better treatment. Moreover, nasal sprays, saline sprays, and pain relievers are effective for children to treat a sinus infection.
However, do not give OTC cold or cough medications or decongestants if they are under 2 years of age.
Most often children recover without antibiotics from a sinus infection.
The doctor may prescribe antibiotics in case of severe sinus infection or if there are other conditions.
They may also ask you to visit an ENT specialist or otolaryngologist if your child is not responding to antibiotics or develop chronic sinusitis.
Preventing Sinus Infection
One of the best ways to prevent sinus infection is to avoid irritants.
Smoking causes sinusitis in most cases and can damage the lining of your nose, throat, mouth, and respiratory system.
You can consult your doctor and discuss with them how to avoid or quit smoking. It is also important to keep your sinus from irritation or infections by viruses or bacteria present on your hands.
In case of your sinus is allergies, talk to your doctor on how you can prevent them.
Moreover, if you are allergic to certain materials that cause persistent sinus symptoms, get treatment for the allergies.
Consult your doctor or allergy specialist for immunotherapy shots pr similar treatment.
Thus, you can keep them under control to help prevent sinus infections.
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The Bottom Line
Treating acute sinus infection with proper care and medications can help get rid of it within a week, however, for chronic sinus, you will need a specialist for long-term treatment.
Good hygiene, treating the symptoms as soon as they occur can shorten the course of infection. There are different treatment options available, however, if the infection recurs, then visit your doctor for treatment.