Sinus Infection Remedies and Cures!
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It afflicts 31 million people in the United States. People who have allergies, asthma, structural blockages in the nose or sinuses, or people with weak immune systems are at greater risk. Life's too short to struggle with sinus infections. Find an allergist near you to help with your symptoms. A bad cold is often mistaken for a sinus infection.
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Many symptoms are the same, including headache or facial pain, runny nose and nasal congestion. Unlike a cold, a sinus infection symptoms may be caused by bacterial infections. It often requires treatment with antibiotics drugs that kill the germs causing the infection. If you think you have a sinus infection, see your allergist for proper diagnosis.
In most cases, sinus infection treatment is easy. By stopping a sinus infection early, you avoid later symptoms and complications. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. It is often caused by bacterial germ infection. Sometimes, viruses and fungi molds cause it.
People with weak immune systems are more likely to develop bacterial or fungal sinus infection. Some people with allergies can have "allergic fungal sinus infection. A sinus infection lasting longer than eight weeks is considered chronic. An infection of the sinus cavity close to the brain can be life threatening, if not treated. In rare cases, it can spread to the brain. Normal sinuses are lined with a thin layer of mucus that traps dust, germs and other particles in the air. Tiny hair-like projections in the sinuses sweep the mucus and whatever is trapped in it towards openings that lead to the back of the throat.
From there, it slides down to the stomach. This continual process is a normal body function. A sinus infection stops the normal flow of mucus from the sinuses to the back of the throat. The tiny hair-like "sweepers" become blocked when infections or allergies cause tiny nasal tissues to swell. The swelling traps mucus in the sinuses. Some people have bodily defects that contribute to sinus infection. The most common of these defects are:. Common symptoms of sinus infection include:. Sinus infection sinusitis is often confused with rhinitis, a medical term used to describe the symptoms that accompany nasal inflammation and irritation.
Rhinitis only involves the nasal passages.
Treating Sinus Infections: Don’t rush to antibiotics
It could be caused by a cold or allergies. Allergies can play an important role in chronic long-lasting or seasonal rhinitis episodes. Nasal and sinus passages become swollen, congested, and inflamed in an attempt to flush out offending inhaled particles that trigger allergies. Pollen are seasonal allergens. Molds, dust mites and pet dander can cause symptoms year-round. Asthma also has been linked to chronic sinus infections. Appropriate treatment of sinus infection often improves asthma symptoms. Before, I was always thinking about my breathing.
Now I can go on my rides with confidence, knowing my condition is under control. Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:. If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem.
Sinusitis (sinus infection) - NHS
Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus or pus directly from the sinuses. Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics.
In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection — allergic fungal sinus infection, for example — do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids. Your allergist may consider ordering a sinus CT. This test can help to define the extent of the infection.
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Your allergist may also send you to a specialist in allergy and immunology. The specialist will check for underlying factors such as allergies, asthma, structural defects, or a weakness of the immune system. Biopsies: A danger of more serious types of fungal sinus infection is that the fungus could penetrate into nearby bone. Only a bone biopsy can determine if this has happened. Biopsies involving sinus tissue are taken with flexible instruments inserted through the nose. Biopsies of the sinus tissue are also used to test for immotile cilia syndrome, a rare disorder that can cause people to suffer from recurrent infections, including chronic sinus infection, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Antibiotics Antibiotics are standard treatments for bacterial sinus infections. Antibiotics are usually taken from 3 to 28 days, depending on the type of antibiotic. Because the sinuses are deep-seated in the bones, and blood supply is limited, longer treatments may be prescribed for people with longer lasting or severe cases. Overuse and abuse of antibiotics have been causing a major increase in antibiotic resistance. Therefore, patients with sinus symptoms should consider taking an antibiotic only if symptoms including discolored nasal discharge persist beyond days.
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Antibiotics help eliminate a sinus infection by attacking the bacteria that cause it, but until the drugs take effect, they do not do much to alleviate symptoms. Some over-the-counter medications can help provide relief. Topical nasal decongestants can be helpful if used for no more than three to four days. These medications shrink swollen nasal passages, facilitating the flow of drainage from the sinuses.
Is It a Cold or Sinus Infection?
Overuse of topical nasal decongestants can result in a dependent condition in which the nasal passages swell shut, called rebound phenomenon. Antihistamines block inflammation caused by an allergic reaction so they can help to fight symptoms of allergies that can lead to swollen nasal and sinus passages. Over-the-counter combination drugs should be used with caution.
Some of these drugs contain drying agents that can thicken mucus.