What Facts Should I Know About Sinus Infections?
Picture of the anatomy of the sinuses
What is the medical definition of sinus infection and sinusitis?
Sinus infection or sinusitis, is a common condition that refers to inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages.
What are the early signs and symptoms of a sinus infection or sinusitis?
The early symptoms of sinusitis include Runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, earache, pain or pressure around the eyes or cheekbones, facial swelling, dizziness, headache, sore throat, fever, bad breath, tooth pain or sensitive, fatigue, cough, loss of sense of smell, hearing loss, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
How do I know if I have a sinus infection?
- Sinus infections and sinusitis is diagnosed a history of the symptoms and perform a physical exam. Tests may include CT scans and ultrasound.
- Acute sinusitis usually lasts fewer than eight weeks or occurs no more than three times per year, with each episode lasting no longer than 10 days.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts longer than eight weeks or occurs more than four times per year, with symptoms usually lasting more than 20 days.
- Sinusitis can be caused by viruses, allergens, pollutants, bacteria, and fungi.
How do I get rid of a sinus infection?
Home remedies to help relieve symptoms of a sinus infection (sinusitis) you should drink plenty of water, inhale steam and use a humidifier, take hot, steamy showers, use mentholated preparations such as Vicks Vapor Rub, and iIrrigate the sinuses once or twice a day using a Neti pot or Sterile Saline Mist Spray. Use only distilled water in your Neti-Pot. Do not use tap water in a Neti-Pot because it has caused serious infections.
Over-the-counter (OTC) expectorants, decongestants, cough suppressants, nasal steroid sprays, and pain relievers can help alleviate symptoms. Prescription medications used for the treatment of sinusitis include intranasal or oral steroids. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent complications, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk of chronic sinusitis. Sinus surgery is a last resort for those who do not respond to medications.
How to prevent a sinus infection
Prevention of a sinus infection depends upon its cause, but the prognosis for sinus infections is usually good when treated promptly. Those with chronic sinusitis may have recurring bouts if there are structural or allergic causes.