Sinus Infections Treatment Specialist Q&A
Sinusitis is an infection of the tissues in your sinuses. It causes facial pain, a stuffy or runny nose, fever, and other symptoms. Sinusitis is typically caused by the common cold, but it can also be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and allergies. Contact our specialist, Dr. Curtis Grote, MD, and his team at Fast Aid Urgent Care if your symptoms do not improve if sinusitis occurs frequently, or if you have any other symptoms that concern you. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Bulverde Rd San Antonio TX, Bastrop TX, Alamo Ranch San Antonio TX, La Grange TX, Leon Springs San Antonio TX, New Braunfels TX, Potranco Road San Antonio TX, and Dripping Springs TX.
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The first sign of a sinus infection is usually a runny and stuffy nose. When your sinuses fill, you’ll likely feel pain and pressure below, above, and behind your eyes. You may experience a post-nasal drip, in which the excess mucus will run down the back of your nose and your throat. This may result in a wet cough or sore throat and could lead to bad breath. Due to the congestion, you may have a decreased sense of smell. Often with infections, as your body’s immune system is active and your energy resources are depleted, you will feel fatigued.
While most of these symptoms are synonymous with a common cold, there are a few signs to look for when indicating a sinus infection. The mucus draining from your nose and throat may be thick and colored yellow or green. This discoloration occurs when large amounts of white blood cells are called to fight the infection in the immune system. Dead white blood cells, the virus or bacteria causing the infection, and other waste products are flushed out of the body via the mucus. Subsequently, bad breath is an indicator of something more than a cold, like an infection. Further, fevers seen in the common cold are rarely recorded above 101 degrees Fahrenheit and stay within “low-grade” fever parameters. Contrarily, sinus infections can cause fever spikes, often exceeding a low-grade measurement.
Typically, sinus infections remain acute and will clear up on their own within about ten days. However, if your symptoms do not improve within ten days, it is advised that you seek medical care. A fever may be present as your immune system fights the infection; you should see a doctor if your fever is persistent after three to five days.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you measure 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher fever. Chronic sinusitis is seen when symptoms persist past twelve weeks (three months). In this case, the infection may not improve despite multiple rounds of antibiotics and could return.
The majority of sinus infections do not need antibiotic treatment, and it is best to let your body’s natural immune system fight the infection so long as you are not immunocompromised. With the unnecessary use of antibiotics, the worry of antibiotic-resistant infections in the future arises, as do side effects. That said, there are many things you can do at home to ease your symptomatic experience. First, a warm compress over the nose and forehead will help to relieve the pressure built up in the filled sinuses. Pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can also help alleviate pressure.
Decongestant medication can also reduce swelling in the sinuses and nasal passageways. These medications come as nasal sprays and pills that can be bought over the counter. A common nasal spray to ease inflammation is oxymetazoline, branded as Afrin, and Vicks Sinus Nasal Spray. In addition, many pharmacists recommend pseudoephedrine, branded as Sudafed, in pill form. If allergies cause your congestion, antihistamines can be used to control symptoms such as runny noses, sniffling, watery eyes, and sneezing. Menthol vapor rubs may also be used; while they don’t relieve congestion, menthol provides a cooling sensation that makes you feel as though your breathing is easier.
Most sinus infections are minor and resolve on their own, but if your symptoms don’t improve within about ten days and are left untreated, they can persist and worsen. This may develop into chronic sinusitis, in which symptoms may become severe and last longer than three months. A chronic sinus infection may not respond easily to antibiotic treatment and can return.
In addition, like other infections, if a sinus infection is left to worsen, it can spread to other body areas and cause more harm. For example, the closest body structure to the sinuses, the eyes, may become infected, though it is not probable. In addition, a sinus infection can travel to the brain in rare cases, resulting in meningitis, the inflammation of the protective layers covering the brain (meninges), or a brain abscess. If you are experiencing a sinus infection, contact our team of healthcare professionals today at Fast Aid Urgent Care through our website. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Bulverde Rd San Antonio TX, Windcrest TX, Selma TX, Bastrop TX, Paige TX, Smithville TX, Alamo Ranch San Antonio TX, Leon Valley TX, Helotes TX, La Grange TX, Rabbs Prairie TX, Halsted TX, Leon Springs TX, Fair Oaks Ranch TX, Cross Mountain TX, New Braunfels TX, Hunter TX, Zorn TX, Potranco Road San Antonio TX, Rio Medina TX, Rolling Oaks Estates TX, Dripping Springs, TX, Saddletree Ranch TX, and Belterra TX.