What are the best ways to treat a sinus infection? This is a common condition with varying levels of severity. The nasal cavities become infected and swollen. You may experience sinus pain, a runny nose, stuffiness, or even an ear infection.
Your sinuses are air filled cavities around the nose, in the forehead, cheeks and around the eyes. When sinuses are working properly, they drain easily. Clearing out dirt and bacteria. A sinus infection happens when the mucus is held in the sinuses and allows viruses or bacteria to grow in the moist stagnant environment.
It is possible that the infection could clear up without medical treatment. Or it could be something more serious that requires a professional’s attention. Our Colorado Springs ENT Doctors and allergists can provide treatments and get you on the road to recovery.
What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?
- Stuffy nose
- Extra mucus in throat
- Pressure in the face
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Feeling tired
- Jaw or teeth pain
Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are several treatments for these infections. The treatment options will be determined by the severity of the infection.
A low-level sinus infection may not require a doctor. If you experience thick mucus blocking your nasal passages, drink water and use a warm towel on your face, get rest and avoid allergens.
- Neti Pot – A 2016 study found that people who used nasal irrigation had fewer headaches and were less likely to need over-the-counter medications.
- Steam Inhalation – this is not an effective treatment but it has been known to relieve symptoms.
- Rest – People should get plenty of rest when fighting an infection.
- Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of clear fluids helps to keep you hydrated and can help loosen mucus.
- Warm compresses – Applying a warm compress to the face can help alleviate the pain and pressure from blocked sinuses.
Nasal Sprays for irrigation
Nasal sprays work well to reduce inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages. There are many over-the-counter medications that may offer relief. Sometimes, steroid spray or drops are needed to treat an infection. Our Colorado ENT doctors can determine if a nasal spray is the right way to go.
Nasal allergies can often result in a sinus infection. Mold, dust, pollen, and pet dander cause irritation in the nose. This leads to inflammation from your body producing histamine. Taking antihistamines can offer some relief. But if you have suffered from several instances of sinusitis, talk to an allergist to find the right long-term solution.
When to see a doctor for your sinus infection?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that people should see their doctor if a sinus infection lasts for over 10 days, or if symptoms continue for longer than 10 days after treatment.
Chronic Sinusitis happens if the infection lasts longer than 8 weeks or when someone experiences 4 or more infections in a year.
You should also see a doctor if you have a sinus infection for more than 10 days, if your symptoms worsen, if you experience several infections in a year, no improvement after taking OTC medications or have a temperature over 100.4°F (38°C).
Why is it important to get treatment for a sinus infection?
Chronic sinusitis is a painful problem that can cause headaches, tooth aches, and sinus pressure. If you go without treatment, a sinus infection could last for months. And rarely, going with out treatment can lead to severe conditions like meningitis or brain abscesses.
Do not wait to treat a sinus infection. Our ENT doctors diagnose sinus issues in adults and children and can provide you with an excellent treatment plan.
Antibiotics or nasal sprays and irrigation may help fight an infection. In more severe cases, oral steroids or more complex medical interventions may be needed.