How to get rid of a sinus infection? It is a commonly asked question by those who get sinusitis. Before knowing how to cope with this situation, it is important to know what sinusitis is all about. The sinuses filter and moisten the air we take into our body. Sinus has membranes that contain mucus and tiny hair. They act as a safeguard and protect nasal passage from dust and pollutants. Normally, sinus secretions keep moving and draining into the nasal cavity. If you have a sinus infection or sinusitis, the mucus becomes thick and the secretion is blocked. Sinusitis is a term refers to a sinus infection. It is an inflammation of nasal passages. It is usually painful. Sinusitis can be acute or chronic. Symptoms are the same but the time period to fully recover from them is different. A person suffering from acute sinusitis can take four weeks to recuperate from it whereas chronic sinusitis can hang on from several weeks to years. Allergies and fungus and some structural problems of nasal passage can cause a sinus infection.
When you look for the treatment of sinus infection, here are some points that you should keep in your mind.
Objectives For The Treatment Of Sinus Infection:
Table of Contents
- Finding ways to release mucus from the nasal passage and reduce inflammation.
- Eliminate the sinus infection.
- Get rid of the pain caused by sinusitis.
- Inhibit the development of scar tissues as sometimes the chronic sinusitis is caused by the tissues instead of mucus.
- Taking care of the tissues lining the nose and the sinuses.
So, here are some ways to get back when you get a sinus infection.
How To Deal With A Sinus Infection?
Antibiotics can help if the sinus infection is due to bacterial infection. You may take two weeks to recover with the help of antibiotics in the case of acute sinusitis. But, for chronic sinusitis, the time period would be definitely longer. Keep it in your mind that antibiotics are going to work only for bacterial infections. If the sinus infection is because of any virus or any other complication, antibiotics won’t be a great help. Antibiotics like amoxicillin are specially meant for treating chronic sinusitis, but you cannot take them without the doctor’s advice. Always take antibiotics as advised by your doctor. Your doctor will suggest the dosage and the number of days you have to take the antibiotic. It depends on the severity of the infection. Antibiotics can also be given to the children in the case of a sinus infection after seeking the doctor’s advice. If your child is not showing any progress even after taking antibiotics and seems to develop chronic sinusitis, you must take your child to an ENT specialist. He can examine in a better way and can also suggest surgery if needed.
If you know that you that you are allergic then allergy medicine will help you to tackle the situation. But, if you are not sure, you can have an allergy test. In the case of allergy, you can take an antihistamine. Antihistamine reduces histamine which is the main cause of making your nose swell. It may also cause a runny nose and eyes. Antihistamine is available in different forms like tablet, capsules, liquids and nasal sprays. Medicines that are commonly used are Sudafed, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin. You can also have allergy shots. It makes you less sensitive towards the conditions that trigger the sinusitis.
Painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be a great help. They are soothing and makes one comfortable, but prolong use can be harmful. But, prolong use of painkillers must be avoided as they are sedative and can affect your working ability.
Decongestants are available in the form of nasal sprays and pills. They help in reducing the swelling of the nasal passages. You can use them three to four times a day. Prolong use can cause adverse effects. So, must follow the instructions provided on the label. Nasal decongestant sprays like phenylephrine and oxymetazoline can give you the relief that will not last longer. If you continue using them for two weeks, it will create rebounding effects and will make the symptoms worse.
Steroids are also advised by the doctors in some cases. They are inhaled and taken by mouth as well. Inhaled steroids supply the medicine directly to the inflamed area. If the inhaled steroids are not found effective, the oral intake is recommended. They are available in the forms of pills. They reduce the size of the polyps and the inflammation as well which allow the steroids to work more effectively. Steroid nasal sprays like fluticasone and mometasone can help in relieving nasal congestion. They can be used for a long period of time without having any doubts about rebound symptoms.
If you are prone to sinus infections and tired of taking treatments for sinusitis, you can opt for surgery. Sinus surgery and endoscopic surgeries are meant for this purpose. But, the endoscopic surgery is more preferred. Conditions like the development of pus in the sinus, any infection or brain abscess can be treated with the sinus surgery. In the sinus surgery, an opening is made into the sinus through the skin or from inside the mouth to clear the obstruction. In endoscopic surgery, an endoscope is inserted through the nose to allow the doctor to see properly and remove the blockage. Some people do not recover properly even after undergoing surgical treatment and have to go through a second surgery. To make your surgery successful, take medicine after surgery. Antibiotics after surgery help in stopping any further infection and you can avoid the chances of the second surgery.
To fully understand the sinusitis, you can go through the symptoms that are mentioned below.
Symptoms of a Sinus Infection:
Sore and inflamed sinuses can build up pressure and cause pain in the area between your eyes, nose, forehead, and your upper jaw and teeth. You can also have a headache which is severe in the morning time. It is because the mucus keeps accumulating while you are asleep. So, when you get up you experience a headache. Change in temperature may also lead to a headache.
A Runny Nose:
Infected sinus can cause nasal discharge. It can be greenish yellow in color. You may also experience postnasal drip. In this condition, you feel the nasal discharge flowing down your throat. This nasal discharge irritates you more when you are lying and causes a cough.
Nasal congestion relates to swollen nasal tissues, building up of mucus and sinus pain which do not let you breathe properly. It also affects our sense of smell and taste.
Nasal discharge creates difficulty in breathing which causes a cough. The early morning time and the bedtime are more affected by this condition. To make yourself at ease, try to sleep with your body little elevated. Raised up body will result in less nasal drip and you can sleep better. You can take some rest in a sitting position as well.
You can have a sore throat as the postnasal drip can irritate your throat and make it painful. You can see its effects on your voice as well which is croaky now.
It is not a common symptom, but still one can have this. In fact, many of the symptoms mentioned above like a sore throat, pain or congestion can be the reason for an increase in the temperature.
Causes of Sinus Infection:
Here are the causes for an acute sinus infection which can also lead to chronic sinus infection.
The virus causes cold in which the nasal tissues are inflamed. Thus, colds become the reason for the sinus infection. If you want to stay away from a sinus infection, try to protect yourself from the cold. Antibiotics do not work if the sinus infection is caused by the virus.
Allergies are linked to sinus infections a lot. People who have allergies are more prone to sinus infections as these allergies develop sensitivity. So, if you want to stay away from a sinus infection, try to avoid those circumstances that trigger your allergies. Use antihistamine and nasal sprays to control the allergies.
Another cause of sinusitis is bacteria. Unlike a virus, they can be treated with antibiotics. Bacteria are already there in the nasal passage. When a person is suffering from any respiratory tract infection and the draining is blocked, these bacteria multiply within the congested lining and cause sinusitis. Bacteria like Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Haemophilius influenza are mostly related with acute sinusitis. Whereas some bacteria are linked with chronic sinusitis. However, we cannot ignore the fact that bacterial sinusitis has severe symptoms and persists longer than viral sinusitis.
Nasal polyps are fleshy swellings. They are non-cancerous. They can grow in clusters and can block the nasal cavities. They do not let the mucus drain out from the nasal passage. Thus, they lead to nasal infections. Polyps affect your sense of smell. They can also cause snoring, postnasal drip, and headache and can be treated with nasal steroid sprays. Some cases require surgery, but the polyps may come back.
If you are sensitive and catch infections easily, do not stay in the swimming pool for long. The water in the swimming pool contains chlorinated water that can aggravate the sinuses. Diving can also harm your sinuses. When you dive, the water enters into your sinus vigorously and causes inflammation of the tissues.
Those who travel by air a lot can have a sinus infection. When the plane is landing or taking off, the air pressure is reduced in the flight. This can block your sinuses. To keep your sinuses open, use decongestant nasal drops.
Toxic wastes, fumes, and dust act as irritants. They cause a cough and block the nasal passage and become the cause of sinus infection. You cannot breathe properly which results in a headache. They affect the function of the nose and the sense of smell. Nasal steroid spray is an easy solution to treat them. In some cases, a short course of an oral steroid is also suggested. Surgery is also an option to treat this problem.
Though it is very rare, still it is considered as a cause of sinusitis. It can cause chronic sinusitis. The weak immune system can be the reason for fungal sinusitis. It can affect your vision and cause a headache and fever. If the vision problem prolongs to 10 days, must consult your doctor. Surgery, anti-fungal therapy and the scraping of the infected sinus are considered reliable ways to get rid of this condition.
Misusing Nasal Products:
Nasal products give relief in the nasal congestion, but they must be used properly. You feel a quick relief in the beginning. But, this is temporary. After some time your nose becomes less responsive and you need more and more of the nasal decongestants. So, overuse of nasal sprays can make your condition worse and can cause rebound nasal congestion. It is better to discontinue the use after four to five days.
Dryness of Nasal Passages:
Dryness can make your sinus infection worse. When mucus remains in the nasal passage for a long period of time, it loses it moisture and becomes thick. Try to maintain moisture in your nose. Use saline sprays, humidifiers and drink plenty of water.
Smokers are more likely at the risk of a sinus infection than the non-smokers. Cigarette and cigar smoke can make your nasal passage inflamed. It also affects the working efficiency of our natural cleaning system. Mucus is accumulated in the sinus and obstructs the nasal passage.
If you have any structural abnormality by birth, you are more likely to catch any sinus infection. Narrow nasal passage, cleft palate or any tumor can hinder the mucus drainage. If mucus remains in the nasal passage for long, it can catch any viral or bacterial infection. This problem can be treated well with the help of surgery.
Many chronic conditions including cystic fibrosis worsen the immune system. They make the mucus thick and cause soreness in the nasal cavity. Certain diseases like diabetes and HIV infections affect a person’s ability to fight infections and a person can easily catch infection including sinusitis.