Stuffy, runny noses are the worst. But if your stuffy nose is accompanied by facial pain and pressure, then you might very well be downright miserable. All of these symptoms point to the dreaded sinus infection. Sinusitis, or sinus infections, take down roughly 37 million Americans per year. They cause runny, stuffy noses, facial pain, toothaches, headaches and fevers. Plus, they may last up to 8 weeks or longer. Sinus infections are horrible, nasty infections that can come on suddenly and completely wipe you out. If you’ve ever experienced one, then you know the pain and agony they can cause. The next time you experience these symptoms, come to Fast Pace Urgent Care. We’ll help you stop the infection before you become your symptoms get worse.
Types of Sinusitis
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissues that line the sinuses. Normal, healthy sinuses are filled with air and healthy pink tissue known as mucosa. When the mucosa becomes inflamed and the sinuses become blocked with fluid, bacteria can colonize the sinuses and cause widespread inflammation. Conditions that cause fluid to build up in the sinuses include the common cold, allergies, nasal polyps or a deviated septum. There are three different main types of sinusitis including:
- Acute Sinusitis
- Acute sinusitis typically lasts around 4 weeks or less and causes a sudden onset of cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose. This type of sinusitis is often also characterized by facial pain that stays constant for 10 to 14 days.
- Subacute Sinusitis
- Subacute sinusitis also causes cold-like symptoms and can last anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Chronic sinusitis is a condition that can last 8 weeks or longer and is characterized by extreme inflammation in the sinus cavities. This type of sinusitis also causes facial pain and cold-like symptoms throughout its duration.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
All three types of sinusitis produce similar symptoms since they are caused by the same types of bacteria and generalized inflammation. The primary symptoms of a sinusitis infection include:
- Facial pain or pressure
- Nasal stuffiness
- Runny nose
- Loss of smell or taste
- Cough and congestion
Additional symptoms of sinusitis may include:
- Low grade fever
- Bad breath and bad taste in mouth
- Dental or mouth pain
Acute sinusitis is often diagnosed when patients exhibit two or more of the above symptoms and have the presence of green or yellow nasal discharge that indicates an infection is present. The infection may be classified as subacute or chronic if it does not go away within 4 weeks.
What Causes Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a common condition that affects nearly 37 million Americans each year. The infection can be caused and aggravated by many lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and medical conditions. People who have the following medical conditions may be at a higher risk for developing sinusitis:
- Common cold
- Blockage of drainage ducts
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Immune deficiencies
Allergies, smoking, and secondhand smoke all contribute to a person’s risk of developing sinusitis as well. Children especially are at a higher risk if they have allergies and are constantly around other children at school or daycare who are sick. Children may also be at risk for developing sinusitis if they lay down to take their bottles throughout the day. In adults the greatest causes of sinusitis are frequent colds or infections and smoking.
What is the Treatment for Sinusitis?
Sinusitis can be diagnosed in a variety of manners. A physical exam will be conducted by a doctor and if they suspect sinusitis then they may order a nasal endoscopy, and X-ray, blood work or a CT scan to solidify their diagnosis. Sinusitis may also be diagnosed based solely on your symptoms and the physical exam. Once diagnosed your doctor may prescribe a few different treatments based on how long you have been sick. If you just recently became ill then you could be diagnosed with acute sinusitis. However if you have been sick for a few weeks, then they may diagnose you with chronic sinusitis and try a more aggressive treatment. If you have a simple sinus infection and are diagnosed with acute sinusitis then your doctor may recommend home treatments such as over-the-counter decongestants and steam inhalations. You may also receive antibiotics to clear the bacterial infection from your sinuses. Chronic sinusitis sufferers may be given antibiotics or oral steroids to clear their infection and inflammation. They may also utilized an air vaporizer, warm compresses and saline nose drops to break up their congestion and feel more comfortable.
Other treatment options for all types of sinusitis is to address the potential triggers or contributing factors to your infection. If you get sinus infections frequently then it may be in your best interest to determine any aggravating factors in your life that could be contributing to your illness. You can take allergy medication if allergies cause your sinus infections or quit smoking if you believe that smoking is a contributing factor. You may also keep an air vaporizer or humidifier in your home to keep the air inside your home moist and humid. Saline nasal spray is another wonderful home treatment that can clear bacteria from your sinuses and keep them healthy.
How Can I Feel Better?
Sinus infections can be painful and downright miserable. If you suffer from sinus infections often then you fully know the horrible symptoms that accompany any infection. To help you feel better, come to Fast Pace Urgent Care at the first sign of infection. We can diagnose your sinus infection quickly and give you prompt treatment to help mend your sinuses and get you back on your feet. With the help of Fast Pace Urgent Care you can stop your sinus infection in its tracks so that you can feel better and stay healthy.Leave a reply →