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Sinus Infection 101

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Sinus Infection 101
Sinus Infection 101

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It could be a stuffy nose that won’t stop running or sinus pressure that makes your head feel like it’s about to pop. These symptoms are just two of the telltale signs of a dreaded sinus infection. This ailment can quickly turn a productive work week into a drag and keep you from enjoying your everyday life. But what exactly is a sinus infection and how can you get on the road to recovery? Keep reading to learn what can cause the illness, key symptoms to watch for, and how you can feel better in a snap.

What is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue in your nasal passages. There are 4 main types of sinusitis that you could be suffering from:

  • Acute Sinusitis: This is a very common type and can start off like a common cold. However, symptoms can last anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. 
  • Subacute Sinus Inflammation: Another type of infection, this has similar symptoms to a head cold and can last 4 to 12 weeks. 
  • Chronic Inflammation: Patients with this type can suffer symptoms for 12 weeks or longer. 
  • Recurrent Sinusitis: People who suffer from recurrent sinusitis can experience symptoms multiple times every year. 

What Symptoms Come With a Sinus Infection?

While sinusitis can affect everyone differently, there are a few key symptoms that are often signs of an infection in your body. Some symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Loss of smell
  • Nasal congestion
  • Persistent cough
  • Facial or sinus pressure

Other symptoms can include fever, dental pain, or even fatigue. It’s time to check in with your doctor if you experience a combination of these symptoms for more than 10 days or if they keep coming back. 

How Can I Treat My Symptoms?

Over the Counter Medications

There are quite a few methods to soothe sinusitis related pain. One of the most popular methods is the use of over the counter medications. Common medicines like Tylenol or Ibuprofen can reduce fevers and aches while decongestants can loosen up blocked nasal passages. 

Nasal Irrigation

Flushing out your nose is not the most fun thing in the world, but a quick rinse can do wonders for stubborn sinuses. Make a mixture of distilled water and salt and spray into your nose using a nasal sprayer or Neti pot. It may feel uncomfortable, but your sinuses will thank you later. 

Antibiotics

These meds are often the last line of defense against sinus infections. A round of antibiotics is usually reserved for patients who have been struggling with symptoms for more than 10 days or haven’t responded to other treatments. Your doctor may wait to prescribe high strength meds due to rising antibiotic resistance and potential side effects that come with the treatment. Always consult with a medical professional before beginning a new course of prescribed medicine.

How We Can Help

Do your symptoms fit the bill for sinusitis? The trained professionals at First Care Clinics are ready to provide relief for a wide range of sinus issues and get you back on track. Do your sinuses a favor and find your nearest location today. 

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