What is a Sinus Infection?
Sinus infections are a serious health problem that plagues 31 million people in the U.S. If you have asthma, structural blockages in the nose or sinuses, or have allergies, you are most at risk of getting a sinus infection. Sinus infections, or sinusitis, generally occur when a bacterial infection causes an inflammation of the sinuses. If you are suffering from a sinus infection, you should contact Vermont Urgent Care for sinus infection treatment.
It is easy to mistake a cold for a sinus infection. Cold and sinus infections have shared symptoms that include facial pain, headache, nasal congestions and/or a runny nose. Other common symptoms include:
- Bad Breath
- Postnasal Drip
- Face Tenderness
- Frontal Headache
- Greenish Nasal Discharge
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
Rhinitis, a medical term used to describe symptoms of nasal irritation and inflammation, can cause a sinus infection. Typically caused by allergies or a cold, the infection only affects your nasal passages. Sinus and nasal passages become inflamed, congested, and swollen as they attempt to purge the nasal passage of inhaled irritants.
Some people can have chronic sinusitis that is not caused by an infection and can develop chronic nasal irritation and inflammation.
What is the Treatment for a Sinus Infection?
- Antibiotics – Standard treatment for sinus infections are antibiotics and are prescribed for 3 to 29 days. If your sinus infection is more severe, a longer treatment will be prescribed. Antibiotics will attack the bacteria responsible for your sinus infection. Unfortunately, symptoms will remain until the drugs fully take effect.
- Nasal Decongestant Spray – These types of sprays are helpful for 3-4 days. They help shrink your swollen nasal passages to increase the drainage from your sinuses and can temporarily provide relief.
- Nasal Saline Wash – A nasal saline wash will help clear the thickened secretions from your nasal passages.
- Topical Nasal Corticosteroids – Your doctor may prescribe a nasal corticosteroid that will help reverse swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages. The medicine will also help shrink and prevent the recurrence of nasal polyps, which are non-cancerous growths that can appear in the lining of the nasal passages.
- Antihistamines – Sometimes, allergies can result in irritated and swollen nasal passages and an antihistamine will block inflammation caused by such allergies.
If you have a sinus infection or experience chronic sinusitis, please call us at (213) 386-2511 or schedule an appointment for sinus infection treatment.