Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is the swelling or inflammation of tissue lining the sinuses. The sinuses are typically empty with a very thin layer of mucus. Their job is to help filter and humidify the air that enters your body.
However, in some situations, the lining of the sinuses can swell or become inflamed when they are blocked and filled with fluid, which becomes an inviting space for unwanted germs and infection.
There are two primary types of sinus infections, acute and chronic sinus infections.
Acute sinus infections lasts shorter than chronic ones, at only four weeks or less. They typically come about after a cold or other respiratory illness. Chronic sinus infections, on the other hand, can last more than three months and can continue to recur long after the first one goes away.
Let’s take a look at sinus infection symptoms and sinus infection treatment options that are available for you.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
Many of the symptoms you’ll find below can be associated with both acute and chronic sinus infections. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms and suspect you might have a sinus infection, contact your doctor and schedule a check-up and to begin getting treatment.
- Pain in the sinuses
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus headaches
- Throat irritation and cough
- Sore throat and hoarse voice
These are just a few of the most common or most noticeable symptoms of a sinus infection. If you suspect that you might have sinusitis, then it’s worth contacting your local doctor to be sure.
Sinus Infection Treatment
If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of a sinus infection, there are a variety of different solutions that you can look into.
Visiting your doctor is going to be one of the most effective ways to get treatment, as your doctor will be well-versed in dealing with sinus infections and the available treatment options that are best suited for you and your case of sinus infection. If you need to get ahold of a doctor, you can contact us at NCHS and we’ll help direct you to the healthcare center that is closest to you.
NCHS also has QuickCare centers available that are simple walk-in clinics that provide immediate and affordable healthcare. Visit our QuickCare page for more information about available locations and hours.
Visiting a doctor is recommended if you have a fever, notice a nasal discharge, are dealing with congestion, or are experiencing facial pain that lasts longer than a week and a half (or that keeps coming back). There may be other issues in addition to the sinus infection that you may not be able to identify or treat on your own.
If your sinus infection isn’t severe or you aren’t showing signs of other conditions, you can look at other home remedy sinus infection treatment solutions that may help you cope with the sinus infection symptoms you’re facing. Some solutions include using a nasal decongestant spray (a short-term solution, not to exceed three days use). Steroid nasal sprays are also an option to deal with congestion without the adverse risk of rebounding symptoms (as a result of extensive use).
Other over-the-counter medications and antibiotics for sinus infections are available to help you handle the symptoms of your sinus infection.
“How long do sinus infections last?” is a common question that we get. If you have an acute sinus infection, you can expect it to last less than four weeks, typically between one to two weeks when you have proper sinus infection treatment and care. Chronic sinus infections, on the other hand, are more severe and can last multiple weeks at a time. If you’re dealing with chronic sinusitis, it’s recommended that you contact a doctor or talk with a specialist for long-term treatment options.
Taking care of yourself, maintaining good hygiene, keeping your sinuses clear and moist, and sticking to the treatment solutions provided to you by your doctor can go a long way in helping to reduce the time spent dealing with your sinus infection.
“Are sinus infections contagious?” is another common question that we get here at NCHS. There is some disagreement among experts regarding whether or not a sinus infection is contagious. A good rule of thumb is that if you have a sinus infection, you should wash your hands frequently, dispose used tissues and avoid direct contact with other people, especially those who are more prone to infection (such as infants, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems).
If you have any other questions about sinus infections, don’t hesitate to stop by one of our locations or give us a call at the office nearest you.
Contact us today at North County Health Services to learn more about sinus infection treatment, symptoms, and more. NCHS QuickCare is a perfect solution for treating an unwanted sinus infection. Simply stop by during open hours at a time that’s convenient for you and we’ll get you taken care of.