18 Oct How to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection
A sinus infection (sinusitis) is a case by bacteria or a virus. According to the Mayo Clinic, antibiotics are not always necessary to treat a sinus infection. Most viral infections clear on their own. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges doctors to not treat sinus infection with antibiotics unless it is necessary. Overuse of antibiotics leads to medication resistance. If you are suffering from a sinus infection, there are things you can do to get rid of this.
How Long does a Sinus Infection Last?
A sinus infection could clear up as soon as a week or could persist longer than two weeks. If you have had sinus infection symptoms for more than a few days, it is best to see an urgent care center provider or a doctor at a primary care clinic. Symptoms of sinusitis include sinus facial pain, nasal congestion, headache, runny nose, and tooth pain. If you have these symptoms or have had them for longer than two weeks, it is considered subacute and could progress to a worse infection. Around half of all sinus infections will go away without antibiotics.
Cold Vs. Sinus Infection
Sinus infections and the common cold are similar. Sinus infections cause 73 million lost days of work each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that the common cold can lead to a sinus infection if it does not resolve promptly. Infections lasting longer than 10 days often progress to a bacterial sinus infection.
A common cold typically clears up within 3-6 days. The symptoms include watery nasal discharge that starts off clear and becomes white, greenish, or yellow. Other symptoms of a cold include a cough, sore throat, headache, sneezing, fatigue, and mucus build-up. With a sinus infection, symptoms include the runny/stuffy nose, headache, cough, bad breath, and sinus pressure. While the average American gets two colds per year, sinus infections are less common.
Sinus Infection Causes
Several factors can contribute to a sinus infection. These include:
- Allergies – Seasonal allergies can lead to inflammation that blocks nasal passages and prevents proper draining.
- Common cold – This can lead to swelling of the nasal tissue, plus inflammation of the sinuses that blocks the holds that normally allow for drainage.
- Bacterial infections – Bacteria affects healthy individuals if they become susceptible. Common bacteria that lead to sinus infections are Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- Nasal polyps – Nasal polyps are benign growths that develop in the nasal tissues. Polyps can also block nasal passages, which lead to headaches and restricted airflow.
- Irritants – Cigarette smoke and airborne pollutants are two tissue irritants that can lead to nasal congestion and infection.
- Dehydration – The weather and other things can deprive the body of moisture. Aside from general irritation, dry conditions cause thickening of mucus secretions. This leads to more blockages, which makes it harder for your sinuses to drain properly.
Causes of the Common Cold
Viruses cause the common cold. These include:
- Human rhinoviruses – There are 100 types of rhinoviruses, which are highly contagious. Recent studies show that human rhinoviruses manipulate genets, and this brings an overblown immune response that triggers cold symptoms.
- Coronaviruses – There are six coronaviruses that affect humans. This type of virus causes acute respiratory symptoms.
- Human parainfluenza virus – This leads to a mild infection in adults, but can cause severe lower respiratory tract illness in children.
- Adenovirus – Common cause of cold symptoms.