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Are you tired of chronic, recurring sinus infections? Then its time to talk to a specialist about your treatment options. Our team provides the individualized care that you deserve, including one-on-one treatment with an ENT. We get to the root of the problem with an accurate diagnosis, then custom-design a treatment plan based on the unique needs of each patient.
Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses
Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.
Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.
You may feel pain in:
- your forehead
- on either side of your nose
- in your upper jaws and teeth
- between your eyes
This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.
Try Quercetin A Powerful Herb Youve Likely Never Heard Of
Quercetin is a natural plant component found in everything from onions and apples to green tea and red wine. Like many plant ingredients, it is an antioxidant. For sinus problems, quercetin has also been found to stabilize the cells in the body that release histamine the chemical that stimulates mucus secretion in the sinuses.
The Alternative Medicine Review article recommends quercetin as helpful for sinusitis, suggesting a typical oral dose of 400 to 500 mg taken three times per day.
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Getting Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
How can I get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics? Here are a few non-antibiotic treatment options you might consider:
If you find that these at-home sinus infections dont work, then it might be time to talk to a doctor for medical treatment.
Using Unverified Home Remedies
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According To Uptodate Over 98 Percent Of Rhinosinusitis Is Viral:
The most common cause of acute sinusitis is a viral infection associated with the common cold Bacterial sinusitis occurs much less commonly, in only 0.5 to 2 percent of cases, usually as a complication of viral sinusitis.
Because antibiotics are effective only against bacterial, and not viral, infections, most people with acute sinusitis do not need antibiotics and would be putting themselves at risk for medication side effects and for developing antibiotic resistance by taking them for nonbacterial sinusitis .
If a sinus infection lasts more than 7 to 10 days and is accompanied by fever, it may be bacterial. But, even if you have a bacterial infection, what if you dont want to take antibiotics?
Maybe youre concerned taking antibiotics will destroy your bodys good bacteria. Or youve read the recent study about antibiotics make viral infections potentially lethal?
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
This is called postnasal drip, and it may cause you to cough at night when youre lying down to sleep, and in the morning after getting up. It may also cause your voice to sound hoarse.
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Yoga Can Help Drain Mucus From Sinus Passageways
If you are in the midst of a sinus infection, a supported yoga pose where your head is elevated will help you feel better without putting too much pressure on your sinuses, says Leslie Kazadi, a certified yoga therapist who teaches around Los Angeles and online at YogisAnonymous.com.
One pose Kazadi suggests is Supported Reclined Cobblers Pose.
How to Try Supported Reclined Cobblers Yoga Pose
Most Sinus Infections Dont Require Antibiotics
Ah, . The New England Journal of Medicine published a clinical practice review of acute sinus infections in adults, that is, sinus infections of up to four weeks. The need for an updated review was likely spurred by the disconcerting fact that while the vast majority of acute sinus infections will improve or even clear on their own without antibiotics within one to two weeks, most end up being treated with antibiotics.
It is this discrepancy that has clinical researchers and public health folks jumping up and down in alarm, because more unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics mean more side effects and higher bacterial resistance rates. But on the other hand, while 85% of sinus infections improve or clear on their own, theres the 15% that do not. Potential complications are rare, but serious, and include brain infections, even abscesses.
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.
The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as from pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.
It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.
In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.
In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.
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How I Healed My Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Lying in bed with a sinus infection is painful, but with the right treatment it can be over soon. You may think that antibiotics are the only way to cure sinus infections, but at Express ER in San Antonio we know that there is more than one way to heal the body. Overuse of antibiotics is causing bacteria to become resistant to these medicines, making them ineffective.
Sinus Infections are rarely ever due to true bacterial infections, but you can make sure by making a trip to a local emergency room in NE San Antonio. The correct term for common sinus infections would be acute rhinosinusitis, or acute inflammation of sinuses and the nose. The cause of this inflammation varies, from the common cold to allergies and irritation of the sinus.
Sinus Infection Home Remedies And Prevention
Along with treatment, specific home remedies can help you improve faster and keep the symptoms at a tolerable level for the duration that the sinus infection exists. Also, you can even give yourself a better chance to prevent obtaining an acute sinus infection altogether with proper lifestyle changes in place.
For home remedies, rest and eating healthy is the best way to recover promptly. When the body is fighting off a sinus infection, or any infection for that matter, it needs proper rest and nutrients to do so. With that said, there are several quick, easy things to do while you rest, such as:
- Stay hydrated
- Clean out your nasal passageway
- Elevate your head while sleeping
- Place a humidifier in your home
- Take hot showers
Ultimately, it comes down to the focus on relieving the pressure built up in your sinuses. The best way to do that is to keep your nasal passageway from getting clogged. Using a warm compress, placing a humidifier in your home and elevating your head while resting is all excellent tactic to implement to keep the nasal passageway clear and breathing easily.
So how do you prevent a sinus infection from occurring in the first place? While it is not always possible to avoid, there are precautions you can take to help minimize your risk, including:
- Receiving a flu shot
- Keeping your distance from others who are sick
- Planning for an allergy attack
- Practice good hygiene
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What Are Complications Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for a sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency .
In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye . Rarely, these infections may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems, diabetes, and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.
But Sometimes Antibiotics For Sinus Infections Are Needed
So how does one judge when it is appropriate to prescribe antibiotics for a sinus infection? There are several sets of official guidelines, which are all similar. When a patient has thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pressure or pain for at least 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment. If a patient has had those symptoms, but the symptoms seemed to start improving and then got worse again, then even if its been less than 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment.
The authors, however, also suggest that doctors discuss watchful waiting with patients and explain that most sinus infections clear up on their own in one to two weeks, and its a safe option to hold off on antibiotics. The symptoms can then be treated with a cocktail of over-the-counter medications and supportive care, like nasal saline irrigation, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants, and pain medications.
Of course, many patients expect and demand antibiotics for sinus infections, and even those who are open to watchful waiting may hear about the rare but possible complications of things like, oh, brain abscess, and opt to treat.
In the case of my patient above, she met criteria for treatment. She weighed the watchful waiting option against the potential risks of antibiotics for her sinus infection, and chose the prescription. I can tell you from very close follow-up that she improved quickly, though in truth, we will never really know if she would have gotten better anyway.
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What If You Want To Treat The Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Ive been extraordinarily lucky.
I havent personally been plagued with sinus infections. But my husband James, and my co-author Dr. Paul Thomas, and lots of people I know frequently get them.
I asked these good folks for recommendations for the best ways to treat sinus infection without antibiotics.
Lets talk about those treatment options for sinus infections without antibiotics. Then, lets talk about how to drill down to the root causes of sinus infections. After we figure that out, those sinus infections can stop ruining your life.
Here we go.
Can You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
For most healthy people, even a moderate sinus infection can be cleared up if the nasal passages are allowed to drain. There are many different over-the-counter medications and home remedies that can provide relief from nasal congestion, and in some cases sinus infections can be handled by your bodys immune system.
Over-the-counter medications to treat sinus issues fall into a few different categories depending on your symptoms. Decongestants and antihistamines are designed to help alleviate the swelling that is preventing normal sinus drainage. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help with reducing swelling and inflammation. Many cold and allergy relief drugs are a combination of two or three of these components.
In recent years, decongestant nasal sprays have become more popular, but increasing research is showing there can be dangers to this form of treatment. You should always be careful when using nasal sprays, and always follow treatment directions carefully. In most cases, you should not use a nasal spray for more than three days, as there is a risk of your nasal congestion getting worse over time with long-term use of sprays.
In addition to treating the sinus blockage itself, many people find it useful to take OTC pain relievers to alleviate the facial pain caused by swollen nasal passages. While pain medication such as ibuprofen will not reduce the amount of congestion, it can help you feel better while your sinus cavities heal.
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How Can I Treat Chronic Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis , you understand all too well that its a painful condition. As it lingers for weeks on end, you grow weary of having to endure unpleasant, irritating symptoms.
You may even plead with your doctor to give you an antibiotic, expecting instant relief.
In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will address if you can treat chronic sinus infections without antibiotics.