When Do You Need To Visit An Urgent Care For Nasal Congestion
Having a head cold doesnt necessarily mean that you need to talk to a doctor. With proper care at home, the symptoms will usually clear up within a week to ten days. In fact, some people find its not worth visiting the doctor for minor symptoms because antibiotics cant be used for viral infections.
The real concern can occur when you have an upper respiratory infection that turns into a sinus infection. When nasal congestion occurs due to a head cold or allergies, it can cause the sinuses to swell and become inflamed, which affects the way mucus drains out of the sinus cavities. As a result, the conditions create the right environment where germs can grow in the sinuses.
The stagnation of mucus can lead to the development of a bacterial infection, which will increase the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. Your immune system might not be able to fight off the bacteria, resulting in the development of a sinus infection that requires medical treatment.
Pay attention to your symptoms, so you know when it is time to talk to a doctor about your illness. You should visit a local doctor if you experience one or more of the following issues:
- Severe facial pain, especially in the sinus areas
- Symptoms remain for 10 or more days
- Persistent fever for 4+ days
- You feel like you are getting better, then the symptoms worsen again
- A severe headache with the nasal congestion
- Other symptoms that seem concerning or unusual
What Are The Symptoms Of Throat Infection
You may experience throat infection symptoms for several weeks at a time. It is important to remember that if these symptoms subside during treatment of a bacterial throat infection, it does not mean that the infection is gone: you should continue to take your medication as directed. If any of these symptoms become severe, if it becomes difficult to breathe, or if your exceeds 101 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention.
Is It Strep Throat Or Tonsillitis
Mom, my throat hurts.
This is a very common complaint among school-age children. Parents may wonder, is it time for antibiotics, or is this a virus that has to run its course? Its difficult to determine the cause of a sore throat: It could be the result of anything from allergies to heartburn. However, two of the most common causes of throat pain are strep throat and tonsillitis. These two diseases have similar symptoms but are treated differently.
Tonsillitis is often caused by a virus, and antibiotics will not be effective against it. Strep throat is an infection that, if not treated, can cause serious problems that affect the heart and lungs.
So how can you tell the difference? Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis, but here are some helpful guidelines.
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Symptoms Before Onset Of Fms/cfs
Jessop’s patients’ symptoms before the onset of their CFS or FMS were:
80% constant gas or bloating
89% recurrent childhood ear, nose, throat infections
90% of the females had PMS prior to CFS/FMS
22% had generalized anxiety disorders prior to their illness
sleep problems were present in only 1% before CFS/FMS.
Analysis of this information, and comparison with the list of commonly associated FMS symptoms, helps to focus on underlying processes. For example:
Only 1% of Jessop’s patients reported prior sleep problems whereas by the time a diagnosis of FMS or CFS was made the sleep patterns of over 90% were severely disrupted.
The high level of patients displaying subnormal temperatures, as well as the tender thyroid observation, suggests thyroid dysfunction, something which has attracted a great deal of research .
The high incidence of chronic genitourinary symptoms suggests additional endocrine imbalances.
The high levels of pre-existing ENT, sinus, respiratory, bladder and other infections suggests either a degree of immune function inefficiency or allergy involvement and, almost certainly, high usage of antibiotics with consequent bowel flora damage. The link between these elements and the elevated levels of gastrointestinal symptomatology seems obvious. How these factors link with food intolerances, malabsorption possibilities and general biochemical imbalances is a field of study in itself, which is summarized in Chapter 3 .
Is It Just A Sore Throat Or Is It Strep
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat or pharynx. Kids with strep often have throat pain and difficulty swallowing, and they often show other symptoms as well, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache or stomach pain. Usually, strep comes on suddenly without a stuffy nose or cough, which can help distinguish it from the sore throat that often accompanies a cold, Dr. Diercks said.
Not all sore throats are strep, and a diagnosis from a doctor is the only way to know if your child truly has the infection. A pediatrician or ear, nose and throat specialist can perform a strep test in the office, which may be able to provide confirmation of the diagnosis within several hours.
Treating strep throat is extremely important if left untreated strep can lead to serious health complications. For that reason, its important to visit a doctor if your suspect that your child has strep.
Also Check: Antibiotic For H Pylori Bacteria
Antibiotics Arent Effective Against Viruses
There is a difference between conditions caused by a virus and bacteria, the main one being that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Another difference is that while viral illnesses will typically resolve with time and supportive treatment, bacterial infections will often progress rapidly and can cause dangerous health problems if they are not treated with the correct antibiotic. Fortunately, this is not common with sinus infections.
Provided you are generally healthy without any serious, chronic illnesses, most viral infections will go away in five to seven days. Granted, those days may make you miserable, but antibiotics do nothing to speed your healing.
Less commonly, viral infections can sometimes take weeks or months before they fully resolve. Examples of viral illness that can be prolonged include the flu, COVID-19, and mononucleosis.
It may also surprise you to learn that antibiotics arent always the right choice in treating sinus infections.
Here Are 5 Things You Should Do If You Have A Virus
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sore Throat
Whenever a sore throat is severe, lasts longer than the usual five- to ten-day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, you should seek medical attention. The following signs and symptoms should alert you to see your physician:
- Severe and prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face or neck
- Joint pain
- Blood in saliva or phlegm
- Frequently recurring sore throat
- Hoarseness lasting over two weeks
Throat Symptoms: Try These Dry Throat Remedies
Lifestyle choices are often to blame for a dry throat, Jones says too much caffeine or alcohol, not enough water, and smoking cigarettes . Changing these habits may help, as can sucking on sugarless candy. While some factors, including age, cant be changed as we age, our mucous glands dry up others can be soothed. For example, a dry throat could be a sign that youre getting a cold, Jones says, so cold medications may help.
Also Check: Took Antibiotics For Uti And Still Have Symptoms
What Are Nose Throat And Ear Infections
Nose, throat and ear infections are very common today, especially within the first couple of years of life.
Infections can occur in the middle ear, tonsils, adenoids, sinuses, or other parts of these small, moist areas.
Doctors who treat these infections are ear, nose and throat doctors, or simply, ENTs.
Some diagnoses familiar to many parents are:
- Otitis media
- Strep throat
More children suffer from upper respiratory infections than ever before.
Some specialists believe that chronic nose, throat and ear infections, and using antibiotics to treat them, may lead to developmental delays.
How Long Do Sinus Infections Last
Many variables affect the duration of sinus infections. Most last more than 10 days, but when a sinus infection lasts more than twelve weeks, it is considered chronic sinusitis.
If after 10 days, your symptoms have not improved, see your primary care doctor. You may have an acute sinus infection.If it lasts four weeks, you potentially have a sub-acute sinus infection that needs more aggressive treatment.
If symptoms last over 12 weeks, youre likely dealing with a chronic infection. After such prolonged symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish sinus headaches from migraine headaches from severe allergies. After 12 weeks, diagnosing and treating the issue requires the medical expertise of an ENT.
Diagnosis Of Ear Infections
Your physician will look into your ear with an otoscope, a medical instrument with a light on one end designed to get a better view inside the ear. Your doctor will look for the visual signs of ear infection, such as redness and inflammation.
To check for fluid buildup, a pneumatic otoscope, which blows air at the eardrum, will be used. If there is excessive fluid behind the eardrum, it will not move as it should when the air hits it.
In some cases, hearing tests may also be performed to assess any damage to the ear from the infection.
Different types of ear infections present with different symptoms, which can include:
- Inner ear infections: Hearing loss, ringing in the ears , dizziness, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting, and ear pain
- Middle ear infections: Fluid in the ear, ear pain, fever, a feeling of general illness, pressure in the ears, and hearing loss
- Outer ear infections: Inflammation of the ear canal, itching in the ear, ear pain, swelling of the ear canal, redness, and fluid draining from the ear
Ear Infection Doctor Discussion Guide
Children with ear infections, especially toddlers or infants, may not be able to describe their symptoms, but an ear infection will often present with the following signs:
- Tugging or pulling at their ears
- Fussing or crying
- Being clumsy and having balance issues
- Trouble hearing or responding to quiet noises
Clean Up Your Environment:
Have you identified and removed possible environmental triggers, such as mold, dust, pet dander, and electromagnetic fields ?
Have you identified and removed possible toxic exposures in the home from purchased products, such as detergents, soaps, lotions, and other cleaning and personal care products?
- Remove animals
- Remove carpets
- Epsom salts baths
When To See A Doctor For A Throat Infection
Since many sore throats are just a symptom of a virus like a cold or the flu, which should clear up by itself, you dont need to run to the doctor as soon as your throat feels scratchy.
If you experience any of these symptoms, though, its time to contact a doctor:
- Severe sore throat
- It hurts to breathe or youre experiencing shortness of breath
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- A high fever
- Skin rash
- Blood in saliva or phlegm
- Sore throat lasts more than a week
- Dark urine, rash, or chest pain
How Do I Keep My Family Strep
Strep throat is spread through droplets in the air, similar to the spread of influenza. Coughing, not washing hands and sharing drinks or utensils all contribute to the spread of strep.
Children can contract strep throat at any time of the year, but it is much more common during the winter months. During the winter, kids are in closer proximity at school and indoors, and they may not be practicing good hand hygiene or covering their mouths when they cough.
To prevent the spread of strep, Dr. Diercks recommends that you talk to your kids about good hand hygiene and the importance of not sharing drinks or utensils at school.
Recurring strep throat within families is common, because siblings are in such close proximity at home. If your child begins showing symptoms of strep, a visit to the doctor is important. That way, if necessary, treatment can begin immediately, preventing the further spread of strep at school and at home.
Reducing the spread of strep throat is important, especially during the winter months. If you suspect that your child has strep, remember to take action quickly by visiting your pediatrician or an ENT specialist.
Why Is My Childs Nose Is Always Runny
Cold viruses can cause your child to have a runny nose for an extended period of time. Most children get the viruses while playing with other children at school, in a playgroup, or on a playground. Because viruses do not respond to antibiotic treatment, colds must run their course¾a process that can take many days and sometimes weeks to completely resolve. Allergies also can cause a persistently running nose.
But Then Why Does Taking An Antibiotic Make Me Feel Better
We get this question a lot. The truth is, they dont. The virus actually is going away on its own thanks to the response from your own bodys immune system.
Remember, antibiotics also can come with side effects such as:
- Loss of appetite
These potential side effects are another reason we dont want you to prescribe an antibiotic unless its absolutely necessary, and its clear it will be effective.
In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about 1 in 15 people will have an allergic reaction to certain antibiotics. These reactions can range from very mild to concerning.
Serious adverse reactions can include a dangerous intestinal infection called C. diff colitis, heart rhythm abnormalities, tendon rupture, blood vessel tear , and throat swelling just to name a few.
While its relatively rare that serious, life-threatening allergic reactions will occur, we want you to contact us if youre having any trouble tolerating an antibiotic so we can keep you safe and healthy.
Finally, when you take an antibiotic, because it kills bacteria, it causes unintended but significant damage to your microbiome. There is still much to be learned about our microbiome and what happens when it is damaged, but more and more research is showing links between damage to the microbiome and the development of chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Antibiotic Treatment For Sinusitis
Antibiotics are labeled as narrow-spectrum drugs when they work against only a few types of bacteria. On the other hand, broad-spectrum antibiotics are more effective by attacking a wide range of bacteria, but are more likely to promote antibiotic resistance. For that reason, your ear, nose, and throat specialist will most likely prescribe narrow-spectrum antibiotics, which often cost less. He/she may recommend broad-spectrum antibiotics for infections that do not respond to treatment with narrow-spectrum drugs.
Nose Problems: How To Stop Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds happen due to a number of different causes dry air, allergies, colds, migraine headaches, even cocaine use. Sometimes a nosebleed can be due to blood clotting disorders or being on blood-thinning medication. To stop a nosebleed, sit and lean forward slightly. Dont recline keeping your head above your heart slows the bleeding and allows the blood to come out through your nose, instead of going down your throat. Squeeze the soft portion of your nose between the tip and the bridge with your index finger and thumb and hold until the bleeding stops. Seek medical help if the bleeding doesnt stop.
What Are The Treatment Options
A mild sore throat associated with cold or flu symptoms can be made more comfortable with the following remedies:
- Increase your liquid intake.
- Drink warm tea with honey .
- Use a personal steamer or place a humidifier in your bedroom.
- Gargle with warm salt water several times daily: ¼ tsp salt to ½ cup water.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
For a more severe sore throat, your doctor may want to do a throat cultureswabbing the inside of your throat to see if there is a bacterial infection. If it is negative, your physician will base their treatment recommendation on the severity of your symptoms and the appearance of your throat on examination.
If you have a bacterial infection your doctor will likely recommend an antibiotic that kills or impairs bacteria. Antibiotics do not cure viral infections, but viruses do lower the patients resistance to bacterial infections. When a combined infection like this happens, antibiotics may be recommended.
It is important to take an antibiotic as your physician directs and to finish all doses, even if your symptoms improve, otherwise the infection may not be gone and could return. Some patients will experience returning infections despite antibiotic treatment. If you experience this, it is important to discuss this situation with your physician.
You may also want to review these Sore Throat Prevention Tips.