Sinus Infection & Sinusitis Treatment
Treatment of sinusitis and other sinus infections are a specialty of the doctors at Allergy & Asthma Specialists of North Florida. Sinusitis is a condition that involves inflammation of the paranasal sinuses (air-filled pockets located behind the forehead, eyes and cheeks). Sinusitis may be a result of a viral or bacterial sinus infection or an allergic reaction. It most commonly is brought on by environmental allergens that irritate the nasal passages, cause inflammation and predispose a patient to sinusitis. Sinusitis may also be caused by other irritants including chemicals and use or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
Sinus infection symptoms include fever, headache and tenderness or pain in the face, cloudy or discolored nasal drainage, nasal stuffiness, cough, sneezing, itchy eyes and sore throat. Infections of the sinuses can be classified as acute (lasting less than 30 days), subacute (lasting more than one month but less than three months) or chronic (lasting longer than three months). According to statistics from the National Institute of Health, sinusitis hits more than 30 million adults in the United States each year.
Treatment for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection
Treatment options for sinus infections and sinusitis can be as simple as over-the-counter medications for fever and pain and OTC decongestants, which help drain the sinuses and relieve facial pain.
If facial pain and nasal discharge persist for longer than a week, your allergist may prescribe an antibiotic formulated to treat the most common sinus infection-causing bacteria. If your sinus infection is caused by an allergy rather than a virus or bacteria, your allergist may prescribe or recommend an antihistamine or a topical nasal steroid spray. Allergy testing is important to identify the specific allergens that may be contributing to your sinus disease.
If you are battling sinusitis or a sinus infection, Allergy & Asthma Specialists of North Florida can help you get relief. Contact us via our convenient online email form to ask a question or schedule an appointment at one of our four Jacksonville-area allergy clinics on St. John’s Bluff Blvd., in Mandarin, on the Westside and in Orange Park.
More Questions People Also Ask About Sinusitis Allergies Treatments:
What is the first sign of sinusitis?
Symptoms of sinusitis vary within individuals and level of infection but generally include:
- Post-nasal drainage, phlegm, or other discharge
- Stuffed-up, congested, or otherwise difficult to breath through the nose
- Painful pressure, tenderness, and/or swelling around the nose, eyes, cheeks, or face in general.
What happens if you let a sinus infection go untreated?
Left untreated, sinus infections can spread and lead to serious complications. A mild case of sinusitis can develop into chronic sinusitis which can cause flare-ups of the symptoms that last longer than 12-weeks at a time. Letting the infection incubate can cause other infections to occur and can even turn deadly with infections like meningitis or brain abscesses. This infection spreads to the membranes around the brain and spinal cord causing inflammation. In some cases, a sinus infection has spread to the eye socket which can cause partial or even total vision loss. However, for most cases, a mild sinus infection can clear up on its own or with basic at-home care like using decongestants and saline spray.
Can an allergy cause sinusitis?
Yes. Your body’s allergic response is a defense mechanism against what it perceives to be a threat. Your runny nose, itchy throat, or watery eyes can lead to an infection taking hold within the nasal passages, thus presenting a case of sinusitis. Working with an allergist to understand your particular allergies and ways to mitigate exposure can also lessen the chances of developing sinusitis as a result.
How can you tell if a sinus infection is viral or bacterial?
According to Raj Sindwani with the Cleveland Clinic, sinusitis can be either viral or bacterial and the only way to tell the difference is to get a nose swab and grow a culture. When a patient experiences symptoms that last longer than 7 days, the infection is more commonly bacterial rather than viral and therefore may require the use of antibiotics.
Can you have sinusitis without nasal discharge?
Yes. Nasal discharge is just one of several symptoms that can present themselves in patients with sinusitis. Other symptoms can include being congested, running a fever, and/or painful pressure in the face.
What helps sinus pressure from allergies?
Decongestants and saline spray can help remove the blockage from the nasal passage which can bring relief. As well, a warm compress applied to the nose, cheeks, or face in general can help ease the painful pressure.