Sinusitis

What is Sinusitis?


Acute sinusitis is inflammation and infection in one or more of the paranasal sinuses. It often occurs after a cold, when mucus gets trapped in inflamed sinuses and doesn’t drain properly. This condition encourages bacterial growth that can lead to infection.

What are the symptoms?


  • Headache
  • Facial pressure or pain
  • Fever
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath

How is it treated?


Antibiotics may be prescribed if your symptoms and the duration of the disease warrant this treatment. Drink plenty of water to help keep mucus thin. Saline nasal sprays or sinus rinses can reduce symptoms. Warm compresses over the nose and forehead will help relieve sinus pressure.

There are also medications that are available with and without a prescription to treat symptoms associated with sinusitis. Common medications include:

  • Antihistamines-dries secretions in the nose
  • Decongestants-decreases congestion and pressure
  • Cough suppressants-decreases cough
  • Expectorants-thins mucus secretions
  • Tylenol and/or Ibuprofen-reduces fever and pain
  • Steroids

How long does Sinusitis last?


Acute sinusitis can last from 1-4 weeks. However, if symptoms are worse or have not improved after 7-10 days, it is important to follow up with your healthcare provider.

Who can get a sinus infection?


Anyone can get a sinus infection, but people with nasal allergies, hay fever, or asthma have an increased risk. Other risk factors include exposure to cigarette smoke, nasal polyps and changes in pressure (air travel or scuba diving).

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