Are you sure your sniffles are being caused by a common cold? If you’re dealing with pain, mucus, and a stuffy nose, you might have a sinus infection. Sinus infections are a common problem, especially during cold and flu season. In this article, we’ll discuss sinus infection symptoms and treatment options. Keep reading to learn about this common problem so you can start feeling better.
What are Sinus Infections?
Sinus infections (also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis) occur when the sinus cavities near your nose become swollen, usually due to mucus that has built up. Most people will experience an acute sinus infection at some point in their lives, usually during a particularly bad cold or similar condition. Acute sinus infections usually last for a few weeks.
Many people also experience chronic sinus infections. These infections can last for several months and recur on a regular basis. If you have chronic sinus infections, an ENT can look at your lifestyle and overall health to help you discover the source of your infections.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
Both acute and chronic sinus infections have similar symptoms. Because these infections are caused by inflamed sinus cavities, sinus pain is often the first (or most severe) symptom. This pain might be concentrated on the cheeks or forehead, or it may lead to a more general headache. You might also notice jaw or eye pain as a result of your sinus infection, as your inflamed sinus cavities can irritate surrounding parts of the body.
Nasal congestion and nasal discharge are also common symptoms. This congestion can give you a stuffy nose, hoarse voice, and unpleasant mucus when you blow your nose. The infection might make this mucus green or yellow. You might also experience a post-nasal drip if this mucus irritates the back of your throat. This can give you a sore throat or cough. It can also affect your voice.
Sinus infections can cause different symptoms in different people. Your doctor can help you determine if your symptoms are the result of a sinus infection or a different condition.
Treating a Sinus Infection
Sinus infections can be painful, but there are a variety of treatment options that can help ease your symptoms. If you suspect you have a sinus infection, contact a doctor. While many sinus infections will clear up on their own, some are caused by bacteria and will require antibiotics. A doctor can determine the source of your infection and create a treatment plan that works.
Depending on your type of infection, you might find relief with over-the-counter nasal decongestants or prescription medications. Nasal sprays, allergy medications, or pain medications might also be a part of your treatment plan. In addition to medicine, you might find relief with home remedies such as applying a warm compress to your sinus areas or using a saline sinus rinse.
Are you ready to take control of your sinus infections? Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813
to schedule an ENT appointment today.