Sinus infection is a significant health condition that affects 31 million people in the United States. It is responsible for 16 million doctor visits, with affected patients spending approximately $ 1 billion on over-the-counter medication.
If you have a stuffy nose that isn’t improving, you may have a sinus infection called sinusitis. Sinusitis causes the space inside your nose(sinuses) to swell, interfering with airway drainage and leading to mucus build-up.
Fortunately, most people who get sinus infections get better independently without needing medication. Equally, a doctor may give you a delayed prescription to watch how your immune system responds to the condition.
If you suspect a sinus infection, consider visiting a trusted urgent care center with board-certified physicians available on a walk-in basis.
Here’s what you need to know.
Sinus infection on its own is not contagious. However, the virus or bacteria that caused it makes it possible to spread to other people. For instance, if a virus causes it, it becomes contagious.
In other instances, sinuses can be blocked and filled with mucus, allowing bacteria to grow and cause an infection. If your sinus infection lasts for 10-14 days, it is likely to be bacterial sinusitis, which is contagious.
The person who comes in contact with a sinus infection caused by a virus will likely develop a cold. People can avoid sinus infections by practicing handwashing, avoiding sick people, and sneezing or coughing into their elbows when sick.
The common symptoms of sinus infections include;
Sinus occurs when respiratory fluid builds up in the sinuses—four paired cavities in your head. The fluid build-up creates conducive conditions for the growth of germs. Viruses cause most sinus infections, with bacteria causing a few cases.
Specific triggers for sinus infections include;
A physician diagnoses sinus infection based on your symptoms and health history. For instance, a doctor may check your eyes, nose, or throat for any signs of swelling, blockage, and how it’s draining.
A doctor may also use an endoscope— a small lighted medical instrument— to look inside your nose. If need be, a physician may refer you to a specialist (ENT)—Ear, Nose, AND Throat) Specialist for further examination.
Here are the tests used by doctors to diagnose sinus infections.
Treatment of sinuses depends on the symptoms and how long you’ve had them.
Here’s how you can relieve sinus-related pain and pressure at home;
If your symptoms do not improve after 10 days, they can recommend the following medications;
Alternatively, a doctor may recommend the following;
You can prevent a sinus infection by staying healthy and keeping others healthy.
Here are a few helpful tips;
Factors such as previous cold infection, seasonal allergies, weakened immune system, smoking and secondhand smoke, and structural problems with sinuses increase your risk of getting a sinus infection.
See a physician if;
A typical sinus infection should improve on its own. However, if you have symptoms that concern you or repeated infections, talk to a healthcare provider
Although sinus infection has mild symptoms like stuffy nose, facial pressure, headache, and runny nose, it can worsen. If left untreated, a sinus infection can develop into a life-threatening condition linked with chronic sinusitis, meningitis, and vision problems.
With that in mind, seeking prompt and quality care from a nearby urgent care center is advisable.
Lifeline Urgent Care Center is open for extended hours and does not require appointments, making us an ideal facility for sinus infection treatment.
Contact us online or call us at 281.771.1144 to speak to one of our team members.
Lifeline Urgent Care is a go to in your time of medical need. The staff there were professional, attentive and helpful. They handled me with care and listened to my concerns. Marissa, the physician assistant was so good I wanted her as my PCP. I definitely will go back if I need urgent care. Thank you.
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