Persistent Sinus Issues? What you Need to Know About Sinus Infections.
Are you having trouble determining if your sinus symptoms are allergies or something more serious? It’s easy to confuse persistent nasal problems with other conditions like the coronavirus, cold, or flu. However, if you’ve been experiencing persistent sinus issues without relief, you may be living with sinusitis.
What is sinusitis?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sinusitis, better known as sinus infection, is a common condition affecting nearly 30 million Americans each year. It occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed and begin to swell. The swelling blocks air and leads to the passages filling up with fluid causing infection.
Heartland Regional Medical Group’s Certified Physician Assistant Sherri Parr said, “Sinus infections can last 10 days to 12 weeks or longer.”
The symptoms of a sinus infection can include:
- Postnasal drip, or the feeling of wanting to clear your throat
- Nasal discharge (thick yellow or green discharge from nose) or stuffy nose
- Facial pain or pressure, which can cause headaches and toothaches
- Throat irritation and cough
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
What causes it?
Sinus infections may be common, but the causes can vary. A common cold can turn into sinusitis if the congestion becomes an infection. Sinus infections can also be caused by allergies, certain medications, and even structural differences in people’s sinuses. Regardless of the reason, the discomfort can be intense.
What can I do about it?
As the weather cools down and seasonal sickness becomes more common, you may have trouble distinguishing if your persistent sinus issues are more than the usual cold.
Some at-home remedies can offer relief, like using a vaporizer or warm compresses. Drinking plenty of fluids can help keep mucous thin. Saline nose drops are safe to use at home as are over-the-counter decongestants but don’t take them longer than recommended.
“If your cold lasts longer than 10 days, consult your doctor,” said Parr. “They can prescribe antibiotics or, for chronic cases, conduct physical tests or imaging exams to diagnose the infection. In severe cases, your provider may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to discuss surgery to offer relief.”
Sinus infections can be miserable, but there is help. If you suspect your symptoms may be the result of a sinus infection, don’t delay getting the care you need. To schedule an appointment with Sherri Parr, PA-C, or one of Heartland Regional’s primary care providers, visit HeartlandAnytime.com.