Information from your Doctor
What are Sinuses?
There are four pairs of hollow spaces in the bones of your face. These are called Sinuses. They are lined with tissue that makes thin, watery mucus. The Sinuses are connected to each other and drain through the nose.
What is a Sinus Infection?
A Sinus Infection, or Sinusitis, is a swelling of the lining in the Sinuses. Acute Sinusitis lasts for less than four weeks. Chronic Sinusitis lasts for more than 4 weeks.
What causes Sinus Infections?
The most common cause is a Virus, such as the common cold. When you catch a cold, your mucus becomes thick and sticky, and doesn't drain well. Bacteria can grow in the mucus trapped in your sinuses. This can lead to a Bacterial Sinus Infection.
Who gets them?
Anyone can get a Sinus Infection, but people with Deviated Nasal Septum, Nasal Allergies, or Asthma have an increased risk. Other risk factors include exposure to cigarette smoke, Nasal Polyps, and changes in pressure (such as during flying or Scuba Diving).
What are the Symptoms?
· Bad breath.
· Nasal congestion and runny nose.
· Cough that may be worse at night.
· Decreased sense of smell and taste.
· Pain or pressure in the forehead, cheeks, nose, or between the eyes.
How are they treated?
Only a small percentage of people with cold symptoms will get a Bacterial Sinus Infection. Antibiotics can treat Bacterial Infections, but not Viral Infections. Most people do not need Antibiotics
If you have had Symptoms, try the following:
· Drink plenty of fluids to keep your mucus thin.
· Sleep with your head propped up, or with the pain-free side of your face on the pillow.
· Inhale steam three or four times a day.
· Use a salt-water nasal spray or a nasal cup to loosen mucus.
· Use over-the-counter pain medicine to help with pain and headaches.
· Avoid cigarette smoke and extremely cool or dry air.
Call AT-HOME-DOC if:
· You have a fever.
· Your Symptoms last longer or if they are getting worse.
· You have a bad headache that does not improve with over-the-counter pain medicine.
· You have vision changes or swelling around your eyes.