ZOOM+Care DIY Health Articles
Symptoms, causes, and treatments for Sinus Infections
Symptoms of a Sinus Infection
Sinus congestion and the common cold go hand-in-hand. Every time you wipe your nose, you risk spreading germs to your sinuses (not to mention unsuspecting strangers asking to borrow your pen).
Sinus infection symptoms include:
- Disappearing sense of smell
- Facial pressure
- General congestion
- Painful teeth
- Stuffy nose
Causes of a Sinus Infection
Have constantly problematic sinuses? These conditions can increase your risk for repeated infection:
- Blocked nasal cavities
- Cystic fibrosis or other immune disorders
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps or tumors
Should I Be Worried?
Around 29 million adults in the U.S. deal with sinusitis every year. The longer cold symptoms like a runny nose, facial pain, and stuffiness last, the more worried you should be.
Acute sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and may resolve itself within 10 days. If you continue having symptoms for more than 10 days you should come in and see a doctor: it’s likely your viral sinusitis has turned into bacterial sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis occurs in 0.5% to 2% of viral sinusitis cases.
Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial sinusitis if your symptoms don’t improve after 7 to 10 days, or when symptoms worsen after 7 to 10 days of supportive therapy.
You should also seek emergency medical attention regardless of the duration of symptoms if you experience:
- Difficulty moving your eyes
- Persistent fever over 102°F
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Swelling or redness in the skin around your eyes
- Vision changes
Chronic sinusitis means you’ve suffered at least two, or more, of these symptoms for 12 weeks or longer despite receiving medical care:
- Facial pain, pressure, or fullness
- Loss of sense of smell
- Mucus and pus drainage
Additional DIY Articles
Sore Throat; UTI; Ear Infection; Cough; Cold; Bladder Infection; Flu; Rash; STI; Stomach Pain; Earwax Buildup; Bronchitis; Foot Pain; Yeast Infection; Strep Throat; Eye Infection; Fever; Back Pain; Asthma; Neck Pain; Allergies; Insect Bites and Stings; Headache; Diarrhea; Anxiety
Sinus Infection Prevention Tips
Consider these tips to help reduce your chance of sinus infections:
- Buy a humidifier. Dry air can cause sinus infections due to nasal irritation. Not sure if your air is too dry? Many modern smart thermostats track changes to humidity.
- Avoid cigarette smoke. Tobacco smoke causes coughs and irritates nasal passages.
- Keep your allergies in check. Constant sneezing and irritation make you susceptible to sinus infections. Either try non-prescription allergy medications, if they work for you, or talk to a ZOOM+Care Doctor to discuss an allergy management plan.