Sinus Infection: An In-depth Look Into the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Do you have a frontal headache or nasal congestion that is accompanied by bad breath? Have you visited our Urgent Care in San Antonio for sinus infection treatment? If not, you should make a point to go to the urgent care near you because the above symptoms are associated with sinusitis.

Sinus infection is quite a common health problem that affects over 30 million Americans. Sinus infections are responsible for over 15 million hospital visits each year. Many more spend a lot of money on drugs they buy in their local drug store to deal with this prevalent infection.

If you have asthma, allergies, or a weak immune system, you are at a greater risk of getting the infection. Without further ado, let’s dig a little deeper.

Sinus Infection Overview

Sinusitis, also known as sinus infection, is when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed or swell. Typically, there are four paired spaces or cavities that are connected by narrow channels located between your eyes, below your eyes, behind your eyes, and above your eyes. These cavities are known as sinuses.

The sinuses’ primary function is insulating the surrounding structures (the eyes and nerves), increasing voice resonance, humidifying and warming inspired air, and acting as buffers against facial trauma. They are responsible for making thin mucus that drains out of the nose to keep the nose clean and bacteria-free.

Healthy sinuses should be filled with air. An infection occurs when your sinuses become blocked, and there is fluid build-up. This becomes the perfect breeding ground for germs to grow.

Common Causes of Sinusitis

Generally, sinusitis can be caused by anything that interferes with the drainage of mucus out of the sinuses and obstructs adequate airflow. Here are some of the common causes of sinusitis:

  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Viruses
  • Nasal and seasonal allergies, even allergies to mold
  • A deviated septum
  • Growths (polyps)
  • A weakened immune system either due to illness or medication
  • Common colds

If you have infants who spend time during the day with drinking bottles or pacifiers while lying down, they are at higher risk of getting sinusitis. Also, smoking increases the chances of getting sinusitis in adults. Asthma has also been linked with sinusitis.

Is Sinusitis Contagious?

The coughing and discharge associated with a sinus infection can make you think that you can pass it on to someone else. Well, yes and no. It all depends on the cause. If a virus causes it, then it is contagious. It spreads the same way as a cold or the flu.

To avoid getting the infection, wash your hands frequently, and steer clear of touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. If you have sinusitis, it would be best if your nose and mouth were covered when you cough or sneeze so that you don’t spread the infection.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

At times it can be challenging to differentiate between nasal allergies, a common cold, and sinusitis. However, here are some of the distinct sinusitis symptoms that set them apart from the other infections:

  • Facial pressure (particularly around the eyes, nose, and forehead)
  • Frontal headache or pain in your teeth or ears
  • Nasal discharge or post-nasal drip
  • Bad breath
  • Cough
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever
  • Yellow pus that drains from the nose

Sinus Infection Treatment and Medication

Most of the time, the best sinus infection treatment approach is using a combination of different modes of treatment. This means that you might need medication as well as self-care.

If you do not have a severe sinus infection, our doctor may recommend that you use decongestants and antihistamines, especially if allergies caused the infection.

You can also use inhaled steroids since they are excellent for reducing the swelling in the sinus membranes.

Antibiotics are usually prescribed if bacteria caused the infection. This means that you will take the drugs for approximately 14 days.

Painkillers are also prescribed to help ease the headache and toothaches. You will take them for roughly ten days.

Also, if you were wondering how to get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics, you can try the following:

  • Saline nasal drops
  • Warm compresses to ease the pain in the sinuses and nose
  • Drink warm beverages to help loosen the mucus
  • Breathe in steam vapors
  • Drink lots of water to help loosen the mucus

These remedies work, but be sure to call our doctor at Alamo City Urgent Care if the symptoms last longer than three or four days. Do not let the symptoms linger longer, and risk getting complications, call us today.