Sinus infections are one of the common conditions with which adults may be diagnosed. Sinus infections affect millions of adults in the United States each year. The sinuses are a group of hollow spaces that surround the nose and are also found above and between the eyes. Sinus infections include cloudy or colored runny nose with nasal blockage or clogging, facial pain/pressure, or both. Other symptoms include fever, cough, loss of energy, lack of or reduced sense of smell, tooth pain, and ear fullness. The symptoms can be severe enough to disturb your quality of life or general well-being.
What Causes Sinus infections?
Sinus infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. A viral sinus infection has similar symptoms as bacterial infections but improves within 10 days and does not get worse. A bacterial sinus infection is defined by how long the symptoms last. The 3 types are acute (short course), recurrent (repeated), or chronic (long lasting). An acute bacterial sinus infection is one that either fails to get better within 10 days or has suddenly gotten worse after an initial period of getting better. Acute bacterial sinus infection lasts less than 4 weeks. Recurrent bacterial sinus infections are when an acute sinus infection occurs 4 or more times in a 1-year period. A chronic sinus infection is when 2 or more symptoms and swelling lasts for 12 weeks or longer.
What Can You Do About Sinusitis?
You should see a Columbus, IN healthcare provider soon after symptoms occur. Early diagnosis may help avoid misdiagnosis or delayed treatment and worse results. There are several types of sinus infections, so it is important to get the correct diagnosis for proper treatment. Treatment options should be discussed with the Columbus, IN healthcare provider after diagnosis. Antibiotics do not work for viral sinus infections. Antibiotics are not recommended for all types of bacterial infections.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?
A healthcare provider can diagnose a sinus infection by reviewing the medical history and doing a physical exam. The exam should review and document the conditions in your medical record. A Columbus, IN healthcare provider will take note of how long symptoms have been present.
Other conditions can seem like a sinus infection. For instance, a headache alone may not mean a sinus infection. With a sinus infection, there is usually cloudy or colored nose drainage.
What Treatments Are Available?
It is important to properly diagnose viral and bacterial sinusitis because antibiotics are not for a viral sinus infection. If you have heart, kidney, or liver disease, your healthcare provider may consider different treatment.
Talking with your healthcare provider can help you make decisions about the treatment of symptoms. To relieve symptoms, pain relievers, nasal steroid sprays, and/or nasal saline rinse (irrigation) may be recommended.
If you feel worse or do not improve with the antibiotic treatment after 7 days, you should see your healthcare provider. The Columbus, IN healthcare provider will review the diagnosis and will rule out other causes.
For an appointment to see an Columbus, IN ENT Specialist, call (812) 376-3071.
Southern Indiana ENT
Dr. Anthony D. Sanders & Dr. Nicholas C. Hollenkamp
1655 N. Gladstone Avenue
Columbus, IN 47201