We’ve all had colds before, but when a cold lingers for too long, it may become a sinus infection. When fluid begins to fill the air pockets in the face (the sinuses), bacteria or viruses may develop in the fluid, causing a sinus infection. Since sinus infections are a result of excess fluid in the sinuses, a cold, allergies, and exposure to cigarette smoke can all increase someone’s risk of getting a sinus infection.
Sinus infections have quite a few telltale symptoms, the first being a stuffy and congested nose. Along with a stuffy nose, sinus infections also come with discolored, often yellow or green mucus when coughed up or when blown out of the nose. People with sinus infections may also lose their sense of smell and taste. While these symptoms are common among more than sinus infections, the most important sign to determine if something’s wrong with your sinuses is pain. Sinus infections most often come with sinus pain, which may be triggered by pressure on the face.
You can check for signs of a sinus infection by gently pressing just underneath the edge of your eye socket, near the bridge of your nose. This is where your sinuses are. If they hurt, consider calling your doctor.
Treating Sinus Infections at Home
Early-stage sinus infections can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications for pain, and plenty of water and rest. To help get over a sinus infection at home, nasal irrigation methods like neti pots can be used to help clear the sinuses and prevent further infection, as long as you follow the directions. If neti pots aren’t an option, nasal sprays, humidifiers, and steam baths can all help clear out your sinuses as well. A warm compress over the sinuses can also help relieve pain and get fluid moving.
When to See a Doctor
If you have a fever, pain in your sinuses, or are experiencing green or yellow discharge from your nose and coughs, it is best to call your doctor as soon as possible. While not all sinus infections have these symptoms, contacting your doctor whenever you get sick is still a good choice as well. After all, your sinus infection may be accompanied by another underlying illness that can be treated with antibiotics or prescription medications.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a sinus infection, contact your doctor for more information. To browse items that can help you breathe easier, visit Medical Supply Depot.