Sinus infections and their related symptoms are the common reasons many people see their doctors. These include headaches, runny nose, congestion, and more.
This article will explore signs and symptoms of this condition, alongside risk factors and first aid treatments.
What is a Sinus Infection
Sinus infection, otherwise known as sinusitis, occurs when fluids build up on the nasal cavities, resulting in infection, swelling, and inflammation. Germs and bacteria will grow, leading to this condition.
The majority of sinusitis cases are viral and easily spread from one person to another. In 2022-12, around 1.9 Australians had chronic rhinosinusitis or the swelling of the lining of sinuses.
Sinus infections have many causes, but colds, flu, and allergic reactions are most common. Whatever the triggers are, the symptoms can be uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous to a person.
Types of Sinus Infections
There are four classifications of sinusitis, depending on the length and frequency of the infection.
It is a short-term inflammation of the sinuses that may last lesser than four weeks. It will start with cold-like symptoms, including a stuffy nose, headache, and facial pain.
It commonly occurs with bacterial infections or the common cold. It lasts longer than acute sinusitis and may take effect for 4 to 12 weeks. Symptoms may include fever, decreased sense of smell and taste, cough, and fatigue.
Recurrent Acute Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis may happen four or more episodes in a year, without any persistent symptoms in between. Each time it occurs, the infection can last for seven days or more.
This condition is a long-lasting sinus inflammation and infection. It lasts for more than 12 weeks and may continue to recur.
Anyone can develop an infection of the sinuses. However, existing health conditions and other factors can increase a person’s risk of having one.
Signs and Symptoms
The hallmark symptoms of sinusitis, whether it is acute or chronic, include the following:
- Pain or pressure in the facial area (cheeks, forehead, nose, and eyes)
- Recurrent headaches
- Nasal Congestion
- Postnatal drip (mucus or drainage in the throat)
- Decreased sense of smell or taste
See a doctor if the symptoms do not show any signs of improvement after ten days. Seek professional help from a general practitioner, ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor to get a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Sinusitis Treatment and First Aid Remedies
Here are several treatment options for sinus infections.
Saline Nasal Spray
The use of saline solution can help clear a blocked, stuffy nose. Use sterile water, salt, baking soda and combine all ingredients to make a solution. Have the person sniff it onto their nose, one nostril at a time. Repeat it two to three times a day.
Neti pot is a therapy solution that uses salt and water to flush blockage within the nasal passages. It’s been tried-and-true sinus treatment for many years.
Getting enough rest helps the body fight infection and speed up the recovery process.
The primary sinus infection symptoms are headache and pressure in the forehead and face area. Take over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and Ibuprofen for unbearable pain.
Symptoms that do not improve within a few weeks may indicate a bacterial infection. In this case, it is best to see a doctor and ask for another option: antibiotic therapy.
In severe cases, the person may need surgery to repair a deviated septum and remove polyps if the symptoms do not improve with time and medication.
Surgery to clear the sinuses, repair a deviated septum, or remove polyps may help if your chronic sinusitis doesn’t improve with time and medication.
Sinusitis can be contagious like other infections, such as the flu and cold. If you or someone else starts experiencing the symptoms, it is best to take precautions to stop the spread of the virus. Practice good hygiene and stay at home for the time being.
Sinusitis is treatable with rest, home remedies, and medication in most cases. However, it is best to see a health professional in severe and prolonged infection
A first aid training course help recognize triggers of sinus infections and prepare you for many health-related emergencies.
Interested in getting trained? Visit our website for more information.