Learn to identify the symptoms of a sinus infection and what treatment options are available to you
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is another term for a sinus infection. It occurs when the sinus cavities, which are normally filled with air, become blocked and filled with fluid and mucus. This can happen for many different reasons, such as the common cold, allergies, polyps in the nasal cavities or a deviated septum. When the sinuses become blocked, they hold germs and bacteria, causing swelling, inflammation and infection.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Sinusitis can be either an acute, short-term issue lasting anywhere from a few days to a week, or it may be a long-term, chronic problem that can cause symptoms to occur for months at a time. The usual symptoms of sinusitis include the following:
- Pain, pressure or a feeling of fullness in your face.
- Runny nose.
- Green or yellow nasal discharge.
- Nasal congestion.
- Bad breath.
- Pain that radiates into your teeth.
Do I need to see a doctor?
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to keep the infection from getting worse or spreading. Green or yellow nasal discharge and a fever are telltale signs of an infection and symptoms lasting longer than a few weeks could point to a chronic issue. In these circumstances, it’s important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. To diagnose sinusitis, your doctor will gently tap on your cheeks and forehead areas, looking for tenderness. He or she will look for swelling around your eyes and cheeks and examine the nasal passages for redness, inflammation and evidence of pus and discharge. These symptoms indicate a sinus infection. If your symptoms are unclear, your doctor may decide to do a procedure called an endoscopy, where a small, tube-like instrument with a camera at the end is passed through the nasal passages and into the sinus area. This will allow the doctor to view the area and identify the issue.
What are my treatment options?
The usual treatment for sinusitis is a course of antibiotics, usually lasting anywhere from five to 10 days. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any drug allergies or sensitivity to medication. Your doctor may also advise you to use a nasal spray or saline rinse to help flush the sinuses or to take an over-the-counter decongestant, which will help to minimize the pressure and pain associated with this condition. Vaporizers, steam therapy and warm compresses also help to alleviate your symptoms.
If you feel that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sinusitis, don’t wait any longer. Visit your neighborhood Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center today. We offer urgent care without the ER wait. Servicing Little Rock, Shreveport, Bossier City and Natchitoches, our walk-in clinics provide exceptional, compassionate and efficient health care, helping you feel better in the fastest time possible.
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