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Sinus Infection Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Sinus Infection or Sinusitis, also referred to as Rhinosinusitis, is a very common condition affecting people the world over. In India alone, there are over 10 million cases reported each year.

In this article, we will probe into the symptoms of the condition followed by medications recommended by healthcare professionals for the same.

Sinusitis, also referred to as Rhinosinusitis, is a very common condition affecting people the world over. In India alone, there are over 10 million cases reported each year.

In this article, we will probe into the symptoms of the condition followed by medications recommended by healthcare professionals for the same.

Sinus Infection – What is it?

A sinus infection is commonly defined as a condition wherein the air cavities in the nasal passage get choked with fluid, thereby causing viruses, bacteria and rarely fungi to thrive.

These germs come into contact with the tissues lining the sinuses. Subsequently, an inflammation is triggered in the latter as a response to the former.

A sinus infection can be of several types ranging from acute to sub-acute and chronic to recurrent, depending on the severity and duration of the infection.

Sinus Infection

Sinus Infection Symptoms

As with any other disease or condition, a sinus infection comes with its own set of symptoms. It is important to look out for the ones listed below.

1. Sinus pain: This is a very common symptom indicative of a sinus infection. Your eyes and nose associated with the various sinuses may start to hurt when you have an infection. This may sometimes cause you to experience facial pain.

2. Headache: As a direct outcome of the sinuses swelling up and getting inflamed, you may feel a dull ache in your forehead.

This can radiate from the area between your eyes to either side of your nose even going as far as your upper jaws and teeth as well as your ears.

This may lead to a headache, which is often the worst in the mornings.

3. Nasal discharge: As previously stated, your infected sinuses cause the nasal passage to get filled with fluid. This

fluid is released from the nasal passage as a discharge, which is usually cloudy, green or yellow.

Sometimes, instead of being discharged via the nasal passage, it may drain down the back of your throat.

This is also known as a postnasal drip and is often felt as an itch or a tickle; this can also lead you to have a persistent irritable throat.

4. Nasal congestion: Oftentimes, a blocked nose due to a sinus infection can restrict your airways that aid respiration.

Because of the swelling in your sinuses, your ability to smell or taste can take a major setback. In addition to this, a congested nose causes your voice to sound “stuffy” and not yourself.

5. Cough: Cough is a direct response of a post nasal drip and can cause you to experience incessant coughs either at night or during the morning right after you wake up. Coughing also causes your voice to sound hoarse.

6. Fever: This is a result of the inflammation of the sinus tissue and the consequent infection.

7. Fatigue: This is a result of the onset of fever and coughing.

8. Bad Breath: Bacterial infection usually causes you to have bad breath.

9. Difficulty Sleeping: Nasal congestion and constant coughing can cause you to have sleepless nights. It also causes you to snore.

10. Sore throat: Sore throat could be a possible symptoms of sinus infection.

Sinus Infection Fever

While the symptoms associated with a normal fever and a sinus infection are similar, there are some marked differences between the two that might assist you in determining a prognosis.

The symptoms of a sinus infection fever last for over 10 days with no signs of improvement.

They are often very severe including a very high fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, nasal discharge as listed above and facial pressure and pain lasting 3 or 4 days at a stretch.

Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

As with normal flu and common cold, sinus infections are mostly caused by air-borne viruses.

They can be spread via physical contact with an infected person or be transmitted via the air when coughing or sneezing. Hence, sinus infections are contagious.

Sinus Infection Treatment

If your symptoms aren’t too severe, your healthcare professional would recommend you take a simple decongestant, mucus thinners, steroids and a saline nasal wash (sinus irrigation).

They help ease your discomfort while you wait for the antibiotics you’ve been provided with to take action.

Acute sinusitis mostly goes away on its own after a few days of inception or after a simple course of antibiotics.

Antibiotics for sinus infection

When symptoms of a sinus infection fail to respond to home remedies or when symptoms are too severe with complications related to your condition (example, sinus cavities filled with pus), your doctor advises you to start a course of antibiotics.

There are several antibiotics that can be prescribed to treat sinusitis, the first choice for most doctors being Amoxicillin.

There are however several other drugs that may be prescribed in case of allergies or to treat specific bacterial infections.

Most people respond very well to antibiotics, thus recovering completely in a matter of a few days. This is owed mainly to the fact that antibiotic treatment is efficient and safe.

Doxycycline for sinus infection

This is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights bacterial sinus infections. Ingestion of this drug may cause the infection to clear up rapidly.

However, as with many other drugs, it is not devoid of side effects that may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea among others.

A typical prescribed dosage for curing a sinus infection is 100 to 200 mg per day for seven to ten days. Ensuring that the patient completes the entire course prevents the infection from recurring.

Clindamycin for sinus infection

This is a lincomycin antibiotic which can be administered orally or sometimes as an injection into the muscle or intravenously into the vein. I

ts dosage should be administered exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Its side effects include itching, stomach pain or mild rash.

This drug is recommended as a substitute to surgeries performed for drainage of the sinus due to its effectiveness.

Closing thoughts

While on antibiotics, it is essential to complete the entire course. Always take your medications as per your doctor’s prescription.

Should your condition worsen, you may need to undergo further testing. Stay safe, aware and healthy!

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