Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, can feel like a stuffy nose that just will not go away. They are most commonly caused from other viruses and are more annoying than they are harmful. AFC Urgent Care North Bergen can offer diagnosis and information about treating sinus infections for all members of the family.
What are symptoms of a sinus infection?
As the name implies, a sinus infection happens when fluid builds up in your sinuses from a previous cold or flu. People with nasal polyps are more likely to get sinus infections, but also those with weakened immune systems or smokers have a high chance as well. Symptoms of sinus infections include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Facial pressure
- Post-nasal drip
- Sore throat
Sinus infections typically resolve themselves within 10 days, but visiting with a doctor can speed up recovery, as doctors can prescribe antibiotics for specific cases.
Can I treat a sinus infection at home?
There are a few ways you can alleviate your symptoms to start to feel better while suffering from a sinus infection. To start, using a nasal spray or decongestant can help flush out the fluids in your sinuses. Breathing in the steam from a hot shower or hot water can also help break up any mucus. Using a humidifier while sleeping can also help break up any build-up fluids and help you feel better. Within 10 days, your symptoms should subside. If symptoms last longer with no improvement, you should seek medical attention.
Allergy medications can also help with symptoms of a sinus infection. Antihistamines are designed to help combat your body’s production of histamines at cell receptors. Always speak with a doctor before taking any medications.
Can I prevent sinus infections?
Avoid smoke and wash your hands frequently when dealing with a sinus infection. Secondhand smoke is an irritant to the sinuses and can cause infections to become chronic. If you get multiple sinus infections a year, understand what is causing them. Seasonal allergies can cause sinus infections even without another illness before. Colds and flus can also cause sinus infections if they are left untreated. Staying hydrated and drinking a lot of water can help prevent sinus infections, as well. Adding a humidifier to your home during the dry Winter months can help both alleviate symptoms and prevent them in the future.