Health & Fit 10 signs that your sniffles are a sinus infection

21:03  12 october  2017
21:03  12 october  2017 Source:   FOX News

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Many folks with sinus infections complain that their head feels heavy. The study monitored 166 patients with sinus infections –half who were prescribed over-the-counter meds and the other half were prescirbed a 10 -day course of the antibiotics (i.e., amoxicillin).

It’s common for children to have allergies and to be prone to infections in the nose and ears. Colds happen frequently and it is estimated that up to 10 percent of them will lead to acute sinusitis. Your child may have a sinus infection if they have the following symptoms

A cold and a sinus infection can look quite similar with their sore throats and post-nasal drip. © cyano66 A cold and a sinus infection can look quite similar with their sore throats and post-nasal drip.

Suffering through sniffles and a sore throat? While you might blame the detested common cold for your troubles, your symptoms may actually line up more with a sinus infection, or sinusitis.

A cold and a sinus infection can look quite similar with their sore throats and post-nasal drip. However, since nearly 30 million people get chronic sinusitis every year, it’s a good possibility you could have it too. If you do discover that you have a sinus infection, you may be able to get targeted treatment that your body needs.

10 signs that your sniffles are a sinus infection

  10 signs that your sniffles are a sinus infection <p>A cold and a sinus infection can look quite similar with their sore throats and post-nasal drip. Here's how to know the difference.</p>Suffering through sniffles and a sore throat? While you might blame the detested common cold for your troubles, your symptoms may actually line up more with a sinus infection, or sinusitis.

Sinus infection (sinusitis): This happens when a cold virus infects your sinuses -- the A cough that could last 10 to 20 days. A cough that produces green, yellow, or clear mucus. When this happens, bacteria or viruses can grow and cause an infection . Warning signs of an ear infection can include

Bearing that in mind, we have decided to provide you with 10 of the most common signs that you have a sinus infection , because it is important to know when its time to take a cold seriously.

What Causes Sinusitis?

At the core, a sinus infection is an inflammation of the sinus cavities. You have four of these in specific areas, including on your forehead, behind your cheeks, between your eyes and near the bridge of your nose (ethmoids). Because they’re in such distinct locations, you can pinpoint a sinus infection with high accuracy if you have symptoms around these areas.

So why do sinus infections happen? They occur for a number of reasons, and the cause isn’t always obvious. First of all, the tissue lining of the nasal cavities might be inflamed or blocked due to allergies, a common cold, bacteria or irritants like nasal sprays or cigarette smoke.

Also, chronic dryness of mucous membranes can lead to an infection. You might experience this dryness because of dehydration, medications or a lack of humidity in the surrounding air.

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The inflammation of the sinuses , which is the main sign that you have a sinus infection and not just another cold, will show itself in severe pressure that feels like a dull, throbbing pain behind the eyes or cavities behind the forehead, nasal bones, and cheeks (where your sinuses are located).

In rare cases, the infection may be the result of fungus. These cases require immediate medical attention because the fungus can grow and cut off blood circulation.  

10 Signs of a Sinus Infection

Although a sinus infection may have some similar symptoms to the common cold, a few signs will give away the true culprit.

1. Facial tenderness

The blockage or inflammation may cause a general aching in your face.

2. Pressure in any of the sinus locations mentioned above

Though not always, you may feel pain in the sinus cavities since they are directly affected.

3. Congestion

Most cases of sinusitis will have some blockage, altering your smell, taste or voice.

4. Earache

Fluid may get trapped in your ear with a sinus infection, resulting in an ear infection as well.

5. Sinus headache

Similar to the facial tenderness, congestion and inflammation may cause an overall ache in the sinus cavities of your forehead.

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10 Tips to Fight the Sniffles this Year! The presence of thick yellow or green mucus is often the telltale sign that a sinus infection has developed, according Dr. Rob Ivker, author of Sinus Survival.

About 35 million Americans suffer from a sinus infection or sinusitis every year. (1) Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses that leads to an infection . It can result in mucus build-up and pain.

6. No response to over-the-counter nasal medications

Here, you may have a bacterial sinus infection.

7. Puffy eyes

Inflamed sinuses in this area may cause the blood vessels surrounding your eyes to swell.

8. Thick, discolored mucus

Discolored mucus suggests that the body is trying to fight off infection.

9. Bad breath

When foul-smelling infected mucus starts dripping down the back of the throat (post-nasal drip), you may notice a smell to your breath too.

10. Sore Throat

Post-nasal drip and coughing may cause irritation to the back of the throat.

Treating Sinusitis

Most of the time, acute sinus infections can be effectively treated at home.

Home treatment includes

  • using a steam vaporizer or inhaler
  • clearing out passages with a nasal rinse
  • taking OTC decongestants
  • applying a warm compress
  • getting plenty of fluids
  • getting rest

If the symptoms last for longer than 1-1 ½ weeks, you should seek out treatment from a doctor. At that point, your treatment will vary based on the type of infection you have.

Antibiotics

For instance, a bacterial sinus infection will need an antibiotic to help your body fight it off. Again, your doctor may suspect a bacterial infection if you have bad breath or if the infection doesn’t respond to other treatments.

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Steroids

Sometimes, a doctor may prescribe nasal or oral steroids. These help to reduce the swelling in the sinuses.

Allergy medications

If allergies are irritating your sinuses, you may simply need the proper allergy medications to get rid of the problem. In chronic cases where you don’t know the cause, you might consider undergoing allergy testing.

Surgery

A less common treatment method is surgery. Your doctor will usually recommend it if you have severe, chronic sinusitis that won’t go away or if you get sinusitis multiple times per year. During surgery, the doctor will actually enlarge your sinus cavities to encourage proper drainage.

Because of many similar signs to each other, sinus infections can sometimes mask themselves as a common cold. In some cases, the infection may have even started as a cold and worsened. To tell the two apart, try comparing what you’re experiencing with the 10 common symptoms listed above. Then, if your symptoms are persistent, you can better hone in on and describe your infection’s symptoms to your doctor.

This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

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