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Sinusitis, or “sinus infections”, are a common illness seen during the colder months of the year. The term sinus refers to the hollow areas in your facial bones that normally help produce mucus. When your sinuses become infected, their mucus production increases, causing pressure and thick drainage from your nose. Common signs of sinusitis beyond nasal drainage include pressure in your face and pain in your teeth and jaws. Other symptoms might include fevers, cough, ear pressure, fatigue, and difficulty smelling.
Most sinus infections are due to a viral illness, but they can also come from everyday things we find in the air and breathe in. This can include car exhaust, cigarette smoke, paint fumes, dust, and perfume among others. Actually, anything entering your nose and that can permeate into your sinuses can cause sinusitis. The good news is that these infections usually clear up and improve within one to two weeks.
To help yourself feel better, you can try treating your sinus infection with saltwater nasal rinses, nasal steroid sprays, or OTC decongestants. If you feel that your sinusitis is taking longer than a week or two to clear up, antibiotics may be necessary to treat for a bacterial infection. Only in more severe cases are antibiotics necessary any earlier, as most infections will benefit from OTC medications and conservative treatments.
In some cases, individuals may have symptoms that last for several weeks to months. This is referred to as chronic sinusitis. These cases may require the help of a specialist in sinus infections called an ENT doctor. Sometimes the underlying cause may be allergies and may require you to consider allergy testing. Whatever your needs, Twin Rivers will be here to help you any way we can to get you back to feeling better.
Contact us or stop by one of our clinics if you have any questions or feel like you need to be seen due to sinusitis.