Have you ever had a cold that seemed to linger? If symptoms last for 10 days or more, you might have sinusitis, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Also known as a sinus infection, the nasal passages become swollen or inflamed, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
Sinus infections can go away on their own, but going to an urgent care – like Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine – or seeing your primary care provider can help you to alleviate symptoms. Symptoms may include:
- Thick discharge that drains from the nose or goes down the back of the throat
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Pressure around or on the forehead, cheeks, nose, or eyes
You may also feel:
- Ear pressure
- Upper jaw and teeth aches
- Sense of smell or taste is lessened
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to see a doctor if you have a persistent fever or have a history of recurrent sinusitis. Seeing a provider will also help to determine if you have a viral or bacterial sinus infection.
Typically, a viral sinus infection lasts fewer than 10 days, while a bacterial sinus infection does not improve after 10 days. Knowing the difference will help with treatment.
Treatment and Prevention
Viral infections do not benefit from antibiotics, “but may be treated using pain relievers, steroid nasal sprays, or salt water irrigation in the nose,” according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. If you have a bacterial sinus infection, you may benefit from those treatments, but you can also try antibiotics.
Being sick isn’t fun, especially if feeling ill for almost two weeks. Some ways to stay healthy and prevent a sinus infection include:
- Managing your allergies
- Avoiding cigarette smoke
- Limiting contact with people who have a cold
- Using a humidifier if the air in your home is dry