Many people, at some point in their life, encounter sinus pain. But there can be a big difference between sinus discomfort caused by the common cold and a true sinus infection. In some cases, a cold can lead to a more serious sinus infection, so the symptoms may seem the same. What is important to look out for in these cases is the duration and intensity of the symptoms. The longer and more intense the symptoms, the more likely you may have a sinus infection as opposed to simply a cold. Below are just a few of the basic symptoms and a few treatment options.
The most basic symptom associated with a sinus infection is pressure. As mucus fills your sinuses, pressure behind your nose can build, causing discomfort. This can also lead to congestion and difficulty breathing. And as more mucus builds up, you may also experience postnasal drip down your throat. If the drip or discharge from your nose or down your throat is thick and yellow-green in color, you may have a sinus infection. If you start to experience these symptoms, take a look at some of the treatment options below to help relieve pain and fight a potential infection.
For infection prevention or mild cases, many treatment options can be taken care of right at home without pharmaceuticals. One of the easiest ways to relieve pressure and combat a sinus infection is to humidify your nasal pathways. Humidifying a sinus infection can help reduce swelling and increase the flow of a stuffed up nose. Consider using a humidifier or breathing deeply during a hot, steamy shower to help increase the flow of water vapor in your nose.
Similarly, consider irrigating your nose with a saline solution to help clear out nose-clogging debris while also increasing the humidity in your nasal pathways. There are a number of ways to irrigate your nose, from sprays to neti pots to high-tech irrigators, so do your research to find the method that is best for you.
If you have severe or long lasting sinus pain, there are a number of medical solutions that your doctor can recommend. The first option is to try using decongestants. Some can be purchased over the counter but others may require a prescription. Decongestants constrict the size of the blood vessels to help reduce swelling in the impacted areas, thus providing pressure relief.
If a doctor does diagnose you with a sinus infection, they can also pursue an antibiotic option. As mucus builds up in your sinuses, the area becomes primed for bacterial infection. If prescribed the correct antibiotic and you follow through on your dosage, you have a good chance of defeating the infection. Other treatment options can include steroid sprays to help reduce swelling or allergy medications to help reduce your sensitivity to environmental triggers. There are a number of good treatment options out there for you so consult your doctor to find the option that is right for you.
Dealing with a sinus infection can be a real pain but, fortunately, can be treated quite readily in most cases. From a few home remedy options to pharmaceutical solutions, the answer to your sinus problems might already be out there. For more information and treatment options, be sure to consult the experts at the St. Louis Sinus Center.