If it feels like the very worst cold you’ve had in a while, and it’s not showing any signs of letting up, you might have a sinus infection. Also known as sinusitis, sinus infections are a very common result of common cold and even allergy symptoms. They occur when the sinuses become blocked and fill with fluid, creating an environment where bacteria can develop and cause an infection.
Identifying a Sinus Infection
As with common cold symptoms, a sinus infection is characterized by headaches, severe congestion, and runny nose. Where it begins to look and feel different from a generic cold or allergic reaction is inflammation of the sinuses themselves. This is often difficult to identify without the consultation of a medical professional, however, there are some other signs you can look for to determine if you need to visit your nearest Impact Urgent Care clinic:
- Acute nasal congestion
- Runny nose that includes thick, sometimes yellowish, mucosal discharge
- Post-nasal drip (fluid releasing from the nose down the back of the throat)
- Severe sinus headache
- Pain and pressure around eyes and across the bridge of the nose
- Cold symptoms that worsen even with decongestants and cold remedies
- Cold symptoms that last longer than 10 days
Additional cold symptoms like fever and cough may also accompany sinus infections.
Treating Sinus Infections
Many of the same cold remedies will help alleviate the pain and pressure that result from sinus infections. Over-the-counter decongestants and expectorants can bring relief, as well as hot compresses, hot showers, humidifiers, and nasal saline.
In many cases, sinus infections may require a course of antibiotics like azithromycin to fully resolve the infection and relieve the symptoms. Your medical provider may also suggest a generic NSAID like ibuprofen to expedite relief of headache symptoms, a pseudoephedrine product like Sudafed for the congestion, or a combination of these to address sinus infection symptoms immediately while the antibiotics take effect.
If you’ve been having symptoms of a sinus infection, but aren’t sure, visit your local Impact Urgent Care for an evaluation and, no matter the result, our professionals will be able to recommend the right course of action so you can be on your way to wellness, sooner.
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- Diaper rash
- Ear infection
- Eye infection
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