What Is Acute Sinus Infection

Acute sinus infection occurs when your nasal passages become inflamed making it difficult for the normal drainage of the mucus. As a result, you have difficulty breathing and may also experience a headache, fever or cough.

The common cause of acute sinus infection is the cold. Other causes include bacteria, allergies, nasal polyps, deviated nasal septum and certain medical conditions. When the doctor is able to determine the exact cause, only then will treatment be given.

But most of the time, acute sinus infection is either bacterial or viral. Since it is hard to pinpoint what is the exact cause, doctors speculate that if the problem persists longer than 14 days, then it is more likely that the cause is bacterial.

You will know if you have acute sinus infection if you have any of these symptoms. These include bad breath, cough, dental pain, erythema, fatigue, fever, nasal congestion, nausea or a sore throat. You may experience one or a few of these at the same time and you should treat it immediately to prevent this from becoming a chronic sinus infection which is worse to cause complications.

This means that the sinus infection could last longer than 8 weeks or you could develop acute asthma, aneurysms, meningitis or vision problems.

If the symptoms of acute sinus infection are mild, you can try self-care like drinking lots of fluids and bed rest. However if the body temperature ever exceeds 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 39 degrees Celsius, then you have to seek medical advice.

When you go to see a doctor, he or she will be asking you a few questions to gather information about your medical history, conduct a physical examination and in some cases call for a CT scan to pinpoint which areas are inflamed.

If the test results show that the cause is bacterial, then you may be prescribed some antibiotics like amoxicillin or the combination drug trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. If there are no changes, then a different antibiotic will be recommended.

Should this be caused by an allergic reaction, the doctor will likely recommend an antihistamine.

Other possible treatments for acute sinus infection include the use of prescription decongestants, nasal corticosteroid spray, oral corticosteroid pills to relieve stuffiness, over the counter decongestants or pain relievers and spraying a saline solution inside your nose several times a day.

But do you always have to wait for acute sinus infection to strike before taking any action? The answer is no because this can be prevented. Some simple things you can do include practicing proper hygiene, getting flu shots annually, staying away from people who have colds, keeping yourself hydrated, limiting alcohol use, investing in a humidifier, avoid going to polluted areas and hanging out with people who smoke.

If you already have acute sinus infection, steam your sinus cavities by mixing Vicks Vaporub with warm water or with a few essential oils and then inhale it for about 10 minutes. You can also take a hot  shower and breathe the warm air. Don’t forget to also take some decongestants and drink lots of fluids as this will all reduce congestion and promote drainage.

An acute sinus infection doesn’t last that long but when it is there, you will really have a bad day. It can happen to anyone and at anytime so you have to take good care of yourself.


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