Every year, 31 million people in the United States get sinus infections. And while these begin to rise with fall allergies, they also very common in the winter. For many, telling a sinus infection apart from a bad cold or the flu can be difficult.
That’s why Live Urgent Care focuses on educating our patients. By learning the differences between sinus infections, colds, and flus, you can confidently navigate winter illnesses.
What is a Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is when the lining of the sinuses becomes enflamed. Generally, this is caused by a bacterial infection.
Most sinus infections are acute. An acute sinus infection is any infection lasting less than 4 weeks. These are often caused by colds and resolve in about 2 weeks.
Longer cases can fall into the subacute or chronic category. Subacute infections last between 4 and 12 weeks. And chronic infections last more than 12 weeks.
Symptoms of a Sinus Infection
Sinus infections cause a variety of symptoms. Some are listed below.
- Facial pain or pressure
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus headaches
- Sore throat
Commons colds also cause many of these symptoms. But the big distinguishing factors are severity and persistence. In general, a cold will go away within 7 to 10 days. A good way to tell if you have a sinus infections is if you feel like you have a cold that won’t go away.
In most cases, the best solution is time. Symptoms will likely dissipate on their own.
Many doctors opt for one of two strategies: watchful waiting or delayed antibiotic prescribing.
Watchful waiting is giving a sinus infection more time to play out. This is particularly common when treating children. Rather than prescribing antibiotics too soon, doctors may want to see the course the infection takes.
If antibiotics are needed, however, they are remarkably effective in clearing infections. Antibiotics can help speed up the rate at which you heal as well as how completely you heal.
Home Remedies That Can Help
Several home remedies can help clear up a sinus infection. Below are some methods to keep in mind.
- Focus on diet (plenty of water & healthy foods)
- Sleep with a humidifier on
- Warm compresses on your face
- Get plenty of rest
Book Your Appointment Today
Ultimately, you may need a healthcare visit to deal with your sinus infection. At Live Urgent Care, we are ready to help.