Sinus Infection Treatment New York, NY
A sinus infection is a condition in which inflammation surrounds the nasal cavities and causes discomfort in areas of the face. Sinus infections vary in severity and location; they could be evident in the eyes and ears of one patient and appear in the nose and throat of other patients. While a minor sinus infection can be self-diagnosed and self-treated, a more pressing sinus infection needs professional treatment to avoid any further development or other conditions. It is important to understand the difference between mild and severe symptoms in order to properly treat the condition.
Sinus infection treatment is available at Marina Gafanovich, MD in New York and the surrounding area. Our primary care doctor can help determine whether the symptoms you feel are related to a sinus infection and help you treat it. Call us at (212) 548-3263 for more information to schedule an appointment.
When a Sinus Infection Requires Medical Care
A minor sinus infection does not require a trip to the doctor or indicate a reason for significant concern, but a more severe sinus infection may need medical assistance to appropriately treat the underlying cause of the infection. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology states that a sinus infection close to the brain can be life-threatening, especially if left untreated for a period of time. While prevention is the best way to handle a sinus infection, it is not always possible to prevent, especially when caused by the common cold.
Therefore, it is essential to know what to do if a sinus infection develops, keeping an eye on the symptoms and their severity. If they become intolerable or no sign of improvement is noticed after more than a week, the infection is likely severe and needs medical attention.
“While prevention is the best way to handle a sinus infection, it is not always possible to prevent, especially when caused by the common cold.”
Causes and Symptoms of Sinus Infections
Sinus inflammation, also known as sinusitis, is a condition where the nasal passageway becomes inflamed due to an infection or allergies. There are two different types of sinus infections, acute and chronic. Acute sinus inflammation can result from another condition or infection, such as the common cold or allergies. A chronic sinus infection has a much more complicated diagnosis and almost always requires medical assistance to keep it under control.
The two leading causes of acute infection are either a bacterial infection or viral infection. While they are similar, bacterial infections have a different treatment procedure than a viral infection, which makes accurate diagnosis essential to successful treatment. Bacterial infections that cause sinusitis are far less frequent than a viral infection.
The symptoms differ depending on the severity, cause, and type of the sinus infection. Nevertheless, several more common symptoms apply to almost every case of sinus infections, including:
- Facial pain
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sinus pressure
The first symptoms that patients tend to experience with a sinus infection are nasal congestion and runny nose. Additionally, almost all sinus infections involve headaches, ranging from mild to severe, and uncomfortable facial pain. There is no way of eliminating these symptoms without treating the cause, and medical assistance can help speed up the process of recovery.
“The two leading causes of acute infection are either a bacterial infection or a viral infection.”
Treatments for Sinus Infections
Our primary care doctor will first conduct an assessment to evaluate the type of sinus infection. There are several common methods to diagnose a sinus infection, including a detailed examination of the nasal passageways. After diagnosis, we will help the patient receive the most effective treatment option that meets their needs.
In the event the sinus infection is caused by a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics, which is often the most successful method used. However, antibiotics do not work for viral infections. Instead, antiviral medications will likely be prescribed.
One of the main reasons for sinus inflammation is allergies, a condition where the immune system rejects a harmful substance. If allergies are determined to be the cause of the sinus inflammation, we will prescribe a steroid spray. The nasal spray should help reduce the severity of the reaction, which ultimately allows the sinus inflammation to stay at a tolerable level. Regardless of the medical treatment option, over-the-counter medications can also help deal with the symptoms, including decongestants, allergy medicines, nasal spray, pain relievers, and steroids.
“There are several common tactics performed to try and diagnose a sinus infection, including a detailed examination into your nasal passageways.”
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Home Remedies and Prevention
Along with treatment, specific home remedies can help symptoms improve faster and keep them at a tolerable level for the duration of the sinus infection. Also, proper lifestyle changes can prevent acquiring an acute sinus infection altogether.
For home remedies, rest and a healthy diet help in a speedy recovery. When the body is fighting off a sinus infection, or any infection for that matter, it needs proper rest and nutrients to do so. While resting, it is also important to:
- Clean out your nasal passageway
- Elevate your head while sleeping
- Place a humidifier in your home
- Stay hydrated
- Take hot showers
- Use a warm compress
Ultimately, it comes down to focusing on relieving the pressure built up in the sinuses by keeping the nasal passageways from getting clogged. Using a warm compress, placing a humidifier in the home, and elevating the head while resting are all excellent tactics to clear the nasal passageways.
While it is not always possible to avoid or prevent sinus infections, there are precautions one can take to help minimize the risk. These include receiving a flu shot, keeping distance from others who are sick, planning for an allergy attack, and practicing good hygiene.
The best way to prevent a sinus infection is to practice a hygienic lifestyle, which means continuously washing your hands throughout the day. If you have allergies, planning for an allergy attack by limiting time outdoors during allergy season and getting an allergy shot when needed can significantly reduce the chance of acquiring a sinus infection.
“Ultimately, it comes down to focusing on relieving the pressure built up in the sinuses by keeping the nasal passageways from getting clogged.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
When to Visit a Primary Care Doctor for a Sinus Infection
First, it is important to visit a primary care doctor for a sinus infection if symptoms begin to worsen or last for an extended amount of time. Patients experiencing difficulty breathing due to their sinus infection should come in as soon as possible to have their sinuses cleared out. Also, keeping a close eye on your symptoms and their duration and severity is important to understand how they progress. If the symptoms do not decrease or improve within a week, we recommend coming in to get checked.
Additionally, primary care is highly encouraged for children as they are unable to fight off infections as quickly and could lead to more serious conditions. It can be much more challenging to diagnose the cause of the sinus inflammation in children. In some cases, the reason could be due to an underlying allergy that has not yet been diagnosed.
During the visit, we will thoroughly examine the face and symptoms, documenting any relevant information to make a proper diagnosis. It may be helpful to make a list of all of the symptoms, any medications that are currently being taken, and any allergies that exist. We will likely ask a series of questions to try and learn more about the scope of the infection, including medical history, severity of the symptoms, and any lifestyle changes that may have led to the sinus infection, after which treatment will be administered.
“Additionally, primary care is highly encouraged for children as they are unable to fight off infections as quickly and could lead to more serious conditions.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Sinus Infections
Q. Is sinusitis the same thing as a sinus infection?
A. Sinusitis and sinus infections both refer to inflammation of the sinuses. In most acute cases, it is the result of an infection, such as the flu or common cold. However, there are many reasons someone may experience a sinus infection. In chronic cases, the onset of a sinus infection may be due to one's allergies. More chronic sinus infections may result from a bodily defect, such as a deviated septum.
Q. I have a severe headache with my sinus infection. Is this normal?
A. A minor headache often accompanies a sinus infection. However, a severe headache can be a cause for concern. In most cases, a minor headache is the result of too much pressure in the head, manageable with anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication. A severe headache that is hard to control and causes severe discomfort should receive immediate treatment by a primary care doctor. In some instances, severe headaches are caused by too much congestion too close to the brain. When this occurs, the sinuses may need to be cleaned out, at which point the headaches should improve.
Q. I always have sinus infections during allergy season. Do allergies cause sinus inflammation?
A. Yes, sinus inflammation can be the result of allergies. Allergies result when the body reacts to a substance it deems harmful, leading to too much mucus being produced, ultimately clogging the sinuses and causing inflammation. Due to this, it is essential to take extra precautions during allergy season and seek treatment when allergies are present. The faster allergies are treated, the lower the chance of developing sinus inflammation due to the allergies.
Q. The symptoms of my sinus infection are tolerable. Can my sinus infection get better without treatment?
A. Most sinus infections improve without the need for medical assistance. Like any bacterial or viral infections, the body works to fight off the sinus infection as quickly as possible, which is why we often feel fatigued during an infection. To ensure your body can successfully fight off the infection, be sure to give yourself plenty of rest and stay hydrated. In the meantime, you can ease the symptoms with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. In the event the symptoms begin to worsen or do not improve within a week, you should consider medical assistance to deal with the sinus infection.
Q. Is a nasal endoscopy required to treat a sinus infection?
A. A nasal endoscopy is just one treatment option for sinus infections, and it is not necessarily required in every instance. For more severe sinus infections, however, a nasal endoscopy is likely necessary to clean out your sinuses and ease the symptoms. While it may seem somewhat invasive, a nasal endoscopy is a painless procedure that does not take long to complete. If you have any doubts about the method, ask the doctor about the process and discuss any other possible treatment options.
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By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
Definition of Medical Terminology
- A reaction to a specific substance in which the body rejects the substance believing it is harmful to the body. Allergic reactions are a common reason one may experience a sinus infection.
- A treatment option for many types of sinus infections. A decongestant relieves nasal congestion and allows individuals suffering from sinusitis to breathe easier as they recover.
- Nasal endoscopy
- A procedure done to clear out the sinuses during a sinus infection. It is done using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera.
- A thick, sticky mucus that develops with most illnesses or irritation of the respiratory tract.
- A connected system of air-filled cavities inside of your skull. Healthy sinuses allow for the free flow of air and drainage of excess mucus in the sinuses.
Call Us Today
To ensure the symptoms do not worsen or linger for longer than necessary, schedule an appointment with our team at Marina Gafanovich, MD. By receiving prompt, quality care, you can give your body what it needs to fight off the sinus infection.
Call us at 212-548-3263 to ensure your symptoms are appropriately managed and diagnosed.
Helpful Related Links
- American Journal of Medicine. American Journal of Medicine. 2022
- American Medical Association (AMA). American Medical Association (AMA). 2022
- CDC Respiratory Health Resources. CDC Respiratory Health Resources. 2022
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