Sinus infections should clear up in a few weeks, but during that time, the congestion and sinus pain, and pressure can make you feel miserable. When you can’t bear your symptoms, or they don’t seem to improve, it’s time to seek help at Bayou ENT in New Iberia, Louisiana. In addition to helping you find relief from your sinus infection, Chris Gaffga, MD, and Jamie Guillot, APRN, make sure you don’t have a blockage or chronic infection needing specialized care. To schedule an appointment, call or book an appointment online today.
Your sinuses lie in hollow areas of the bones around your nose. Each sinus connects to your nose through a narrow channel, and the lining inside produces mucus that usually drains into your nose.
Most sinus infections begin as the common cold. The virus responsible for your cold travels into one or more sinuses and causes an infection. The infection creates swelling in the mucus membranes, blocking the opening and making mucus build up in the sinus.
Though it’s not as common, your sinus infection could arise from bacteria. You also have a higher risk of developing sinus infections if you have hay fever or other allergies or a structural problem that blocks your nasal passages, such as nasal polyps, enlarged turbinates, or a deviated septum.
A sinus infection causes symptoms such as:
When you have an acute sinus infection, your symptoms should improve within four weeks.
Your treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms while the underlying virus runs its course. Bayou ENT may recommend a saline nasal spray to clean the congestion out of your nose.
You may also need over-the-counter or prescription nasal sprays; your provider may prescribe a spray containing decongestants, antihistamines, or steroids.
Your provider may also want to rule out allergies, especially if you have frequent sinus infections. They run allergy testing, usually a skin prick test, and then determine if they are severe enough to need immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Though viral sinus infections usually heal on their own, you should seek prompt medical attention when you have:
You have chronic sinusitis when your symptoms last 12 weeks or longer. Signs of an infection include pain or swelling around your eyes, a fever, changes in your vision, and a stiff neck (that’s not related to an injury).
If you need help with a sinus infection, call Bayou ENT or schedule an appointment online today.