Sinus infections are very common during the winter months. They are often caused by other viruses in the body and do not cause any real damage. While they are harmless, they can still be an annoying thing to deal with. AFC Urgent Care Burlington can help you diagnose and treat your sinus infection today. Continue reading to learn how to prevent sinus infections in the future.
What causes sinus infections?
Sinus infections happen when your sinuses become inflamed and then infected with fluids and germs. They can be caused by the common cold, a deviated septum, or allergies. Symptoms of sinus infections can resolve themselves within two to four weeks. Signs you have a sinus infection can include:
- Stuffy nose
- Sinus pressure
- Runny nose with thick, green, or yellow mucus
With chronic sinus infections, symptoms typically last between 4 to 12 weeks. It typically has all of the same symptoms listed above, as well as a fever. Acute sinus infections are the most common form of sinusitis, so that is what we will focus on in this article.
How are they treated?
Since a virus causes sinusitis, there is no specific treatment, such as antibiotics, to cure it. At-home remedies can help alleviate symptoms and help you to recover faster. Always try to stay hydrated throughout any illness. Drinking plenty of clear fluids can help loosen the mucus in your sinuses. Use a humidifier while sleeping and throughout the day to keep the air moist and help you breathe. Additionally, sleeping with your head elevated can help your sinuses drain.
OTC decongestants can also help with immediate pressure. Do not use decongestants for more than three days, as this can make symptoms worse. Always follow the instructions on the packaging, or talk to your doctor. Medicine such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, can help with pain from sinus pressure, such as headaches.
How can I prevent them in the future?
Similar to preventing other illnesses, maintaining a healthy immune system is the best way to avoid sinus infections. Do this by getting plenty of rest and drinking enough water every day. Eat a healthy, balanced diet to avoid getting sick in the future. Knowing what triggers your sinus infections, such as allergies or cigarette smoke, can help you avoid them in the future. Lastly, breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water or the shower can help alleviate symptoms. Place your head over a bowl of hot water with a towel to keep the moisture in, and breathe deeply.