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Sinus Infections

What is a sinus infection?

A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses, which are normally filled with air, become inflamed or swollen.  The inflammation or swelling can create a blockage in your sinuses, allowing bacteria to grow and causing an infection.

If your sinus infection lasts a short period of time, it’s considered an acute sinus infection; whereas, if it lasts longer than eight weeks or recurs frequently, it’s considered a chronic sinus infection.

Why do I get sinus infections?

A sinus infection can occur any time a sinus becomes blocked.  There are a few different causes:

  • Colds
  • Allergies
  • Nasal polyps
  • Anatomic conditions that block airways

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

Symptoms of an acute sinus infection are often similar to the common cold; however, cold symptoms typically go away within a week or so.  If the symptoms linger longer than about 10-14 days, you may have a sinus infection.  Symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Thick, potentially malodorous nasal discharge
  • Congestion
  • Face or eye pressure or pain
  • Headache
  • Fever

How can I treat a sinus infection?

Your doctor will first determine the cause of your sinus infection, and will then propose the best treatment plan for you.  The goal of treatment is to open up the sinuses and encourage drainage.  Doctors often recommend treatment with antibiotics and decongestants.   Your doctor may also recommend home treatments – like hot showers or facial steam - to help loosen mucus and open the affected sinus.

When should I see the doctor for a possible sinus infection?

Whenever you have questions about your medical condition, we recommend that you visit a doctor.  For a sinus infection, it’s especially important to see a doctor if a fever accompanies your infection or you are suffering from a persistent bad headache.

Think you might need relief from a sinus infection?  Visit your nearest MedSpring Urgent Care for same day treatment.

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