Symptoms and Signs of Sinus Infections: Sinuses are the hollow chambers between the head and nose. Usually, they help the nose prevent the dust and pollutants from getting in with the help of a mucus layer. But If they get swollen for some reason, they start to store mucus resulting in inflammation. Coughing and sneezing start. But coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose can happen in the cold too. So how are you going to tell them apart? What are the symptoms and signs of a sinus infection? It’s true that it’s not easy to separate them. But it’s vital in case of treatment. To know that, read the article carefully.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of Sinus Infections?
It can be confusing to identify the signs of a sinus infection as the common cold shows pretty similar symptoms, at least at the initial stage. Besides, sometimes a cold can result in a sinus infection too. But telling them apart is essential. The main symptoms are-
- Runny nose with inflammation
- Thick cloudy or greenish-yellow discharge from the nose
- Severe headache
- Pressure around the nose or in the forehead
- Postnasal drainage
- Difficulty in breathing
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
- Swelling around eyes
Dry air, smoke, or tobacco trigger the possibility of getting a sinus infection. The polluted air is full of allergens. But if you have the wall separating the nostrils (septum) deviated, you can also have a chronic sinus infection. It can last even more than 12 weeks. But in these cases, you’ll not spread the infection at all. But without the duration, there is no other way to know the cause by just looking.
As you can see, you most probably won’t spread the infection to others in the case of bacterial sinusitis. And if you get a sinus infection by some structural problems in the sinuses, that infection will not be contagious. If you have a sinus infection caused by a virus, you’ll only pass on the virus to others like any other viral disease.
How long do sinus infections last?
Different factors cause different infections. As a result, the signs of sinus infection differ in various types of infections. Similarly, there are different results in how long do sinus infections last. By the duration that the sinusitis can last, they are classified into three different types.
- Acute sinusitis doesn’t last more than 4 weeks. But most of it doesn’t take that much time too. Usually, it stays severe for 3 to 6 days after initiation. Then after 10 days, it starts to get better. But sometimes, it can lead to secondary infection by the formation of bacteria. Then it can take a month to cure,
- Subacute sinusitis signs and symptoms last for 4 to 12 days.
- Chronic sinusitis is the longest among them. The signs of the sinus infection can last for more than 12 weeks.
- Sometimes the sinus infection returns several times even after getting cured. This type is known as Recurrent sinusitis.
How long does it take for a Sinus Infection to go away?
Like other infections, a sinus infection can also be cured, sometimes even without any medication, as the infection shows similar symptoms as the common cold. You won’t figure out if it’s sinusitis or not. Like the cold, acute sinus infection also goes away in 2 weeks. On the other hand, if a virus causes the infection, the antibiotics won’t help. That’s why you should give yourself a little time before heading to the doctor.
In the meantime, you can apply some natural home sinus infection remedies that can ease the inflammation and even get rid of the sinusitis infection. Saltwater can be helpful to release the blocked mucous. You can try saltwater irrigation 2-3 times a day. Just mix salt and baking soda half spoon each. Mix them with 1 cup of water. Then with a dropper, apply the mixture into the nostrils while leaning over the sink. Go for one nostril at a time. You can also use nasal decongestants. But avoid using them too much as that can increase the chances of the reverse reaction.
If the infection doesn’t go in 10 days or the remedies don’t relieve the symptoms, you should consult an ENT specialist. The doctor will run some necessary tests to determine the reason behind the infection. Endoscopy and allergy tests are among them. If there is a secondary infection because of bacteria, you’ll have to take antibiotics. Some pain-relief medication and decongestants will be prescribed. The bacterial infection or allergic infections will go away in a month with proper treatment.
If you have chronic sinusitis, then most probably you’ll have to get surgery. Usually, the surgery is a mild one and cures the infection for good. But the infection takes more than 12 weeks to go away. But in the case of nasal polyps, it can grow back sometimes even after surgery. That will result in an infection again.
Having the right information is as essential as the right treatment. Some people believe that the color of the mucous states the type of infection. But experts claim that to be a myth. According to them, the white blood cells are the reason behind the mucous yellow or green color, not the virus or bacteria. If the mucus is thick and looks dark in color, that means you are dehydrated. Here you learned what are the symptoms and signs of sinus infections and their duration. Consume more water, and the mucus will get lighter. You should keep drinking sufficient water during the whole day to ease the infection’s pain and even stop the infection from occurring.