Have you ever wondered why you suddenly have a runny nose, headache, and sometimes pain and pressure around your face? You may associate it with typical colds, but it might be something else when it lasts for more than ten days. Colds, coughs, runny nose, and headaches are common symptoms of different illnesses. It may be a mild case of colds, pneumonia, sinus infection, and the worst severe diseases like cancer or those infected with the current COVID-19 virus. The current Covid-19 pandemic has put a halt into every industry from medical fields and economic states, creating a new system workforce, as people adapt to the new normal. It confuses many people and creates paranoia around the globe. A simple cough and colds turn into something serious that can end your life or damage your respiratory system if survived. The hesitations and worries should be dealt with precautionary measures such as wearing a face mask, especially when you feel ill. It is a standard protocol, especially for people who are sick to avoid contamination. Another way to take cautionary measures is to eat healthy, social distancing, avoid crowded places, and seek medical attention. Not all symptoms are Covid-19 related, so keeping a clear mind and consulting a specialist can end your worries. If you experience symptoms that are affecting around your face, especially on your T-zone, consulting an ENT specialist such as ENT Allergy and Sinus can help you rule out your condition and treat you.
What is Sinus infection?
Thick mucus and inflammation are the two main symptoms of sinus infection. As it gets heavy by the day, you may feel the pressure on your face and experience headaches, especially when you lean forward. It happens when fluids build up in the air-filled pockets in your face and later becomes the breeding ground for the germs to grow and cause infection. A sinus infection, also medically known as rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen, infected, and inflamed, causing a continuous nasal drip. There are two types of sinus infection – Chronic and Acute.
Acute sinus infections usually last less than four weeks. It is typically due to existing colds and other respiratory illnesses. Sinus infection can be misleading as it overlaps the symptoms of another existing disease. If you recover from flu or any respiratory health problems, usually sinus infection stays. Hence, a chronic sinus infection lasts more than the acute stage and is recurring.
If you have a sinus infection, you may experience pain behind your nose, above and below your eyes, pain in your forehead, between your eyes, and sometimes in your upper jaws. You will also find yourself blowing your nose now and then because of continuous nasal discharge. It is generally in cloudy form or green or yellow drippings. Sometimes, it doesn’t go through your nose. Instead, it goes straight to your throat. There will be a slight discomfort of tickling and itchiness on your throat when this happens. The symptoms often affect your breathing as the discharge becomes more apparent and infected, which causes swelling in your nasal passages. It is also normal that your sense of smell and taste may reduce.
There are a few factors that cause sinus infections to occur. It includes viruses that are trapped in your sinus. Almost 90% of cases of sinusitis is because of this reason. Exposure to bacteria, pollutants, and fungi also contributes to it. It can trigger mucus build-up. In other cases, the allergic reaction affects your nasal passages. If you have a low immune system, have a history of respiratory tract infections, or have structural problems, you will most likely a catch sinus infection.
5 Best Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”. However, If it’s too late, and the symptoms start to appear, here are some remedies you can try to treat your sinus infection.
1. Use over-the-counter medication
Having a stuffed nose is annoying, and it can affect your daily activity. Usually, when you have an existing health condition like colds or allergies, it can turn into a sinus infection. Treating your current condition first can help prevent sinus infection from happening. There is an over-the-counter medication like nasal spray that can help ease the drippings and settle inflamed sinuses. There is also an available saline solution for inhaling that can help clear blocked nose so you can breathe comfortably. You may also take anti-histamine medication as some allergic reaction may cause your sinus infection.
2. Drink plenty of water
Whether you are sick or not, water is an essential part of keeping a healthy body. When you feel ill, you need to fuel it with fluids to stay hydrated. Drinking more water can help your mucous membranes become thin and keep your throat well lubricated.
3. Apply warm compress on the face
A warm compress is typical first aid for pain. It helps improve blood flow circulation and relaxes your muscles. It also aids in the healing process for those with muscle strains. The same benefits go for pain due to sinus.
Using any clean towel, soak it with warm water and gently twist the towel to get rid of excess water, but make sure not to overdo it. Fold it and lay it on your face for a few minutes. Repeat if necessary to relieve the pressure from your face.
4. Steam inhalation therapy
Adding moisture to the air can help soothe your nasal discomfort. Steam inhalation is a natural do-it-yourself remedy that you can try anytime at home. You only need boiling water, a large bowl, and a towel. Pour the boiling water into the large bowl. Put your head a few inches above the water. Make sure not to have contact with water to avoid burning. Once you have placed your head above it, cover your head with the dry towel. Don’t let the towel soak into the water, instead make it as a cover to prevent the steam from coming out. It is to make sure that the flow of steam is concentrated and well-circulated within the bowl’s tight space.
5. Essential oils
Essentials oils are concentrated plant-based oils, usually for fresheners, and help minor sicknesses like nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, and breathing difficulty due to a clogged nose. Its aromatherapy is proven safe and effective for pain relief. There are different oils believed to help different purposes. It can also aid those with insomnia. For a sinus infection, eucalyptus oil is best to stimulate a refreshing minty sensation that tricks your nasal passages to open, making your breathing easy and loosens a clogged nose. However, it is only temporary relief.
In general, the condition can easily be treated and usually gets better on its own. However, some cases of sinus infection remedies include taking antibiotics. Sinus infection does not spread to other people, but it may be hard to tell if you have one, given the overlapping symptoms of fever, headache, allergic reaction, and congestion. It may also be challenging to assess which type of sinus infection you are in, but consulting a professional is the best way to tell and get you the right treatment, and ENT Allergy and Sinus can help you out.