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The 411 on Sinus Infections

By HERWriter
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According to the University of Maryland Medical Center sinus infections affect more than 31 million people, or one out of every seven adults, in the U.S. annually.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), claims patients with sinusitis miss approximately four work days annually. The AAAAI states sinusitis is one of the top ten medical conditions affecting American employers.

A sinus infection is also known as sinusitis, rhinosinusitis or nasal congestion.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the University of Maryland Medical Center, the following are symptoms of a sinus infection:

• Fatigue
• Nasal congestion
• Nasal discharge is thick and has a yellowish to yellow-green color
• Fever
• Facial pain or pressure
• Reduced or no sense of smell
• Dental pain
• A persistent cough
• Ear pain or pressure
• Bad breath
• Sore throat
• Post nasal-drip

There are two forms of sinusitis: acute and chronic. The symptoms of acute sinusitis can last up to four weeks. Acute sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection. A sinus infection is generally not contagious.

However, if you have sensitive sinuses and you are around someone who has a cold, you may develop a sinus infection within two to four days of being infected by someone who has a cold.

If you have a cold, your sinuses have an 85 percent chance of becoming inflamed which can lead to a sinus infection. AAAAI states more than 70 percent of people naturally recover from acute sinusitis after 14 days. After one week, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.

For chronic sinusitis, you doctor may recommend a regular regiment of nasal corticosteroids and antibiotics. The symptoms of chronic sinusitis can last up to 12 weeks or more. Chronic sinusitis is generally caused by allergies.

Possible home remedies for sinus infection include:

• Steam shower when you wake up and before you go to bed. Also, you can also take one after school or work or
• Use a face steamer 2-4 times per day
• Use a humidifier
• Use a neti pot twice a day with a warm salt-water solution
• Drink plenty of fluids to reduce and thin out the mucus
• Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your face several times a day
• Spray with nasal saline several times per day

You can also take ibuprofen for sinus pain and pressure.

If you have a sinus infection, it is recommended that you do not fly, bend your head down and also avoid extreme temperature/pressure changes.

For more detail information on sinus infections, you can visit the following websites:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

American Rhinologic Society

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology


Sinusitis - Complications. University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_symptoms_of_sinusitis_000062_4.htm

Sinusitis - PubMed Health. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001670/

Sinusitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000647.htm

Acute and Chronic Sinusitis (Sinus Infection) Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Management | AAAAI. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology | AAAAI. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from

Sinusitis - Risk Factors. University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/who_gets_sinusitis_000062_3.htm

Reviewed September 14, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

...and don't forget to always wear a hat that comes down low enough to warm the sinuses above your eyes. It really helps when you live in a cold climate. You can find more specific cures and tips on my blog, called Sinus Sister.
Cheers and good luck

September 15, 2011 - 1:15pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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