Sinusitis is a common health condition affecting over 30 million individuals in America. Sinusitis or sinus infection occurs when the sinuses swell and become inflamed. As a result, breathing may become difficult, and you may experience tenderness around your eyes, nose, or forehead. For most people, simple remedies such as nasal irrigation may help clear out acute sinuses. However, these symptoms are recurrent in other cases and may last up to months, known as chronic sinusitis. Fortunately, your otolaryngology in Newport Beach, CA, may help improve your symptoms and minimize discomfort.
Treatment for sinusitis
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for bacterial sinus infections. According to your prescription, you may need to take antibiotics for 3 to 28 days. However, this depends on the type of drug your doctor may recommend. If your condition is severe, your treatment period may be longer as the sinuses are deep-seated in the bones, where blood supply may be limited. You may not experience relief until medications take effect. However, do not overuse or abuse antibiotics as this may make your body resistant to these drugs.
Nasal spray decongestants facilitate better drainage from the sinuses by shrinking swollen nasal passages. Your doctor may recommend that you use this for not more than three to four days as overuse may result in a rebound phenomenon. Other times, your doctor may advise that you rinse your nasal passages using saline mixed with drops of budesonide if the sprays are ineffective.
How can you prevent sinusitis?
The symptoms that come along with a sinus infection, such as headaches, fatigue, and nasal congestion, may get in the way of your daily activities. The good news is, some practices can help you reduce your risk of chronic sinusitis and relieve early sinusitis symptoms. For example:
- Use a humidifier at your place of work or at home to avoid dry environments. You can also place it in your bedroom to prevent the sinuses from drying out. When using a humidifier, clean it regularly to prevent dust, mold, and bacteria.
- Keep your body hydrated by taking plenty of water. You can do this by carrying a bottle of water to work or placing a glass on your kitchen counter as a reminder to take water. Good hydration lowers your risk of nasal congestion as it keeps the mucus thin and loose.
- Use medications as prescribed by your specialist. For example, decongestants such as nasal sprays may help keep your airways open. However, prolonged use puts you at risk of dependency.
- Prop your head on a pillow while sleeping to avoid nasal congestion. Mucus tends to accumulate in your sinuses when your head is in a lower position.
- Protect yourself from upper respiratory infections by minimizing contact with people suffering from colds. Ensure you clean your hands with soap and water before eating and meal preparation.
- Work closely with your doctor to help manage your allergies. Allergies such as hay fever result in inflammation which may block the sinuses.
The breathing difficulty caused by swollen sinuses may cause significant discomfort. If you have acute or chronic sinusitis, visit your specialist at Alexis Furze, MD, for treatment to minimize your symptoms and improve your well-being.