What Is A Sinus Infection?
Sinus infections affect millions of people each year. Could you be one of them? While, in most cases, this condition really isn’t anything to worry about, we do understand that dealing with a blockage can be uncomfortable and a little more challenging to treat. Fortunately, the Otolaryngologists of Northwest Otolaryngology in Bridgeton and O'Fallon, MO is here to provide the quality care you deserve to breathe a little easier.
If you have a sinus infection you may be experiencing:
- Facial pain and pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
- Thick nasal mucus or discharge
- Sore throat
A sinus infection that only lasts about four weeks is acute and will often go away on its own. Unfortunately, if your symptoms have been going on for multiple weeks without any relief then you could be dealing with chronic sinusitis.
In many situations, you may find that your sinus infection appeared right before getting a cold or before a nasty bout of allergies. However, those with chronic sinus infections may be dealing with structural problems such as nasal polyps, a deviated septum or other abnormal changes. When you come in for a consultation we will be able to examine your sinuses to determine whether structural abnormalities could be to blame for your infection.
In order for us to create an effective treatment plan we first need to figure out what is causing the problem. We may prescribe multiple medications in order to best manage your symptoms until the infection goes away. If your sinus infection is due to allergies we may prescribe allergy medications or recommend getting immunotherapy (e.g. allergy shots) if the symptoms are severe enough.
If a bacterial infection is responsible for your symptoms then antibiotics will be prescribed for up to 2 weeks. Even if you are feeling better it’s important that you take your medication exactly as directed to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
Other medications include steroids or decongestants. When you come in for treatment we will be able to determine the cause of your symptoms to decide which medications will alleviate your symptoms. In rare cases, surgery may be advised. Surgery is usually the very last resort and it is often recommended when all other treatment options have failed. However, surgery can be a great way to open up a serious blockage to finally drain the sinuses.