Sinus Treatment Options: Everything You Need to Know

nasal congestion

Sinus infections might be quite common. But they’re still uncomfortable and may require proper treatment. This infection means that your nasal passages and sinuses are inflamed, with the bad bacteria causing a lot of mucus production. This excess will block the sinus openings, resulting in a higher build-up of germs in the sinus cavity. 

While most infections of this kind are merely viral and might fade away on their own, there are times when medical intervention is necessary. Don’t see an improvement in a couple of weeks? Here are some treatment options that you should consider: 

Dealing with Congestion

If you feel a lot of nasal congestion, you can reduce that feeling by applying a damp, warm compress or cloth to the forehead or facial area. Do this a few times each day until the feeling subsides. 

You can also thin out that mucus by using OTC medication. If you don’t feel like having medicine, get a humidifier to add moisture to the surrounding air. Alternatively, you can simply turn on a shower using hot water, close the bathroom door, and sit inside to breathe in the steam.

Remedies for Pain

Sinus infections can result in sinus headaches, pressure in the forehead, or pressure in the cheeks. If you have such pain issues, consult a doctor and ask them to prescribe some pain medication. While OTC medication might work for a while, it can have problematic side effects if overused. This is why it’s best to take pain relief medication that’s prescribed by a doctor who knows your condition. The same goes for when you’re recovering from sinus surgery. 

Treating the Bacterial Infection

If sinus infection symptoms prevail after a few weeks, it usually means that the issue is bacterial and not viral. This necessitates a visit to a doctor for sinus problems who will most likely prescribe antibiotic therapy. Swelling in the eyes, a persistent fever, runny nose, coughing, facial pain, and congestion are all symptoms that point towards a serious sinus infection. 

Make sure to take the prescribed antibiotics for the required number of days. Even if symptoms subside, you have to finish the antibiotic cycle or the infection might stay on. 

Sinus Surgery

balloon sinuplasty

If your sinusitis is diagnosed as a chronic condition, you may need to have surgery. Sinus surgery involves clearing the sinuses but there are different categories of this procedure. Based on the shape of your sinuses and other unique factors, your doctor may recommend a balloon sinuplasty procedure, functional endoscopic surgery, sinus ostial dilation surgery, or turbinate reduction surgery. 

These surgeries usually require general or local anesthesia, after which the surgeon will insert a small telescope into the sinuses. This will allow them to see what’s going on when they work. The doctors will then remove any blockages surgically or even reshape the sinuses as required. With local anesthesia, patients might feel pressure or hear the procedure happening in the sinus system. This would hopefully not be too disturbing; it’s similar to a cavity repair experience. 

Saline Spray

At times, a simple saline nasal spray might do the trick. This is something you can spray inside the nose a few times each day. The idea is to rinse out the nasal passages and keep them damp. A saline spray is also usually recommended right after sinus surgery. This is because it prevents blood crusts, which might block the healing sinuses.  

The Takeaway

Once you start noticing the symptoms of an infection (including blocked nose and headaches), you should see a sinus specialist as soon as possible. Once you get a proper diagnosis, it will be easier to track the symptoms and figure out whether they require serious treatment or not. You might be busy with a lot of tasks in life. But looking after your health should be a top priority!

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