Your sinuses are air-filled cavities located just above your upper back teeth and which have a thin lining the reduces mucus. If they become infected or inflamed, the lining will swell, creating additional mucus and causing a condition called sinusitis where the sinuses become blocked. As the sinuses become blocked, they fill with fluid and bacteria can grow, causing an infection.
What Can Cause Sinusitis?
Sinusitis can be caused by the following conditions, including:
- The common cold
- Nasal polyps which are small growths in the lining of the nose
- Allergic rhinitis that causes the lining of the nose to swell
- A deviated septum that causes the nasal cavity to shift
There are different types of sinusitis, and which include:
Acute sinusitis usually begins with the common cold, creating symptoms like facial pain and a stuffy nose. Acute sinusitis may start suddenly and last between two and four weeks. Subacute sinus inflammation can last between four and 12 weeks.
Symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
- A stuffy, runny nose
- Loss of smell
- Facial pain or a feeling of pressure
- Cough or congestion
It may also cause:
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
- Sometimes fever
New York primary care physicians may diagnose acute sinusitis if you have two or more symptoms or if your nasal discharge is a thick yellow or green.
Chronic sinusitis causes inflammatory symptoms that can last 12 weeks or longer. Symptoms include a runny nose, a feeling of congestion, pus in the nasal cavity, and fever. It can also cause headaches, dental pain, and bad breath. Chronic sinusitis can linger for years and may be harder to treat.
It’s possible for sinusitis to recur several times a year.
Diagnosing A Sinus Infection
Initially, general practitioner in NYC aim to diagnose the reason for your sinusitis as if it is due to allergies prescribing decongestants may not help. If you have had symptoms of sinusitis for more than a few days, primary care physicians can conduct a physical exam and will sometimes recommend imaging tests like CT scans, MRIs or x-rays to figure out the reason for the problem. Sometimes the best approach to sinusitis treatment is to use medication combined with a self-care program.
Our primary care, internist doctor in NY can evaluate these symptoms and prescribe the correct treatment plan.
Using Medicines for Sinus Infection Treatment
If your sinusitis is due to a bacterial infection, primary care physicians will prescribe antibiotics. For acute sinusitis treatment, you will need to take these antibiotics for 10 to 14 days.
For chronic sinusitis treatment, general practitioner may prescribe a longer course of antibiotics. Antibiotics can only help you if you have a bacterial infection, and they will not treat viruses.
Over-the-counter painkillers may be useful for sinusitis and can ease discomfort, and especially as a sinus headache treatment. However, you shouldn’t use these painkillers for more than ten days. Our NY best doctors can advise you if a painkiller is the right course of treatment.
A decongestant can reduce the amount of mucus in your sinuses and is available as a spray or as a pill. You mustn’t overuse decongestant nasal sprays as they could make you more congested.
Often, sinusitis can be due to allergies, and general practitioner might suggest allergy testing. Allergy medication like antihistamines and avoiding triggers can help. Allergy injections are a long-term treatment that can help reduce your sensitivity to triggers.
Steroids for Chronic Sinusitis Treatment
Chronic sinusitis can be tricky to treat, which is why general practitioners may prescribe inhaled steroids to reduce the swelling in the lining of your sinuses. Steroids can also be taken by mouth.
Sinus Headache Treatment in Midtown NYC and New York’s Upper East Side
A sinus infection can cause a headache, and you may feel pressure around your cheeks, forehead, and eyes. However, many people who assume they have a sinus headache may have a migraine.
If you frequently have headaches, it is worth seeing our primary care physician in New York City so we can make a definitive diagnosis based on your symptoms. If appropriate, general practitioners NYC can provide a sinus headache treatment or treatment for migraines.
Our New York general practitioners would only recommend surgery after trying other options, but occasionally it can be appropriate if you have acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis that keeps recurring. A surgeon can enlarge the sinus cavities, so it is easier for them to drain.
Self-Care and Home Remedies
If you frequently suffer from sinus infections, home remedies may be useful.
- Place a humidifier in rooms most frequently used and follow the instructions to clean it regularly.
- Breathing in steam vapor can help ease congested nasal passages. You can breathe in steam from a bowl of warm water or have a hot shower.
- Warm moist heat can be useful as a sinusitis treatment, and placing a warm wet towel on your face can relieve pressure.
- Nasal irrigation with salt water can remove mucus, but it is important to use distilled, previously boiled or sterile water and to rinse the device thoroughly after use.
- Drinking plenty of fluids helps to thin mucus, so your sinuses can drain more easily.
- Get plenty of rest when you have a sinus infection as it will give your body a chance to recover.
While home remedies may sometimes be effective, you should always see a physician if your sinus symptoms are present for more than a few days or if they are making you feel very ill. The sooner our doctors can provide acute or chronic sinusitis treatment, the sooner you will feel better.
Comprehensive Evaluation and Treatment Plan
Depending on your specific symptoms and duration, you may need antibiotics. It is important to have a comprehensive evaluation with one of our board certified internists or primary care doctors for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan. We look forward to meeting you in our center in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side