Sinus Infections by Nathan Kiskila, MD
A sinus infection is the swelling of the interlining of your sinuses most likely caused by a virus like a common cold. When you get a cold, mucus in your sinuses becomes thick and sticky and is more difficult to drain. Bacteria can grow in the mucus and lead to an infection. Sinus infections are most commonly caused from allergies, deviated septum or change in pressure (flying). Symptoms include pressure or pain in your face or forehead, congestion, cough (often worse at night), sore throat, headache, and fever. Usually sinus infections resolve on their own and we treat the symptoms. Netty pots or nasal saline rinses help loosen the mucus so it drains better. Drinking lots of water and taking mucinex helps thin the mucus. Over the counter decongestions and pain medicines may alleviate the congestion. Avoid allergy medicines which may cause mucus to become thicker. If your sinus symptoms last more than 7 days or are getting worse you may need an antibiotic or a prescription for a nasal steroid. Go see your doctor if you have a fever above 101, if you have a bad headache, vision changes or swelling around your eyes.