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Sinus Infections: What You Need to Know

Getting a sinus infection is more common than you might think. It is accompanied by a blocked nose and sore throat from the post-nasal drip. In some instances, you will also get a sinus headache, which is difficult to get rid of.

There are several causes of a sinus infection, which is known as sinusitis. The air cavities in the nasal passages become inflamed. This is caused by allergies, chemicals in the air that irritates the sinuses, or an infection.

The majority of sinus infections are caused by bacteria, although, in rarer cases, the infection could be fungal. The treatment of a fungal sinus infection is complicated, and it could become a medical emergency.

Most people respond to sinus infections by using over the counter (OTC) medications, such as decongestants, nasal irrigation sprays, and painkillers. These treatments are often effective during the infancy of the infection. However, it may proceed unabated beyond that point, and, at that stage, it is likely that you’ll need an antibiotic.

You’ll know that it’s time to visit the doctor when you’ve tried to self-medicate for a week, and there’s no improvement in your symptoms. A sinus infection is indicated by a yellow-green nasal discharge, fever, headaches, puffiness around the eyes, and bad breath from the post-nasal drip. The area around your face will also seem painful to the touch, and the pressure in the sinuses feels worse when you bend forward.

Sinus infections are seldom contagious, so you don’t need to worry about passing them on to your nearest and dearest. They can last for a long time, depending on the nature of your sinusitis. An acute sinus infection lasts 3-5 days, while a subacute infection can last anywhere between one and three months. Chronic sinus infections continue for longer than three months. When you have recurrent sinusitis, you can expect a few sinus infections each year.