Suffering from a mild sinus infection can be quite annoying. Common symptoms include nasal congestion and discharge, postnasal drip, sore throat, facial pressure and swelling, loss of smell and taste, headache, fever, fatigue and bad breath. The good news is that you are not alone; experts estimate nearly 37 million Americans have suffered from a sinus infection.
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
A mild sinus infection is caused by inflammation and swelling of the tissues that line the sinuses. This interferes with normal mucus drainage, leading to breathing difficulties, pain and pressure.
This inflammation is usually caused by an infection brought on by a cold or allergies, but may also be the result of nasal polyps, a deviated septum, trauma to the face, hay fever, complications from immune system disorders or tumors.
While the symptoms of a sinus infection may seem like enough, additional complications can include asthma attacks, meningitis, vision problems, aneurysms and stroke.
How is a Sinus Infection Treated?
In order to diagnose a sinus infection, your Las Vegas otolaryngologist will first review your medical history and perform a physical exam. They will inspect your nasal passages for polyps and other abnormalities and check for inflammation and a buildup of fluid. Additional tests utilizing nasal endoscopy, CT scans, MRIs and allergy tests can be used to help confirm the diagnosis.
The treatment your doctor orders depends entirely on the severity of your sinus infection and how long as it has been present. A mild sinus infection may be treated with saline nasal spray and a wait-and-see approach.
For those with a more severe infection, decongestants and antibiotics may be ordered. Antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, saline washes and oral steroids all provide long-term relief. More permanent solutions such as immunotherapy (allergy shots) or surgery can bring relief to those suffering from chronic sinusitis.
For more information on how to treat a sinus infection, contact your Las Vegas otolaryngologist today.