Sinusitis: What You Should Know

Spring is a common season for sneezing and sniffling. But when your symptoms are more severe than simple hayfever, you could be suffering from sinusitis. More commonly known as a sinus infection, this respiratory illness is one of the most common reasons for clinical visits in the U.S. each year. And because it can occur on its own or in tandem with other issues, knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms is key to getting fast relief. To help you be in-the-know, your hometown healthcare team is here to shed some light on this heady issue.

What is Sinusitis?

At its core, sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus cavities. But to truly understand it, we need to first get to know our sinuses a bit better. Imagine your skull not as a solid block but as a structure with air pockets. These air pockets, or sinus cavities, are located in your forehead, between your eyes, and behind your cheekbones. They’re lined with mucous membranes, similar to the inside of your nose, and they have a pretty important job: producing mucus that protects the nasal passages by trapping and moving away pathogens and pollutants.

Sinus infections are most commonly caused by bacteria (germs), but they can also be caused by viruses, such as the common cold. When these invaders enter your sinuses, they cause swelling and inflammation in the sinus cavities. This blocks the small passages that allow mucus to drain, which fills your sinus cavities and creates the perfect breeding ground for infection. Many sinus infections are acute and last between three and eight weeks. Sinus infections that last longer than eight weeks or recur multiple times are called chronic sinusitis.

Sinusitis Signs and Symptoms

Sinusitis symptoms can be quite a bother. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Facial pain and pressure that feels worse when you bend over
  • Nasal congestion
  • Thick, discolored nasal discharge (green-yellow)
  • Post-nasal Drip
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Bad Breath
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Sinusitis Treatment

The good news? Sinusitis is usually easy to treat. Here at Urgent Care of Fairhope, we recommend starting with:

  • Plenty of rest and hydration to help your body fight off the infection
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants to ease those bothersome symptoms
  • Saline nasal sprays or irrigation to help clear the nasal passages
  • Warm compresses to soothe pain and pressure

If your symptoms linger for longer than a week, it’s time to visit us for a check-up. You may have a bacterial sinus infection, which requires antibiotics. We may also suggest other treatment options to help you breathe easier and find relief faster.

Sinusitis is a drag, but it doesn’t have to keep you down. With the right care, you can clear up those sinuses and get back to enjoying everything Fairhope has to offer. Remember, Urgent Care of Fairhope is always here to help you navigate those pesky health hiccups with ease and compassion. We’re open six days per week with extended hours and you never need an appointment. Just check our waitlist online and visit us at a time that works for you.

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