If you spend more than a few years here on Planet Earth, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up dealing with a sinus infection or two. We’ve pretty much all been there before; your sinuses become irritable, you feel stuffed up and maybe your head begins to pound from the ongoing pressure.
Yes, there’s no doubt about it – sinus infections can be the worst! However, not every stuffy nose or pressure headache is indicative of a sinus infection. Let’s take a look at what really constitutes a true sinus infection, some of the symptoms you might have to endure during an infection, and some of the options you have for dealing with a sinus infection.
What is a Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection is just that – an infection of the sinus cavities. These cavities allow airflow throughout the nasal area, through the ear canals and into the front portion of your skull (just above the bridge of your nose.) An infection can occur as a result of viruses, bacteria or fungi. Like what happens with other infections, your body will begin to wage war against these invaders. And that’s when you start to notice the effects and symptoms of a sinus infection.
There are many symptoms that you might notice when you have a sinus infection. Here are just a few of the most common symptoms:
- Pressure headaches
- Irritated nasal passages
- Congested nasal passages
- Pasty discharge or pus coming out of the nostrils
And these are really just a few of the symptoms that you might notice. Other symptoms, like fever, sore throat or cough – that people associate with run-of-the-mill head colds – often come along when you have a sinus infection. If you’ve been dealing with one or more of these symptoms, you may indeed have a cold, but it’s very likely that the cold has actually resulted in a sinus infection.
It’s not at all unusual for the symptoms of a cold and a sinus infection to run together. If you’ve had these symptoms for more than a week, there’s a very good chance that the actual cold has subsided, but that the resulting sinus infection is still in full effect.
Dealing with a Sinus Infection
These infections can be annoying, painful and can lead to worse health problems down the road. It’s important to take action if you believe that you might have a sinus infection. If you look at sinus infection pictures, that show what can happen when an infection goes untreated, you’ll see that this type of condition is no laughing matter. So don’t let your infection go undiagnosed and untreated for a prolonged period of time.
The first thing you’ll want to do, if you’ve been having these types of sinus problems, is to get a diagnosis from a trusted medical professional. You never want to start a treatment plan, without first knowing what you are dealing with. The symptoms of a sinus infection are also the same symptoms that can show up in relation to other health conditions, so get a diagnosis before you proceed with a course of treatment.
Is My Sinus Infection Contagious?
It is very rare that sinus infections are passed from one person to another. Since these infections are generally very deep within the sinus cavities, they are not typically airborne, like the common cold virus. If you’re worried that another family member will “catch” your sinus infection, you can rest easy. Medical experts concur that this is something that almost never happens.
There are a wide range of treatment options to get rid of a sinus infection. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if the infection is full blown and has been going on for more than a week. There are, however, homeopathic cures that have proven effective as a natural remedy for sinus infections for some people. For example, flushing the nasal cavity with a neti pot can help to force the infection out of your sinuses. It’s best to work in conjunction with your doctor to find the best sinus infection.
Now that you know all about what a sinus infection really is, some of the most common symptoms and a few of your treatment options, you are armed with the knowledge you need to handle a sinus infection – should you come down with one.