A sinus infection can feel like a stuffy nose that is not getting better. Sinusitis happens when your sinuses become inflamed and fill with fluid that becomes infected. Viruses or bacteria most commonly cause them. AFC Urgent Care North Andover can provide you with a diagnosis and proper treatment of sinus infections. Learn more about the general illnesses we can diagnose and treat here.
Symptoms of a sinus infection
There are a few different causes of acute sinus infections. This can include a cold, allergies, smoking, or a weakened immune system. They are typically not serious infections, but they can be long-lasting, which can cause irritation. Getting a flu shot, washing your hands properly, and avoiding others who are sick are ways to avoid getting a sinus infection. If your infection lasts more than 12 weeks, and you get them frequently throughout the year, you may have chronic sinus infections. Signs can include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Facial congestion
- Post-nasal drip
- Sore throat
You should speak with a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning, or if you have a fever for more than a few days. Those with nasal polyps or a deviated septum are more likely to have chronic sinus infections.
Potential treatment options
If bacteria caused your sinus infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Be sure to take the antibiotic in its entirety, as the infection can return and then be harder to fight off. With virus caused sinus infections, there is no specific medication that can help fight it off. There are many different ways to help alleviate symptoms, however. Breathing in the steam from the shower or a hot bowl of water can help relieve pressure in the sinus and allow you to breathe easier. Putting a warm compress over your forehead or sinus can also help relieve pressure and help if you have a sinus headache. Ibuprofen or Tylenol can help with any pain from a headache.
The best way to prevent getting sinus infections is by not getting sick initially. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Getting the flu vaccine can also help, as the influenza virus can cause sinus infections. Don’t smoke, and try to avoid secondhand smoke.
If you think you may have a sinus infection, visit AFC Urgent Care North Andover for a diagnosis. Our trained physicians are available seven days a week, no appointment necessary. For more information, give us a call.