Dr. Bob Arnot talks about sinus infections, how to avoid them and treatment options.
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I am Dr. Bob Arnot. We all know what a common cold feels like but some of them are just a lot worse than others. For instance, you have that kind of stuffy feeling in your head and the coughing and sneezing and sinus infection here, just does not seem to go away. Maybe, you do not just have a common cold but you are suffering from a bacterial sinus infection. Now here are some simple tips to help you determine the difference. Almost all cold involves some sort of minor infection of the sinuses. Most are caused by simple viruses and are best treated by drinking plenty of fluids and using over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms. Bacterial sinusitis on the other hand, usually only responds to an antibiotic, so how can tell if that is what you are dealing with? First, we always ask how long you have been sick, bacterial sinusitis often does not even kick in until about the week or 10 day mark after you have condoned with the cold. So if you get a cold, start a feeling a little better, and then start feeling worse again; that is usually is a give-a-way that what you are dealing with is some sort of a bacterial infection and need to come in and be evaluated for a prescription to clear it up. One of the most common signs of a bacterial sinus infection is that the discharge coming out from your nose is heavy yellow or green, although, you may also have thick yellow discharge with a viral sinus infection. You are also most likely to experience pain and swelling especially around the eyes, chicks, and forehead. You may feel a lot of pressure in your head and get a headache every time you wake up and bend over. Another sign is bad breath even after you brush your teeth and your teeth might hurt. A few other things that will ease your symptoms include using a humidifier, taking hot showers, and using an over-the-counter saline spray to keep the nasal passages moist. Tylenol is good for the pain and a decongestant like Pseudofed will help with the congestion. Just read the warning label carefully if you have high blood pressure or asthma. The one thing that you should not take for bacterial sinusitis is an antihistamine. Antihistamines work by drying up mucous and in the case of a sinus infection, that is just going to cause all that infected mucous to get stock in your sinuses instead of draining out.