Suggestions For Dealing With The Congestion And Pain Of Sinusitis

Sinusitis often accompanies a common cold, so you might decide to put up with the symptoms or use over-the-counter nasal sprays to relieve the congestion and stuffiness. If sinusitis is caused by a cold, the condition usually clears up as your cold symptoms disappear. Other times, a sinus infection can linger for weeks or even months. When that happens, you may need to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist or ENT doctor to find out what's causing the infection and to get it treated. Here are some treatments that might help your condition.

Prescription Medication

A lingering sinus infection might be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. The ENT doctor may swab the inside of your nose so the secretions can be tested in a lab to determine the cause of your infection. This allows the appropriate medication to be prescribed. A round of antibiotics or antifungal medications may be needed to clear up the infection in your nose so you can breathe easily again.

Warm Compresses And Steam Inhalation

Sinusitis is annoying because your nose is stuffed up and you have trouble breathing. The congestion can even cause pain in your sinuses that is as bad as a toothache. Placing a warm, wet cloth over your sinuses may help relieve the pain. Inhaling warm steam might also help reduce pain and thin the mucus so it drains. You might want to spend time in the bathroom with a hot shower running or sleep with a humidifier by the bed.

Allergy Testing And Treatment

Sinusitis could be a result of an allergy. If your problems seem to come and go, the symptoms may be flaring when you come in contact with something you're allergic to. This might be pollen or a cat. The only way to know for sure is to be tested for allergies. Then, you'll know what to avoid. You might even need allergy shots or allergy medication to relieve your symptoms. In addition, you'll want to avoid general irritants such as cigarette smoke.

Over-The-Counter Medications

Sometimes, medications you buy at a pharmacy or grocery store may help your symptoms. You could try nasal or oral decongestants to reduce swelling and pain in your nose. Plain saline nasal spray might be helpful too. However, you don't want to rely on OTC medications for too long or for a chronic condition unless your doctor approves. You may need a nasal decongestant to make it through work, but if you use it for more than a few days, you could actually make your condition worse.

If your sinusitis outlasts your cold or if the symptoms tend to come and go, then it's better to get expert help from an ENT doctor, such as those at Surgery Center of Kenai, so your symptoms can be controlled effectively and safely.