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Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Sinus Infections

Posted Oct 02 2008 4:23pm
If you have ever suffered from a sinus infection, you know that the pain, pressure and fatigue can be severe enough to get in the way of daily activities. Most sinus infection sufferers will find relief in a matter of days or weeks, but imagine dealing with those uncomfortable symptoms for twelve weeks or more at a time.

That is precisely what happens when you have a chronic sinus infection. Because these symptoms linger for very long periods of time, a chronic sinus infection can affect your quality of life. Because of this, it's important to understand how to recognize a chronic sinus infection, so that you can work with your doctor in finding the most effective treatment option for you.

Symptoms of Chronic Sinus Infections

The symptoms of a chronic sinus infection are similar to those of an acute infection, except that the symptoms tend to last longer and do not respond to treatments as easily. It is also rare to run a fever with a chronic sinus infection, although many people do with the acute variety of infection.

Other common symptoms include pain and pressure in the face around the sinus cavities, a thick yellow or green discharge from the nose, difficulty breathing through the nasal passages and fatigue. You might also suffer from less common symptoms, like bad breath, teeth or jaw pain and an earache. These symptoms can vary based on the particular sinuses that are involved, so it is a good idea to check with your doctor even if you don’t have all of the classic symptoms of an infection.

Treatment of a Chronic Sinus Infection

In order to properly treat a chronic sinus infection, it will probably be necessary to make an appointment with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and prescription treatment choices.

The first course of action is often a round of antibiotics that may be taken for as long as twelve weeks or until you are symptom free for at least seven days. You may also receive a prescription for a corticosteroid that will help to bring down the inflammation and swelling inside of the nasal passages and sinus cavities.

Decongestants, antihistamines and expectorants can also provide temporary relief from the congestion and promote drainage. Moisture can also bring relief, in the form of a humidifier, hot packs applied to the face or steam treatments to open airways. If allergies are the cause of the chronic sinus infection, allergy treatment may be part of the remedy as well.

A chronic sinus infection can be severe enough to keep you from many of the activities that you love. The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options available that will effectively kick that infection out for good.

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