Bacterial sinus infections cause green or thick yellow mucous to drain from the nose or drain down the back of the throat for at least 5-7 days. The mucous is discolored during the entire day, not only in the morning. Symptoms include drainage, constant clearing of the throat, sore throat, head and facial pressure, bad breath and fatigue. If you have asthma, a sinus infection can make your asthma difficult to control.
- Lasts for a longer time; weeks as opposed to days
- Causes more drainage that is thick and discolored all day long
- Body aches and pains are not generally seen
- Causes other problems like fatigue, head pressure, coughing, frequent clearing of the throat, nasal congestion, bad breath, sore throat, chronic ear infections
- If you have asthma, it will make your asthma more difficult to control
Diagnosing Bacterial Sinusitis
A good history taken by a healthcare provider and a physical examination are important. Many times a C-T scan is needed to make a definite diagnosis. A C-T scan means a computerized tomography. Multiple x-rays are taken of the sinus area and the computer places them in sections, like slices of bread.
The doctor is able to see each picture and determine if there is any abnormality, such as an infection, curvature of the nose (deviation of the septum), nasal polyps, enlarged turbinates, etc. Depending on the degree of infection, an antibiotic may need to be used anywhere from ten days to 1-2 months.
Using the right antibiotic is very important due to the fact that there is a great deal of resistance to many antibiotics. Your doctor will need to discuss with you how to treat a chronic sinus infection. The options include antibiotics and an Immune System work up. We can evaluate your immune system to determine if this is the problem.
Treating Bacterial Sinusitis
Bacterial sinus infections are treated by antibiotics. Depending on the degree of infection, an antibiotic may need to be used anywhere from ten days to four, six or even eight weeks. The right antibiotic is very important due to the fact that there is a great deal of resistance to many antibiotics.
Your doctor will need to discuss with you how to treat a chronic sinus infection. The options include antibiotics and a referral to an allergist immunologist trained in treating recurrent infections. Repeating the C–T scan after an extended course of antibiotics is frequently needed to assure that the infection has resolved. If the problem is the immune system the sinus infections will keep coming back. Primary immune deficiency includes frequent sinusitis, and/or bronchitis, pneumonias, and/or irritable bowel, and/or blood dyscrasias like anemias and clotting. Please see an allergist immunologist trained in treating recurrent infections. We constantly see patients that could have avoided years of suffering from frequent sinus infections.
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