Don’t let a sinus infection get you down, especially during the colder months.
Soon the weather will get chillier and our furnaces will be working overtime to keep us warm. Unfortunately, all this indoor heat can dry our sinuses out. As you might imagine, our Springfield, MA, otolaryngologists see a lot more sinus pain cases during the winter months.
How do I know that I have a sinus infection?
You may have a sinus infection if you are experiencing:
- Nasal congestion
- A stuffy nose
- Facial pain and pressure that may radiate to the upper teeth
- Nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- A sore, irritated throat (usually caused by postnasal drip)
Can I treat a sinus infection on my own?
If symptoms are minor you may choose to alleviate them with over-the-counter medications to see if the problem goes away by itself. At-home treatment options include:
- A Neti Pot or nasal irrigation
- Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines
- Nasal saline and corticosteroid sprays
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
When should you see a doctor?
If you have symptoms of a sinus infection that hasn’t gone away after 10 days, or if symptoms return then it’s a good idea to visit your Springfield, MA, ENT doctor for further evaluation. If you experience recurring sinus infections or sinus infections that happen four or more times a year then you could be dealing with chronic sinusitis.
How will a doctor treat my sinus pain?
If you have a bacterial sinus infection your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In other cases, the bacterial infection may actually go away without antibiotics. Those with severe bacterial sinus infections are more likely to require antibiotics.
If your doctor discovers that your allergies may be causing recurring sinusitis then immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be able to help you reduce your allergy symptoms and your chances of developing sinus infections throughout the year.
If you are dealing with chronic sinusitis that isn’t responding to at-home care then your doctor may talk to you about whether you could benefit from balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure designed to open up the blocked nasal cavities.
Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England is proud to serve the Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA, areas. If you are fighting sinus pain this winter call our office today to get the treatment you need to breathe easier. Call (413) 732-7426 for our Springfield, MA, office, (413) 586-2033 for our Northampton, MA, office, or (413) 967-2249 for our Ware, MA, office.