Treating a Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is a type of infection that occurs near the nose (specifically the tissue lining the sinuses). Sinusitis usually develops after you’ve had a cold or some type of allergic inflammation.
We currently offer the following ear, nose and throat services:
At UPMC our experienced ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors provide compassionate care for patients of all ages with sinus infections in Williamsport, PA and the surrounding areas.
What is a Sinus Infection?
Normally, your sinuses are filled with air. When you have a sinus infection, they fill with fluid and block your nasal passages. This fluid may contain bacteria, fungi and viruses, which can grow and cause an infection.
There are four types of sinusitis:
- Acute (symptoms usually last less than four weeks and get better with treatment.)
- Chronic (occurs with repeated acute infections and may last eight weeks or more.)
- Recurrent (three or more instances of acute sinusitis occur a year.)
- Subacute (does not get better with initial treatment and may last four-to-eight weeks.)
If you’d like relief from a sinus infection, speak with a doctor at UPMC.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
The symptoms of a sinus infection will depend on the individual and his or her age. Sinus infection symptoms may differ slightly for children and older children/adults.
Symptoms of a sinus infection in younger children include:
- A runny nose that lasts longer than seven-to-10 days. Fluid is typically thick yellow or green, but after can also be clear
- Cough at nighttime
- Occasional daytime cough
- Swelling around the eyes
Symptoms of a sinus infection in older children and adults include:
- A drip in the throat from nose (post nasal drip)
- Bad breath
- Discomfort around the face
- Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than seven-to-10 days
- Sore throat
- Swelling around the eye (worse in the morning.)
Sinus infection symptoms may often resemble other conditions or medical problems. Talk with your doctor for the right diagnosis.
Sinus Infection Causes
Common causes of sinus infections include the following:
- Abnormal formation of the nose
- Common cold
- Nasal polyps
- Allergic rhinitis
- Deviated septum
- Diving and swimming
- Foreign objects stuck in the nose
- Secondhand smoke
Sinus Infection Treatments
At UPMC, treatment for a sinus infection will depend on the following:
- If you need surgery to correct a sinus problem
- The extend of your condition
- Your age, overall health and medical history
- Your personal preference
- Your tolerance for certain medications, therapies or surgical procedures
As an initial treatment, your doctor may prescribe nasal drops or an acetaminophen (like Tylenol) to help ease pain and discomfort. If your infection causes a fever, swelling around your eye or facial pain, antibiotics may be helpful.
Surgery may only be considered if other treatments have failed. If you have chronic or recurrent sinusitis or if you’ve had surgery and still have sinusitis, your doctor may refer you to an allergist/immunologist for further treatment.
UPMC offers complete care to treat sinus infections in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.