Story by: Maggie Roetker on November 26, 2018
Greater Louisville is famous for allergies and congestion that affect residents year-round.
But it’s November when Norton Community Medical Associates offices see a seasonal spike in sinus complaints.
“We see an increase in colds and viruses this time of year, and they can cause congestion,” said Richard Gibson, M.D., internal medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Barret. “That, in turn, can sometimes lead to sinusitis, which is an actual infection.”
Here are some signs to look for to determine whether you have a sinus infection or sinus congestion.
Sinus congestion can be caused by a cold or allergies.
“A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, happens when bacteria grow in the sinus cavities,” Dr. Gibson said. “A sinus infection can happen after a cold because congestion blocked the sinuses and became a breeding ground for the bacteria.”
Sinus infection symptoms
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Treatment for both
With sinus infections, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. Because simple sinus congestion is likely caused by a virus or allergy, an antibiotic will not help.
“Only around .5 percent to 2 percent of sinus problems are bacterial and actually require antibiotics,” Dr. Gibson said.
With both, try these at-home treatments to relieve pain and pressure:
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