Sinus Infection

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It’s not uncommon to confuse an acute sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, with a cold or a migraine, because their symptoms overlap. Sinus cavity inflammation can be caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infections. If you’re feeling congested from swelling and fluids that cause a runny nose, sinus pain or pressure, it’s possible you have a sinus infection.

A medical provider can determine whether you have a viral infection or bacterial sinusitis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics won’t help with viral sinusitis. However, a bacterial sinus infection can emerge as a result of prolonged congestion from allergies or a virus.

The fluid buildup makes a good place for a bacterial infection to develop.

Your medical provider will consider all your symptoms and history when determining whether you have a viral or bacterial infection. Generally, a sinus infection will start as a viral infection. If it lasts a couple weeks or longer, it may be a bacterial infection that will respond to antibiotics.

Chronic sinus infections, or chronic sinusitis, typically describes sinus inflammation that has lasted more than 12 weeks and isn’t responding to treatment. People who have asthma are more likely to develop chronic sinusitis.

Norton Now includes same-day care options so you can get the care you need, when you need it and where you need it. Norton Community Medical Associates primary care offices are located across the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Save your spot in line at a Norton Immediate Care Center or visit a Norton Prompt Care clinic for treatment of minor injuries or illnesses.

Use Norton eCare video visits or just answer a few questions online from anywhere in Kentucky or Indiana for care without coming into the office. Your provider can order drive-thru lab testing for you at Norton Healthcare Express Services if it’s needed.

Sinusitis Symptoms

A sinus infection is sometimes hard to diagnose, because its symptoms overlap with the common cold. Your medical provider can give you an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment to get you feeling better again.

Common sinusitis symptoms:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Nasal discharge ranging in color from green to yellow
  • Post-nasal mucus drip
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Sore throat

If you suspect you may have a sinus infection, make note of the duration and persistence of your symptoms to share with your doctor. Acute sinusitis often follows a cold and improves within a few weeks.

When to Seek Medical Care

  • A severe headache or facial pain
  • Symptoms that get worse after improving
  • Symptoms that last longer than 1½ weeks without getting better
  • Fever that lasts longer than three to four days
  • Recurrent sinusitis over the course of a year

Sinusitis Treatment

If you have a viral infection, you’ll likely have to let it run its course and manage your symptoms. Over-the-counter medications can help, and your health care provider may prescribe stronger treatments for your congestion, cough and other symptoms.

Home Remedies for Sinusitis

  • A hot washcloth over your nose and forehead can help break up the congestion causing sinus pressure.
  • Use a decongestant and/or saline nasal spray.
  • Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water or shower.

Norton Now: Care When You Need It

  • Get medical care when and where it works for you.
    • Norton Community Medical Associates primary care is your medical home. More than 35 locations across the Louisville area and Southern Indiana means there’s an office close to home, work or school. Your primary care physician knows you and your health and performs annual checkups to stay ahead of any emerging conditions. Our doctors and nurse practitioners connect you to the full Norton Healthcare system, giving you and your family easy access to the area’s leading specialty physicians.
    • More than 15 Norton Immediate Care Centers offer treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. Reserve your spot in line and we’ll text you when it’s time to check in. All Norton Immediate Care Centers are equipped with X-ray machines.
    • Norton Prompt Care clinics have same-day appointments available when you need care for yourself or your family. All locations offer extended weekday and weekend hours. Many are located within Walgreens stores.
    • Norton eCare allows you to visit with a provider via secure video or by simply answering questions online about your symptoms.
    • Emergency care is available for a very serious illness or injury that puts your life in danger. Get treatment 24/7 at nine locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, including three locations for kids.
  • Medicaid, Medicare and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Get test results, renew prescriptions, communicate with your health care provider, get notified if an earlier appointment becomes available and more with your free Norton MyChart account.

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