Skye likes writing about mental health, nutrition, and wellness. She is passionate about sharing information that will educate, and positively affect people's lives.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
March 9, 2021
There are several methods to get rid of sinus infections. Which works best for you will depend on the cause and severity of your sinus infection.
Here are some of the most relied upon ways to get rid of a sinus infection:
Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, is one of the most common afflictions ever. Everyone knows the feeling of congestion in the nose, mouth, and throat associated with this pesky illness.
At least 35 million Americans suffer from sinus infections once per year. If you’re among that 35 million or don’t wish to be, this article is for you. Here, we will go over the different types of sinus infections, some important facts about the illness, and the quickest proven ways to treat this annoying ailment.
There are different kinds of sinus infections, bacterial and viral.
Both types cause similar symptoms, including:
Another common symptom of a sinus infection is when leaning over causes the pain to worsen.
The first type of sinus infection to be aware of is bacterial sinusitis. This is classified as a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the mucous membranes that line your sinuses. Your sinuses are a system of four pairs of tubes located above, below, between, and behind your eye sockets.
The most common causes of bacterial sinus infections are:
Viral sinusitis occurs when viruses infect the sinus passages around your eyes, nose, ears, and throat.
These are most commonly caused by the common cold. The symptoms of viral sinusitis are nearly identical to their bacterial counterpart, including post-nasal drip, nasal congestion, and pain or pressure in the affected areas.
The difference is that a viral sinus infection will typically start to improve within a week, whereas a bacterial infection may continue to worsen for weeks or until antibiotics are taken.
The bacteria and viruses that cause sinus infections are contagious, though sinus infections themselves are not contagious. This is a little confusing, so let’s break it down.
The common cold, a leading cause of sinus infections, is a contagious viral infection. It’s spread through droplets that are expelled when we cough, sneeze, speak, and even when we exhale. An infected person may become contagious days before they are symptomatic, and continue to be contagious until symptoms resolve. You can catch this virus from an infected person, and you may develop flu or cold-like symptoms, but whether or not the virus causes a sinus infection is dependent on you.
Some people are prone to sinus infections, others rarely get them, and some people will have a cold without experiencing a sinus infection. How our bodies react to a viral or bacterial infection varies. Some people may get a sinus infection, and others may not.
The bottom line is that the pathogens that cause sinus infection are contagious, so if you have a sinus infection, it’s best to wait until it’s gone before going around other people.
The duration of a particular sinus infection duration depends on the type and severity of the sinusitis. Cases of viral sinusitis typically go away after 7-10 days if the infected person rests and stays hydrated. If treated with medication, it could go away even faster.
This question gets a bit more complicated when it comes to bacterial sinusitis.
While sinus infections are common and easy to beat with the right treatment, they shouldn’t be underestimated. Whether bacterial or viral, sinus infections can cause some severe health issues if left untreated.
Since our sinuses are located near such vital parts of our body like our eyes and throat, a sinus infection can infect them and create larger problems.
These infections can reach the eyes, facial bones, or even the brain if left untreated long enough. The longer you go without treating your sinus infection, the higher chance of it transforming from a pesky cold to a serious health problem.
The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection depends on the cause. The fastest way to get rid of a bacterial sinus infection is with antibiotics.
Let’s dive into your options below.
Antibiotics are the only way to rid yourself of a bacterial sinus infection fully.
You cannot buy these antibiotics over the counter. You need a prescription to get them.
Some examples of the most effective antibiotics prescribed to treat sinus infections are:
If you are allergic to penicillin, your doctors may prescribe the following antibiotics instead
You can get a prescription for antibiotics for a sinus infection from an online doctor with our partner site PlushCare. PlushCare is an award-winning telehealth company that we are proud to be affiliated with. Their top online doctors can prescribe antibiotics for sinus infections following a quick virtual appointment.
There are a few over the counter treatments that can make the symptoms of the sinus infection less painful.
Some options that effectively minimize the symptoms and help flush out the infection are:
It’s important to note that these treatments work for viral infections but will not cure a bacterial infection. The only way to know what type of infection you have is to get an official diagnosis from a doctor.
While antibiotics are the most common route for treating bacterial sinus infections, there are many natural remedies for sinus infection. You can try to ease the symptoms of a sinus infection from home.
If you’re coming down with sinusitis, or you want to take some preventative measures, now is the time to talk to a healthcare professional. Through telemedicine, you can easily book an online appointment with a real doctor in a safe virtual environment.
Getting antibiotics as fast as possible is crucial to healing a bacterial sinus infection. Online doctors at our sister site PlushCare can diagnose your sinus infection, write a prescription, and send it to your local pharmacy in 15 minutes.
Click here to book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor.
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