example of sinusitis

5 Signs You May Have Sinusitis

Sinusitis in Utah (and the rest of the United States) is a common problem. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 29 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis. Remarkably, that’s nearly 13 percent of the entire population.

We hear you asking, What is sinusitis? Quite simply, sinusitis is another name for a sinus infection.

Sinus infections are episodes when the nasal passages become swollen and inflamed. Some episodes of sinusitis are brief while chronic sinusitis lasts from 4 to 12 weeks or longer and often occurs more than 4 times in a single year.

There are a variety of causes of sinusitis, including viruses, bacterial infections, nasal polyps, respiratory tract infections and allergies. Fortunately, there are common signs and symptoms of sinusitis that may indicate you have the condition and should seek treatment.

Sinusitis Symptoms

It’s easy to confuse a common cold with sinusitis. Both can cause a runny and congested nose. However, with a sinus infection or sinusitis, it’s likely that two of the following symptoms are present.

1. Thick Yellow or Green Discharge

You’re familiar with the normal consistency and color of mucus. It’s generally light colored and fairly thin, slippery and viscous. When you have a sinus infection, the discharge from your nose becomes thicker and a darker yellow or green color is common.

2. Headache

A deep, dull, ongoing headache is one of the common signs of a sinusitis. You’ll feel the ache in your cheekbones, forehead and the bridge of your nose. One of the fastest ways to make a sinus headache worse is to move your head quickly from side to side. Ouch!

Read: 6 Easy Ways to Relieve a Sinus Headache

3. Difficulty Breathing Through Your Nose

Sinusitis can block the ability to breathe through your nose. If you’ve suddenly become a mouth breather and you can’t clear your nose well enough to breathe normally, you may have a sinus infection.

4. Tenderness and Swelling around Your Eyes, Nose, Cheeks and Forehead

A sinus infection often leaves your head feeling like a giant soccer ball that has been kicked around. It feels tender. It feels heavy. Lightly touching your cheeks, nose and forehead causes pain. You need relief and you need it soon.

5. Reduced Sense of Taste and Smell

When your nose is stuffed, it’s difficult to taste and smell the foods you normally love. If you’re wondering if you’re having difficulty tasting and smelling food, order your favorite pizza or cook a favorite dish, preferably one with some spice and aroma. If you can barely smell and taste the food, you may have a sinus infection.

Other less common symptoms include ear pain, nausea, bad breath, cough and sore throat.

Call the Ear, Nose and Throat Sinus Center for Diagnosis and Treatment

If you recognize these sinusitis symptoms—and symptoms consistently last longer than 7 days and occur on a fairly regular basis—it’s time to contact an ear, nose and throat doctor in Draper, Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah.

The ENT doctors at the Ear, Nose and Throat Sinus Center regularly and successfully treat patients with sinusitis. Our outcomes are excellent. Call 801-328-2522 today to schedule an appointment. We’ll work with you to eliminate the pain and hassle of sinusitis.

woman with sinus headache

6 Easy Ways to Relieve a Sinus Headache

Colds and sinus infections (sinusitis) often lead to sinus pain. You have a headache. Your cheeks and nose can all become sensitive to the touch. Your sinuses are blocked and you feel fairly awful.

The good news is that most sinus pain is only temporary. However, while most colds get better on their own after a week, a sinus infection can linger longer.

Read: 5 Signs You May Have a Sinus Infection

Today we’re highlighting 6 tips to help you relieve sinus pain. Best of all, none of these remedies require a trip to the doctor’s office.

However, if these tips don’t help relieve your sinus headache, we suggest you call the Ear, Nose and Throat Sinus Center at 801-328-2522. We have the best ENT doctors in Salt Lake City, Draper and Park City and we’re ready to help diagnose and treat sinus pain and infections.

1. Use a Humidifier in Your Home

Utah is one of the driest states in the country. In fact, people from humid climates sometimes get nosebleeds when they arrive in Utah during the winter months simply because the air is so dry. But your nose and sinuses can get stuffy in Utah, too, and a humidifier can fix that problem by introducing moist air into your environment. We recommend you use a humidifier when you sleep at night. Alternatively, if you don’t have a humidifier, a steamy shower before you go to sleep can work wonders in reducing congestion and sinus pain and helping you sleep better. Inhaling the steam from a boiling pan of water also works well.

2. Use a Neti Pot

You may have heard, seen or even used a Neti pot. This simple, natural remedy works well and many ear, nose and throat doctors recommend Neti pots to help drain clogged sinuses. Neti pots can be used daily, but only for the short term. That’s because long-term sinus pain and congestion may indicate a chronic sinus infection.

Read: 5 Facts about Neti Pots and Nasal Irrigation

3. Use a Saline Nose Spray

A nose spray works well to temporarily reduce sinus swelling and pain. But you want to use a saline spray since the saline mist can help break up the mucus. You can use the spray up to six times daily without risk of side effects.

4. Use a Decongestant Nose Spray (for 3 Days Only)

Decongestant nose sprays are available over the counter and provide quick relief. But you don’t want to use these sprays longer than a few days because they can actually make your congestion worse if used too long. Ask your ENT doctor for recommendations.

5. Apply a Warm Compress

This is an old-school mode of sinus relief that is still used because it works. Place a moist and warm washcloth across your forehead, eyes and cheeks and relax. When the washcloth cools, bathe it again in warm water and repeat. It’s sinus relief just like grandma used to do it.

6. Take Pain Relievers

Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) can all help relieve sinus pain and are over-the-counter pain relievers. We generally suggest you try these other remedies first. But if your sinus headache persists, take the recommended dose of any of these pain relievers. Consult with your doctor and read the directions on the back of the pain reliever package to ensure you’re always staying within the appropriate dosage.