Flu shots protect children from common strains of influenza. No one wants to be stuck in bed dealing with the symptoms of this common illness. A flu shot can help prevent complications and reduce the chances of catching the flu in the first place. A primary care or urgent care doctor can further discuss the…
Ask an Urgent Care About Signs of a Sinus Infection
A sinus infection may be a reason for you to visit the urgent care. The sinuses are located behind the nose bone. They are a structure of thin canals through the skull, lined with sensitive mucous membranes. The sinuses are part of the body’s immune system, as well as helping to regulate the senses of taste, smell, hearing, and balance. Infections in the sinuses can also indirectly affect eyesight, which is why urgent care is necessary.
What is a sinus infection?
The sinuses are responsible for the production of mucous in the nose and nasal cavities. The mucous membranes are both a vulnerable point for disease and a defense mechanism against it. Injurious bacteria and viruses are generally unable to pierce the human body’s outer skin. Mucous membranes are permeable to such foreign agents but also detect and respond to them. Many medicines and pain relievers are absorbed this way (such as by placing a pill under the tongue to dissolve).
As part of the immune system, the sinuses produce mucous. This, in turn, traps particulate matter, such as dust, partially filtering it from the lungs. Where infection is able to set in, the sinuses are among the body’s front lines of defense. Like the tonsils, they delay the progress of diseases, slowing their advance to the lungs and other vital organs.
When a person catches a cold or the flu, the sinuses produce mucous to help expel the virus. A viral or bacterial infection and the immune system’s antibody response produce physical detritus within the body. Dead bacteria and used antibodies are flushed out through the sinuses, bound in snot and phlegm. Most of the symptoms of such infections are not the virus or bacteria itself but the body’s response to expel them.
When does a sinus infection need urgent care?
A reaction from the sinuses is generally a sign of the body fighting off other infections. Sometimes, injury, allergy, or illness may result in the sinuses themselves becoming inflamed. In such cases, the person’s senses of smell and taste will be impaired. Their nostrils may redden and drip excess mucous. This inflammation and weeping may spread to the eyes, which are located close to the sinuses both internally and externally. The person may become entirely unable to breathe through the nose at all.
Severe sinus infections may also spread to the ear via a narrow canal through the skull. This, in turn, may impair the patient’s hearing and balance. The same may be true in reverse; infections of the ear can spread to the sinuses. Chronic problems with the ears or nose are frequently related or respond sympathetically to injury, infection, and treatment.
A sinus infection needs urgent care when it begins to impair the patient’s senses. Until then, excess mucous is likely a symptom of another ailment already receiving treatment. Pain and inflammation of the nose and eyes indicate a more serious illness. Where no other cause is known, the sinuses themselves may need the attention of urgent care.
Urgent care is necessary for a sinus infection. Pathogens in the form of fungi, viruses, and bacteria make the sinus swell. These infectious organisms also block the sinuses. The causes for this condition are:
- Polyps or growths
- Common cold
- Seasonal allergies
- Weak immunity
- Deviated septum
Children and infants, who drink or use pacifiers while lying down, have a higher risk of developing sinus infections. Spending hours in a daycare center can increase their risk as well. Smoking increases an adult’s risk of developing sinusitis. Stopping this habit will be a healthy choice for the patient and the people around them.
The types of sinusitis
There are different sinuses to consider. But the biggest one is the maxillary cavity. Its size makes it the most common sinus to develop infections. Below are the different types of sinusitis that one might get:
- Chronic sinusitis is a condition that has nasal congestion. Facial pressure or pain, a decreased sense of smell for about 12 weeks.
- Acute bacterial sinusitis has symptoms that include facial pain and a stuffy nose. These often stay after 10 days. In some cases, the symptoms improve for a time and then worsen. This type of sinusitis responds very well to decongestants and antibiotics.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis happens when the symptoms return at least four times a year and last for less than a couple of weeks every time.
- Subacute sinusitis occurs when the symptoms last for about four to 12 weeks.
Getting urgent care for sinus infections
A sinus infection may be indicated when symptoms of cold and flu are isolated to the nose and eyes. Allergic reactions out of season or without apparent exposure to a known cause may also indicate a sinus infection. Contact or visit urgent care to discuss these symptoms and get treatment. If left untreated, sinus infections weaken the body against other infections.
Get more information about Texas Urgent Care & Imaging Center in New Caney at https://tx-urgentcare.com.
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