Quick Answer: How Do You Know If You Have A Bacterial Sinus Infection?

What causes a bacterial sinus infection?

Bacterial sinus infections are caused by bacteria that infect the lining of your nasal cavity.

Often, it is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia, known as strep throat.

Or it may be caused by the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, which despite its name, causes illness other than influenza..

How can you tell the difference between a viral and bacterial sinus infection?

A viral sinus infection will usually start to improve after five to seven days. A bacterial sinus infection will often persist for seven to 10 days or longer, and may actually worsen after seven days.

Can a bacterial sinus infection go away on its own?

Even without antibiotics, most people can fight off a bacterial infection, especially if symptoms are mild. About 70 percent of the time, symptoms of acute bacterial sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.

How long are you contagious when you have a sinus infection?

How Long Is It Contagious? If a virus is to blame, you may have been contagious days before you got the sinus infection. Most viruses can be spread for just a few days, but sometimes you could pass it on for a week or more.

Do I need antibiotics for sinus infection?

Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections. Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and their side effects could still cause harm.

How do doctors test for sinus infection?

Typically, sinus infections are diagnosed solely on a patient’s symptoms and a medical examination. The physical exam itself will likely include checking inside your nose with a speculum and flashlight. Your doctor will note where you feel pain or tenderness as this can point to which of the sinuses is involved.

What does a sinus infection smell like?

Acute or chronic sinusitis Sinusitis causes symptoms such as sinus inflammation and nasal congestion, which can interfere with a person’s sense of smell. The condition can also cause bad breath and a discolored, bad-smelling discharge in the nose and back of the throat, all of which may create a bad smell in the nose.

How do I know if I need antibiotics?

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the symptoms are severe and include high fever along with nasal drainage and a productive cough. Antibiotics may also be necessary if you feel better after a few days and then your symptoms return or if the infection lasts more than a week.

How do I know if my sinus infection is bacterial?

What are the symptoms of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis?Face pain or pressure that’s worse when leaning forward.Postnasal drip.Nasal congestion.Pain in your upper jaw.Toothache in your upper jaw.Yellow or greenish discharge from your nose.Fever.Cough.More items…

What happens if you let a sinus infection go untreated?

Sinus infections can also spread to the brain, but this is even rarer. It can lead to a brain abscess or meningitis, both of which can be life-threatening. An infection that lingers, gets worse or gets better only to quickly return needs to be treated by a doctor.

When should I go to the doctor for a sinus infection?

When to see your doctor for sinus infection Make an appointment with your doctor if you have a fever, nasal discharge, congestion, or facial pain that lasts longer than ten days or keeps coming back.

Why won’t my sinus infection go away with antibiotics?

A bacterial or viral infection can also trigger the condition. The infection is often low grade. The bacteria confine themselves in stubborn “biofilms,” making it difficult for your immune system or antibiotics to find and attack them.

Can you have a sinus infection for years?

Sinusitis symptoms that last for more than 12 weeks could be chronic sinusitis. In addition to frequent head colds, your risk for chronic sinusitis also goes up if you have allergies. “Chronic sinusitis can be caused by an allergy, virus, fungus, or bacteria and can go on for months or even years,” says Dr. Flores.

What are the stages of a sinus infection?

Acute sinusitis usually starts with cold-like symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain. It may start suddenly and last 2-4 weeks. Subacute sinusitus usually lasts 4 to 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitus symptoms last 12 weeks or longer.

What is the best over the counter medicine for a sinus infection?

Such OTC medications (Sudafed, others) are available in liquids, tablets and nasal sprays. Pain relievers. Pain caused by pressure buildup in the sinus cavities may be relieved by pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).