Nasal congestion, facial pressure, pain, fever, too much mucus – with these symptoms can you catch a sinus infection? Yes, these are the common symptoms for a sinus infection.
But is your infection caused by viruses or bacteria – and how will you know about it?
When asked to expert otolaryngologists whether you can you catch a sinus infection? They explained viral and bacterial sinus infections are to be treated differently. Here is what all you need to know about whether can you catch a sinus infection, both types of infections and how to treat them.
Is it viral or bacterial?
Most sinus infections are viral. How can you tell if your infection is viral or bacterial based on symptoms?
“You can’t, says experts
Bad breath, yellow or green mucus, fever and headaches are not to be trusted for reliable signs of a bacterial infection. They can also be present with viral infections. Even your doctor cannot tell if your infection is viral or bacterial based only on symptoms or examination.
Instead, your doctor looks at the symptom duration to determine the source of your infection. A viral sinus infection will usually begin to improve after five to seven days. A bacterial sinus infection will continue for 7 – 10 days or it may take longer too.
Can you catch a sinus infection? – Steps that you must look after
Whether your sinus infection is viral or bacterial, you can help reduce your symptoms quickly with supportive care:
- Use saline spray two to three times per day in each nostril.
- Use a nasal decongestant such as Afrin®, but not for more than three days.
- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.
- Get plenty of rest.
If your symptoms are not improving after a week, it is important to see your doctor. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection, you will probably need to take an antibiotic to clear the infection and prevent further complications.
Antibiotics may not result good in case of viral infections. You risk potential side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make it harder to treat infections in the future, says otolaryngologists. Therefore, it is important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
In the case of chronic sinusitis
You should see your doctor if you are suffering from chronic sinusitis (nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and decreased smell for 12 weeks or longer), say experts.
Your doctor will swell your nose to collect mucus. Installing it in a laboratory will know which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat symptoms of sinus infection with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. Do not seek antibiotics until your disease has progressed beyond a week. Then check for a prescription and tell him if your condition has worsened.
In order to summarize, “can you catch a sinus infection?” Yes, you can and to check and cure it you must give this article a good read!