What are Sinuses?

You have 4 air-filled chambers called sinuses, they are found in the frontal bones above your eyes, behind the upper nose, in the sphenoid bones behind your eyes and in your cheekbones.

Their job is to humidify the air as it travels to your lungs and trap the bacteria in the mucus produced by the lymphatic membranes. The bacteria can then be removed from the sinuses by swallowing the mucus or blowing your nose.

Young black woman touching her nose bridge

What is a sinus infection?

Sinusitis is swelling of the sinuses, usually caused by a virus or infection. Infection can cause pain in your forehead, eyes, cheeks, temples and teeth.

Sinusitis may be caused by allergies, common colds, environmental pollens irritating the nasal passages, such as hay fever or bacterial or virus infection.

Sinusitis Symptoms

Sinus symptoms can include:

  • High Temperature
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Sinus Headache
  • Blocked Nose
  • Mucus from your nose

How long can sinusitis sinus infection last for?

How long does acute sinusitis last? Acute sinusitis lasts less than a month. Your symptoms of sinusitis may go away by themselves within about 10 days, but it may take up to three or four weeks. For some people they can regularly suffer from this and it can become distressing and impact everyday life.

What happens if you leave a sinusitis sinus infection 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.

What is the Best Treatment for Sinus Infection?

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Osteopath working on paranasal sinuses

How can an Osteopath help with sinus pain?

Most people think about going to see an osteopath for musculoskeletal aches and pains, but one thing people sometimes wouldn’t think to see an osteopath for is sinus infections, sinusitis or sinus congestion problems.

An osteopath can help treat sinusitis with the use of holistic therapies. The aim is to improve the facial and cranial bones which make up the walls of the sinuses, using both structural approach and cranial osteopathy. This will encourage drainage of the sinuses and prevent the build up of mucus. Your breathing should then become easier and headaches and other symptoms start to ease off. Your back, shoulders and neck will also be treated to further encourage drainage and reduce general tension.

This type of treatment encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the head, face and neck and gives relief to the general stresses of the body. In addition to this, it will also support the drainage of the sinuses and will help prevent the further build up of mucus within the sinuses. Proper alignment and balance of the bones is ideal for allowing you to breath easier and free up other symptoms you may currently experience. Supplement treatments of the neck, thoracic outlet and upper back will help to promote drainage and keep other fascial restrictions from appearing.

Cranial Osteopathy can help clear your sinuses

This type of treatment encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the head, face and neck and gives relief to the general stresses of the body. In addition to this, it will also support the drainage of the sinuses and will help prevent the further build up of mucus within the sinuses. Proper alignment and balance of the bones is ideal for allowing you to breath easier and free up other symptoms you may currently experience and sinus pain. Supplement treatments of the neck, thoracic outlet and upper back will help to promote drainage and keep other fascial restrictions from appearing.

What Foods should I avoid with acute sinusitis?

Avoid dairy if you have had previous episodes of sinus infections. Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes (contain histamines), chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion of nasal passages.

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What kind of infection is a sinus infection?

Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS) is a bacterial infection of both your nasal passages and sinuses. It is caused by bacteria. ABRS sets in when your nasal passages and sinuses first become inflamed from another cause, often a viral infection. You might have symptoms such as face pain and fever.

Can you smell a sinus infection?

Short-term sinus infections are known as acute sinusitis, and they usually last 7 to 10 days. In addition to a bad smell inside your nose and a reduced sense of smell and taste, symptoms of sinus infection include bad breath, sinus pain and headache, which will go away once cleared and get better after plenty of rest.

How do I know if my sinus infection is bacterial or viral?

Your symptom duration will determine the source of your 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.

What is viral sinusitis?

Viral sinus infections are caused by viruses that infect the lining of your nasal cavity, or generally the ear nose and throat. It is most often caused by a viral upper respiratory infection (URI, also known as the common cold).

Do I have a cold or sinus infection?

Colds can lead to sinus infections when the sinuses swell up. Air, mucus, and bacteria can become trapped in the swollen sinuses and cause further infection. The main difference between a cold and a sinus infection is the duration of symptoms. Most people recover from a cold in 5 to 10 days.