sinus infectionsA sinus infection can often begin after a cold. The membranes in the sinuses swell and the tiny openings, called apertures get blocked, hindering their ability to drain. When this happens bacteria can reproduce in the trapped mucus and a sinus infection can begin to develop. The most common symptoms of any type of sinus infection include several of the following:

  • Sinus pressure behind the eyes and the cheeks
  • A runny, stuffy nose that lasts more than a week
  • A worsening headache
  • Loss of smell
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain/ pressure especially around eyes, forehead and cheeks
  • Slight dizziness and throbbing when shifting position, especially when leaning over
  • A fever. Low-grade fever is a symptom of infection
  • Cough
  • Bad breath
  • Nasal discharge
  • Thick yellow or green mucus draining from your nose or down the back of your throat (postnasal drip)
  • Dental pain especially in the jawsinus infection 1
  • Fatigue, often caused by poor sleep from not breathing well

There are several types of sinusitis you may be suffering from. Most are distinguished by the length of the infection, its helpful in identifying which type you may be suffering from as you characterize your symptoms:

  • Acute Sinusitis: Acute sinusitis typically lasts four weeks or less. It is characterized by a sudden onset of cold-like symptoms such as runny, stuffy nose and facial pain that lingers after 10-14 days. Some symptoms could include facial pain/pressure, nasal stuffiness, nasal discharge, loss of smell, cough/congestion, fever, bad breath, fatigue, and dental pain.
  • Sub-acute Sinusitis: An inflammation lasting 4-8 weeks. Symptoms could include facial congestion/fullness, a nasal obstruction/ blockage, pus in the nasal cavity, fever, nasal discharge/ discolored postnasal drainage, headaches, bad breath, fatigue, and dental pain.
  • Chronic Sinusitis: A condition characterized by sinus inflammation symptoms lasting 8 weeks or longer. Again common symptoms include facial congestion/fullness, nasal blockage, pus in the nasal cavity, fever, nasal discharge/discolored postnasal drainage, headaches, bad breath, and dental pain.
  • Recurrent Sinusitis: Several attacks within a year.

Many of the symptoms of sinus infection may resemble those of the common cold; however, they are not the same. Typically, Sinus infections are more severe and last longer than the common cold. If your cold or allergy symptoms do not improve within 14 days, have fever above 102.2 degrees F, you have a cough lasting more than a 10 days, or thick, dark mucus coming from your nose lasting longer than 3 days then you may have an infection. If you are exhibiting many of the common symptoms of sinus infection it is recommended that you visit your doctor and they can help you find the cause, as well as the proper treatment. Your doctor will ask about symptoms and will check for swelling and tenderness by pressing against your cheeks and head. He may look inside your nose for inflammation. For a chronic infection he may recommend imaging tests to look at your nasal passages for abnormal structures such as polyps.Congestions

Another option for sinus relief thats easily accessible to most people and simple to understand are xylitol nasal sprays. The combination of xylitol and saline soothes and moisturizes the sinus and nasal passages. The solution is hyper-osmotic, which draws moisture and keeps the nasal passages and sinuses more moist and clean than saline alone.

Unlike chemical antihistamines, steroids or decongestants, which are often used in nasal sprays and can leave your airways and sinuses dry; xylitol doesnt dry out the nasal passages, and it doesnt inhibit the immune defense of the body. Dry airways are easily irritated and extremely vulnerable to attack from external contaminants. Instead, xylitol behaves more like a lubricant, which makes it easier for natural mucus secretions to occur that kind of eliminate the pathogens.

The way it should work is that the mucus forms in the nasal passages, and then you blow your nose and it carries the pathogens out of the sinuses. Xylitol helps by lubricating the passages and acting as a surfactant that allows the nasal passages to cleared.

To learn more about xylitol in sinus care applications visit the Xlear Nasal Product page.

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