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Sinusitis, Ambulatory Care

Sinusitis

is inflammation or infection of your sinuses. It is most often caused by a virus. Acute sinusitis may last up to 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis lasts longer than 12 weeks. Recurrent sinusitis is when you have 3 or more episodes of sinusitis in 1 year.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Fever
  • Pain, pressure, redness, or swelling around the forehead, cheeks, or eyes
  • Thick yellow or green discharge from your nose
  • Tenderness when you touch your face over your sinuses
  • Dry cough that happens mostly at night or when you lie down
  • Headache and face pain that is worse when you lean forward
  • Teeth pain or pain when you chew

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Vision changes such as double vision
  • Confusion or trouble thinking clearly
  • Headache and stiff neck
  • Trouble breathing

Treatment for sinusitis

may include medicines to relieve nasal and sinus congestion or to decrease pain and fever. Ask your healthcare provider which medicines you should take and how much is safe.

Manage sinusitis:

  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help loosen and drain the mucus in your sinuses.
  • Breathe in steam. Heat a bowl of water until you see steam. Lean over the bowl and make a tent over your head with a large towel. Breathe deeply for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to get too close to the steam or burn yourself. Do this 3 times a day. You can also breathe deeply when you take a hot shower.
  • Rinse your sinuses. Use a sinus rinse device to rinse your nasal passages with a saline (salt water) solution. This will help thin the mucus in your nose and rinse away pollen and dirt. It will also help reduce swelling so you can breathe normally. Ask how often to do this.
  • Use heat on your sinuses to decrease pain. Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for as many days as directed.
  • Sleep with your head elevated. Place an extra pillow under your head before you go to sleep to help your sinuses drain.
  • Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information about how to stop smoking if you need help.

Prevent the spread of germs that cause sinusitis:

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change a child's diaper, or sneeze. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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