Our sinuses are hollow cavities lined with soft tissue around our nose and eyes. Sinusitis occurs when this soft tissue becomes swollen, which can lead to infections. Sinusitis is common after we’ve had illnesses like a cold or the flu.
Generally, we can treat Sinusitis on our own at home – it normally doesn’t last very long and can often best be treated by drinking plenty of water and getting lots of rest. Sometimes, however, Sinusitis can be a bit more severe, and this can indicate that you may be suffering from an allergy, or a more serious infection. Sinusitis also shares some common symptoms with other medical issues, for which you should be consulting a GP. In this article, we’ll tell you which red flags to be aware of, to ensure that you’re getting the treatment you need.
There are a number of common symptoms related to Sinusitis, and most of them are mild. However, if you’ve had any of the following symptoms for over a week then you should consider booking a consultation with your Virtually GP.
Some symptoms to look out for are:
The two main causes are infection or allergy. If the cause is allergy symptoms have a seasonal pattern. It is more common in summer and early autumn. If symptoms are related to certain places such as your workplace or certain animals or certain activities, they are likely to have an allergic cause.
If your nasal discharge is yellow, green or purulent or you have a slight fever it is more likely that you have an infection.
As mentioned above, most cases of Sinusitis clear up after a few days – in which it’s worth getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated.
Beyond this, it’s worth avoiding smoking, which can inflame the sinuses, and taking over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen if needed to manage the discomfort of the symptoms.
If you are experiencing a severe case of any of the above symptoms, or if your symptoms have lasted for longer than one week, then you should speak to your Virtually GP. They may have to prescribe you antibiotics, for a serious infection, or prescribe medication to reduce the inflammation in your sinuses, in less serious cases. Alternatively, your GP may diagnose the issue as stemming from an allergy, send you for tests to confirm this, and treat your allergy accordingly.
If you suffer from persistent Sinusitis (either one prolonged infection for a number of weeks, or repeated different infections), then you should definitely book a consultation with a Virtually GP.
Repeated Sinusitis can be a sign that you may require a CT scan of the sinuses or a referral to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.
We offer written, telephone and video consultations with a range of male and female clinicians from GPs, nurse practitioners, and primary care specialists such as physiotherapy.