Is your Sinus Infection Bacterial or Viral? Most sinus infections (sinusitis) start out as viral infections, against which antibiotics are useless. About 60 percent become bacterial infections if the infection does not clear in seven to ten days. Even then, most will heal on their own without the need for antibiotics.
Inflammation of the sinuses, sinus congestion, sinus pain, sinus pressure and blocked sinuses are common and often recurring problems for some people. 37 million people a year get sinusitis, but many of them do not even know it because the symptoms are very similar to that of the common cold. If a cold lasts for more than 10 to 14 days you may have a sinus infection.
How can you tell if your sinus infection is bacterial or viral? Most infections start out as a complication from an allergic or viral infection such as the common cold. If the pain and discomfort continues for seven to ten days, the infection could become bacterial. Symptoms of a bacterial infection include a fever of 101 or higher, dark, yellow or green mucus, nasal congestion, and facial pain behind your eyes and cheeks, around your forehead, and within your teeth. Symptoms may appear to temporarily improve, and then worsen. Fatigue, ear and head pain, cough, and bad breath are also common symptoms.
Do you need antibiotics for your infection?
If your infection is in fact caused by a bacterial inflammation, antibiotics may help, although more and more studies show that antibiotics give little relief to those suffering. If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should contact your doctor.
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Source by Bethany Ravan