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Planes And Sinus Infections

Sinus-infections


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Since just about everyone has suffered from a common cold at one time or another, we all know how uncomfortable nasal congestion can be. Severe nasal congestion can be accompanied by a headache and pain and pressure in the face, where the sinuses are located. While not all nasal congestion and pressure is indicative of a sinus infection, a common misunderstanding, prolonged congestion can indeed lead to an infection. This is because the congestion and inflammation of the nasal passages can make drainage difficult, and mucus that remain in the sinuses and nasal passages can lead to infection. Because this is always a risk after a cold or severe bout of allergies, it is important to try to promote healthy sinus drainage throughout the course of a viral illness to help prevent an infection from developing.

Over the Counter Medications

There are a number of choices in over the counter medications that can be taken over the course of a cold or allergy attack to help promote sinus drainage and keep nasal passages free and clear. The best option is a decongestant, and you can find these in combination with a pain reliever or alone. The best decongestant is pseudoephedrine, but it is important to read the label warning carefully and talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns about medical conditions your might have or medications that you are currently taking. If these decongestants do not provide adequate sinus drainage, you can add a decongestant nasal spray like Afrin. Just make sure that you do not use a spray for longer than four days, since long term use can result in a rebounding of your nasal congestion.

While antihistamines are an effective means of treating seasonal or chronic allergy symptoms, they are not necessarily the best choice in dealing with sinus drainage from a cold or flu. The reason is that these medications can actually thicken the mucus, inhibiting sinus drainage and possibly leading to an infection. Some of the newer antihistamines on the market today, like Claritin, will not thicken the mucus but will also not effectively promote sinus drainage. For this reason, it is best to stick with antihistamines to treat allergies and use a decongestant for colds and the flu. You can also add a steroid spray like Flonase which will effectively promote sinus drainage by reducing inflammation. These sprays can be used over the long term, and are a good way to treat chronic sinus infections.

The key to preventing a sinus infection is to promote effective sinus drainage during the course of a cold or severe allergies. There are plenty of good choices in over the counter medications to treat these conditions, but if these options do not work well for you, talk to your doctor about additional treatments available.

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