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meagan's avatar

What symptoms define a sinus infection to you?

Asked by meagan (4665points) March 26th, 2010

I’ve got chronic sinus problems. I’m allergic to cats and a stray fell into my lap. If I miss a single day of my allergy med. my sinuses go crazy.

I’m not new to sinus problems, but I’ve been getting some weird symptoms lately. When I wake up in the morning I feel a pressure in my ears – but it more or less feels like fluid. Also, I’ve got a slight bit of vertigo (which could be a preexisting side effect from another med). And the lymph-nodes in my neck are kind of swollen.
I should probably go get some antibiotics or something, but I really would rather everyone tell me to take a lot of anti-histamine. ;P

(I do have the average pressure in my cheeks and behind my eyes, etc. Just thought that the ear pain was kind of strange..)

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32 Answers

OperativeQ's avatar

To me, a sinus infection equals

1)Sinus drainage
2)Stuffy nose
3)Sinus pressure
4)Soar throat

So with those new symptoms, it would probably be a good idea to go to a doctor and make sure that it’s still just a sinus infections.

gemiwing's avatar

Foul taste/smell
Sinus pressure
Yellow or green discharge

I get about one a year. My other symptoms are pain when looking left, migraines, pain when the sinuses are thumped and an ear ache.

meagan's avatar

How do you guys treat your sinus infections? I loathe going to the Doctor, and especially hate antibiotics.

erichw1504's avatar

When your nose feels like it’s going to explode from all the pressure.

slick44's avatar

Ya you have a sinus infection. I just got over a bad one. lasted for 3 weeks. my face hurt, my head hurt real bad everyday. you could hear it cracking and my ears were clogged. go buy some sudafed sinus decongestant. the suff you have to getrom behind the counter. it works.

meagan's avatar

@slick44 I keep sudafed stocked, along with zyrtec, dayquil, nyquil, etc ;P I’m constantly battling my sinuses.
I just don’t know if an infection warrants antibiotics or not :-/

gemiwing's avatar

Take decongestants and antibiotics. A Zpack will be a week and then you’ll be done. It’s not something you can let simmer- it’s a bit too close to the brain for my comfort.

knitfroggy's avatar

I also have chronic sinus problems. I know I’m really in trouble though when I have a nasty taste in my mouth and a dirty smell in my nose. It’s almost as if I can smell the sinus infection.

meagan's avatar

@knitfroggy Does it smell like blood to you? I think sometimes when I’m about to get sick my nose gets “raw’ or something and I smell.. blood. Its really disgusting. :/
This is such a terrible thread. I feel guilty for talking about nasty things. But I feel terrible today haha

slick44's avatar

gemiwing is right. if you can get a Zpack great.

knitfroggy's avatar

@meagan No, I don’t smell blood. It’s more of, well, I don’t know how to describe it. I would just stay it’s a dirty smell.

zophu's avatar

I’ve always had more problems with allergy medication than I’ve ever had with allergies. Maybe, if you got on to your medications when you were young, should try weening off of them and see if things are better once you’ve cut your dependence. Make sure your indoor air is clean, and even then make sure to get a lot of fresh air outside. People aren’t supposed to be sick all the time just from stuff they breathe in. Unless you’ve got some rare failings in your immune system, or an abundance of some common pollutants in your air; you should not need an addiction to strange chemicals to make you feel okay.

But if you do, I suggest finding out exactly what those drugs are and making sure you’re minimalizing the chances for negative side-effects. Not everything doctors push on us should be trusted without question. Drug-induced effects do not have the advantage of countless generations of evolution that natural system balances have. Not to go all homeopathy on you or something, but try to make yourself as medically independent as possible.

What I think is best to deal with a non-lethal sickness is to make sure that you get extra sleep—no stress—and the perfect diet. Don’t let things get in the way of your health. Make what sacrifices are necessary to do what has to be done to get yourself well so that you can better address whatever responsibilities are making you feel rushed to find quick-fixes in the first place.

(Not that you aren’t dependent upon these medications—it’s just that so many who aren’t truly dependent on them gobble them like vitamin supplements.)

MekmanSupreme's avatar

I rely on spiritual cures, usually in dealing with this sort of thing, I personally apply more “preventive” methods. If you’re getting knocked around by colds when you wake up and stuff, I’d take into account the activities that you “think” about and or do the day/night before.

I’d also take into account things that weaken or “drain” you during your daily activities, then make sure not to dwell on anyone or anything that makes you feel negative (your boss, your job, that-bitch-that wants-your man :P). If it’s chronic and you want to do something about it, rather than simply cope you should “micro-manage” what kinds of thoughts you are taking in.

I noticed that I used to catch colds and get mild asthma several years ago when I focused on somebody negatively.

Getting sick is usually a matter of a lack of self-awareness.

Check your head.

meagan's avatar

@MekmanSupreme I’m literally allergic to the cat in my house. When I don’t take my allergy meds, I get a sinus infection after a few days…
I can’t will myself to not be allergic to the cat ;P But I do very much appreciate your response.

@zophu I just started taking zyrtec not even a year ago. It works AMAZINGLY when I take it accordingly. But if I miss just one day my sinuses bother me. :-/ I took claratin D for years and that never cured my allergies like zyrtec does.

zophu's avatar


People that say things like what you said here make people like me seem like “idiots” in the eyes of self-proclaimed “Skeptics”.

Just because you don’t trust medicine, and just because it seems like the corruption of medicine in our culture is overbearing upon us, does not me that your abstract ideas of “spiritual cures” are more effective.

Healthy mind is healthy body though, like you suggest. I don’t disagree with your inspiration. I respect it.

MekmanSupreme's avatar

@zophu I find meta physical cures to be a permanent method, it works very well for me and for people I know who apply it regularly. I don’t doubt or chide peoples trust in medicine, health is as much as a person thing as spirituality. Just offering another option.

I wouldn’t throw sand on it.

zophu's avatar


I fear Zyrtec through a one time experience. It made my so drowsy, I fell asleep during the day, and in a very unhealthy position. I woke up with my left testicle half-dead with lack of bloodflow because I was too drowsy to feel my thighs squeezing it and shift out of that position.

My ball got better, but that experience has made me reluctant to take anything but supplements, and only those because I know my diet isn’t good enough.

My poor testicle will never forgive me. . .

Again though, if you are truly dependent upon these things, you have to take them. The side-effects may not be a big problem for you. But understand that if that if it is the case that you are really dependent on these drugs, they are crutch and not an advantage.

zophu's avatar


it wasn’t sand I was throwing

Rarebear's avatar

I have chronic sinusitis and have had two surgeries. I keep it under control with a pulsitile sinus irrigation system with hypertonic saline. 1 tsp of kosher salt and ½ tsp of baking soda, mixed with tap water. Every morning, sometimes twice a day.

marinelife's avatar

You could try a neti pot.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@meagan Everyone in my family has the same allergy problems, plus I broke my nose twice. My doctor put me on flutacosanate, which is a steroid spray. I wasn’t crazy about the idea, but it works wonders.

MekmanSupreme's avatar

@meagan I had a cat and it’s fur would cause me all sorts of sinus trouble when I was little. Until I took other things into account. The problem I have when comparing medical cures to spiritual methods are all the side-effects from the specific drugs that run along side the symptoms. I think of taking medicine as building a partial damn. You stop things on one side but the water over flows on the other. I find that often that side effects specifically relate to the symptoms the drugs are made for. It never fails.

Also you would find that what is called “will-power” requires no-effort what so-ever. You would apply a sort of “disagreement” with the notion or suggestion. You don’t have to say anything or even strain yourself. And you shouldn’t >_>;; It’s kind of like pushing back rather than submission with out force.

The inception would be an “indifference” to the thought. The meaner or more stressful the thought or sense of the illness gets, is “frustrating” out the cure. It should be impersonal and discreet (entirely mental/conscientious). Like an dealing with an illusion. Not will power. You wouldn’t say it were there if you wanted it out.

I’d watch listen to more Gorillaz songs and watch this video:

janbb's avatar

I nearly always have ear (pressure) pain as a result of an allergy attack and sometimes a dry cough or even pain in my lungs. Mostly, I just suck it up but sometimes take over-the-counter allergy meds.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Fresh herbs also work wonders. Crush a rosemary or thyme leaf and snort the oils or whatever it is that are released.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

When Sudafed, Afrin nasal spray and steaming my head don’t give any relief and I’m coughing up/blowing out greyish greenish phlegm then I know I’ve got an infection that needs antibiotics. In 20 years, I’ve not found a relief for sinus troubles yet, it’s the worst and makes moods horrible.

janbb's avatar

I’ve heard that neti pots are good, but have yet to go there.

lonelydragon's avatar

Here are the symptoms I usually experience:

1. Ear pressure. Also, my ears pop whenever I swallow or blow my nose.

2. Pain and pressure in the upper teeth.

3. Symptoms don’t get better after a few days and may last as long as two weeks.

The last time I had one, I wasn’t able to see a doctor. So I took lots of Mucinex, used a saline nasal spray, and within a month, my symptoms were gone.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Mucinex is great stuff! I have recently started taking that instead of the Sudafed and gotten the same relief but not felt as crappy. I wonder which medicine has the worse chemicals for the body?

thriftymaid's avatar

It’s like a horrible cold but with fever and green drainage. I can always tell if it is a sinus infection by bending over with my head toward the floor. The head pain is excruciating. I haven’t had this in lots of years.

RedPowerLady's avatar

this may mean i’m being a bit lazy today but I did not read all of the above answers so apologies if this is a repeat

One of the main indicators of a sinus infection is sensitivity when you press on your sinus cavities. So if you touch the area to the side of your mid-nose and it feels like a bruise then that is likely a sinus infection. Infections do typically need to be treated with antibiotics.

Now you can have sinus pressure and pain that is not an infection which is symptoms like pain. You know you have this if you press your nose with thumb on one side and index finger on the other side (at bridge of nose) and then release. If you release and feel a surge then it is sinus pressure. To treat this it is very good to do a saline flush.
They can be nasty sounding but work wonders.

Saline Flush:
– mix ¼ tsp. salt with ½ cup water lukewarm
– plug one nostril
– sniff saline up the other nostril
– spit out your mouth (see nasty but it works)
– repeat on other side
– keep repeating until almost out of water
– blow nose when needed
– at end gargle with remaining water

filmfann's avatar

My symptoms include:

Yellow discharge
Sore teeth
ear pressure
dull headache
pressure just above the eyes
swollen lymph nodes.

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