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Sinus Infection Specialist

Catherine Fuller, MD

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist located in West Los Angeles, CA

Sinus infections affect about 30 million adults annually. While the common cold will clear up without medical intervention, sometimes a cold will turn into a bacterial infection that requires a visit to the doctor. Sinus infections can be painful, but Catherine Fuller, MD, offers treatment and relief from sinusitis symptoms at her practice in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment or call the office.

Sinus Infection Q & A

What are sinus infections?

Hollow spaces exist inside the bones around your nose, called sinuses. Mucus drains into your nose when the sinuses are healthy. If the sinuses become swollen with an infection, they can become blocked with mucus that is unable to drain normally. 

What are the symptoms of sinus infections?

People commonly experience postnasal drip when mucous is blocked in the sinuses. Postnasal drip is when mucus drains from the nose into the back of the throat, usually when lying down. It can cause uncontrollable coughing and discomfort. Other common symptoms of sinus infections include:

  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Headache or pressure in the sinus area
  • Toothache
  • Earache
  • Facial swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fever (sometimes in children)

If your symptoms persist more than a week or aren’t responding to over-the-counter medications for colds and pain, call Dr. Fuller to determine the cause and your possible treatment options.  

How long do sinus infections last?

Sinus infections can be a fairly long-term illness that often lasts between four and twelve weeks. People experiencing chronic sinus infections have sinus infections that recur multiple times in a year. 

What causes sinus infections?

The most common cause of sinus infections is the common cold that leads to bacterial infections, but sinusitis may be caused by anything that prevents the mucus from draining out of the sinuses. Other possible causes of sinus infections include:

  • Allergies
  • Over-the-counter nasal sprays
  • Hay fever
  • Dehydration

How are sinus infections diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Fuller will look at your nose and face while questioning you about your symptoms. In some cases, imaging tests are needed to evaluate inflammation and to make a sinus infection diagnosis. Most sinus infections are treated with rest, nasal irrigation, fluids, and over-the-counter medication for pain or congestion. If your sinus infection is bacterial and isn’t responding to other treatment methods, your Dr. Fuller might prescribe antibiotics as a last resort. 

How can I prevent sinus infections?

There are several steps you can take to help prevent sinus infections, including:

  • Regular hand washing
  • Manage allergies
  • Avoid nasal irritants, such as smoke, strongly scented products, and aerosols
  • Maintain a healthy immune system
  • Saline nasal irrigation
  • Drink plenty of water

If your efforts to avoid a sinus infection fail and you experience symptoms of a sinus infection, give Dr. Fuller a call or use the convenient online scheduling tool to schedule an appointment.