Sinusitis, often referred to as simply a sinus infection, quickly becomes uncomfortable. Research shows that sinus infections are among the most common health complaints and the leading reason for taking prescription antibiotics.
Not all cases of sinusitis share the same causes or last the same amount of time, but no matter how long your sinus infection lasts, know that nasal and sinus specialist Dr. Conrad McCutcheon treats all types of sinus problems at Memorial Village ENT in Houston, Texas. Here, we discuss one of the three main types of sinusitis in greater detail: subacute sinusitis.
Types of sinusitis
Sinusitis is an infection in your sinus cavities. These infections can be caused by allergies, viruses, or bacteria. When your sinuses become inflamed or filled with mucus, it can lead to facial pain, congestion, postnasal drip, and headaches.
There are three types of sinusitis, and they’re differentiated by how long your symptoms last. Acute infections typically last four weeks or less, while chronic sinusitis lasts for 12 weeks or longer. Subacute sinusitis falls into the middle, with infections lasting between four and 12 weeks.
What is it like to have subacute sinusitis?
If you have subacute sinusitis, you may experience many of the same symptoms as the acute or chronic sinusitis. However, because subacute sinusitis lasts longer than acute sinusitis, you may notice more severe symptoms compared to acute sinusitis.
Common symptoms of subacute sinusitis may include:
- Sinus headache
- Decreased sense of smell or taste
- Facial pressure
- Sore throat, often from postnasal drip
- Bad breath
- Toothache or jaw pain
- Pressure in your ears
- Temporary hearing loss due to fluid in your ears
Because subacute sinusitis lasts longer than four weeks, it can quickly deplete your energy, leaving you feeling drained. It can be difficult to focus on work or household duties when you’re exhausted from an infection.
Treating subacute sinusitis
No matter which type of sinus infection you have, your top priority is feeling better. Dr. McCutcheon is an expert when it comes to treating sinusitis and customizing the treatment based on what type of sinus infection you have.
During your sinus evaluation, Dr. McCuthceon may use a special CT scan — the MiniCAT 2020™. This imaging tool is optimized for use on the sinuses and provides detailed information about your sinus cavities. This data helps Dr. McCutcheon pinpoint the cause of your subacute sinusitis, which ultimately helps shape your treatment plan.
He may recommend medications, such as steroids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, decongestants, antihistamines, and mucolytics. Saline nasal spray and hypertonic saline irrigation can also help you get relief by keeping your nasal passages moist.
In addition to any treatments that Dr. McCutcheon recommends, you can continue with at-home efforts to help your body heal. This includes staying hydrated, eating nourishing meals, and trying to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Warm, wet compresses can also help alleviate some facial pain and pressure.
If your sinus infection has gone on for weeks, know that you don’t have to suffer from subacute sinusitis any longer. Schedule an appointment at Memorial Village ENT to relieve your symptoms and clear up the infection by requesting an appointment online or calling 281-822-3777.