Archive for the ‘Infections’ Category

Sinus Infections

Sinus infection also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses present inside the nasal passage, can be caused by bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or autoimmune issues. Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives. Sinus infection symptoms are usually mild to severe headaches in the sinus area behind the eyes, forehead and cheek bones, in addition to a “stuffed up nose”.
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There are many medication you can take for treating sinus infections. Medication also depends on what the infection was caused by, and the main causes are virus, bacteria and fungi. Treatments can range from drinking lots of fluids to antibiotics. Here are some treatments are available that can treat the your sinus infection.

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics when taken on time can reduce the risk of chronic form of sinus attack. However, this should be not be taken without the advice of a doctor. They should be taken for a specified period of time as per the advise of the doctor. It should not be stopped in the middle even if the symptoms disappear. The most common antibiotics used to treat a sinus infection include amoxicillin, doxycycline or a combination medicine.

2. Antihistamines

Antihistamines are medicines used to treat sinusitis is caused by allergic reactions from substances found in the environment. To control such allergic problems and get relief from congestion symptoms, antihistamines are used as sinus infection medication. Over the counter, these medicines are available but it is advisable to consult the doctor first. Moreover, they have certain side effects like some of them dry up the mucosa and make the sinus drainage difficult and some of them cause drowsiness. For all such reasons, one should try to avoid them.

3. Pain killers

Pain killers are prescribed to reduce the the pain and swelling associated with sinus infection. Products containing ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen will help to reduce the pain.

4. Decongestants

These are designed to relieve congestion, nasal pressure and nasal swelling by reducing the blood flow to the membranes that in turn will improve air flow, lessen breathing through the mouth, decrease pressure in the sinus and head as well as ease discomfort. One of the most popular OTC decongestants available is Sudafed

5. Mucolytics

Mucolytics aid in thinning the mucus that blocks the nasal passages. Once the mucus is thinned, the nasal passages can be cleared more easily. The most common mucolytic used is guaifenesin.

6. Steroids
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Steroids are also used for controlling the inflammation of sinusitis caused by allergies. Corticosteroids, a prescription medication, will reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Many of these medications come in the form of an inhaled nasal spray. The most common steroids used are dipropionate monhydrate (Beconase AQ) or prednisone.

H1N1 Virus

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made an announcement in 2009 regarding the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu). The information below will give you some insight into what the virus is, who it affects, and what measures are being taken to ensure the safety of people in the United States.

  • About H1N1
  • The H1N1 virus or, Swine Flu, was first discovered in the US in April 2009. The virus can be spread from person to person the same way a regular seasonal influenza virus spreads. It is not a foodborne disease, but a respiratory disease. Therefore, all meat and poultry products are safe to eat when properly prepared and cooked. The vast majority of people who have contracted the H1N1 virus have fully recovered without the need of medical care, yet some of been hospitalized and some deaths have occurred. Those that have been hospitalized have been labeled “high risk” due to existing medical conditions including:

    • Pregnancy
    • Diabetes
    • Heart Disease
    • Asthma
    • Kidney Disease

    Adults aging from 65 or older are prioritized for antiviral treatment so that they are limiting the risk of complication if they get the flu. Although your age means you have a lower risk of getting the flu, some risk conditions (diabetes, COPD, etc.) mean if you do get sick, you may have a higher risk of complications from any influenza.

    H1N1 Symptoms
    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), flu like symptoms can be experienced such as:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Sore Throat
    • Runny or Stuffy Nose
    • Muscle or Body Aches
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Throwing Up
    • Loose Stools

    More serious symptoms could include the following which do require urgent medical attention:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Pain or pressure in chest
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • Flu-Like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

    Manufacturers Approval
    On September 16, 2009, the FDA approved vaccines from four manufacturers so that the vaccine can be administered as quickly as it is available. The approval was announced to Congress by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The United States ordered enough vaccine for 195 million doses to account for everyone. People in the “high risk” category will receive the vaccine first including women that are pregnant and healthcare workers. The four manufacturers include:

    • Sanofi Pasteur (France) – Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. is the world’s largest supplier of influenza vaccines. They produce more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccines for more than 500 million people worldwide annually.
    • MedImmune (Maryland) – Employs more than 3,000 people with locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
    • Novartis (Switzerland) – Created in 1996, Novartis is a global leader in innovative pharmaceuticals, generics, vaccines and consumer health products. They employ approximately 100,000 people in 140 countries worldwide.
    • CSL (Australia) – Employs over 10,000 people in 27 countries with major facilities in Australia, Germany Switzerland and the US.

    To learn more about the H1N1 virus consult with your physician.

    Bacterial Infections Treatment. Azithromycin review

    Even though many people, especially parents, are quite skeptic about the use of semi-synthetic and synthetic drugs and the antibiotics in particular, without the antibiotics the bacterial infections would be much more difficult to eliminate. The side effects are usually caused by patients taking antibiotics not as prescribed by doctor or self-treating themselves with antibiotics. Just like all other drugs the antibiotics have to comply with strongent safety standards and would therefore never be approved for sale if they are considered a major health hazard. Of course, if antibiotic course has been prescribed and side effects experienced, immediate medical attention should be sought.

    From all the popular antibiotics sold, the azithromycin is by far one of the most commonly prescribed. It belongs to a class of macrolide antibiotics and is used for treating common bacterial infections; the drug was discovered in the 1980 by Croatian scientists and patented by them; a year later the pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer signed an agreement, which allowed them to market azithromycin in Western Europe and the United States. Azithromycin is marketed under various names in the different countries, with Zithromax online pharmacy, Zentiva and Sumamed being the most well-known. Still, it is sold under numerous generic names too and is packed in capsules of azithromycin 500mg and 250mg, but a one-time larger dose is also available.

    Tonsillitis, pneumonia and bronchitis are the most known bacterial infections treated with azithromycin. Although the antibiotic is extremely safe and prescribed to adults and children alike, it can cause adverse side effects with the most common of these effects being nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Azithromycin can react with birth control pills and other medications. Prior to starting a course of azithromycin, you should discuss with your physician all medications and supplements that you might be taking, as well as the health conditions that you have. This is very important since the azithromycin is not recommended to people with kidney disease, liver disease, and other serious diseases.
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    Azithromycin is sometimes sold as generic Zithromax on many of the online drugstores and costs considerably less than the drug that you can purchase in the local drugstores. Even though the generic drugs are cheaper, they are not imitations – they are the same drugs, with the same ingredients, and act as well as the brand-name drugs. Still, just like with everything else sold online, the drugs should be purchased only from well-known and established online pharmacies and a caution should be exercised.

    Chronic Sinus Infection

    There are two types of sinus infection. It could be acute or chronic and among the two, more people get afflicted with the chronic sinus infection.

    The difference between chronic and acute sinus infection is the fact that this can last for 12 weeks or longer and this can recur once you get better. An acute sinus infection is gone after a week.

    Common causes for chronic sinus infection include allergies, airborne fungus, nasal or sinus obstructions, trauma to the face, certain medical conditions and respiratory tract infections.

    As a result, some of the symptoms that most people feel include headaches, congestion, difficulty breathing, reduced sense of smell, ear pain, fatigue, cough, nausea, sore throat and aching in the upper jaw or teeth.

    Since you probably tried already to self medicate yourself without any positive results, the doctor is your only hope to make it go away.

    After reviewing your medical history, some test will need to be done such as an MRI, CT scan, nasal endoscopy, extracting nasal or sinus cultures and an allergy test.

    An MRI or CT scan is similar to an X-ray machine because they can show details of your sinus and nasal area without inserting anything into your body.

    If this is needed, the doctor will have to do a nasal endoscopy by putting a thin, flexible tube with fiber optic light up your nose to see what is happening inside.

    Not many people like that because it is like putting a similar tube up your anus. If possible, they will give a nasal or sinus sample instead so this can be checked.

    If your doctor has not yet determined the exact cause of the chronic sinus infection, you may be referred to another specialist especially if he or she suspects that this is caused by an allergy so they can conduct an allergy test.

    Once the results come in, the doctor will probably prescribe some antibiotics until you are free of the symptoms. To deal with the inflammation and swelling in the nasal cavity, you will be prescribed a corticosteroid. If this doesn’t work, then you will probably try antihistamines, decongestants and expectorants.

    The doctor may also try moisture or humidification to help flush the nasal cavity and loosen the dried mucus. Should the chronic sinus infection be caused by an allergy, it can be treated with immunotherapy. A method designed to stimulate the antibodies that block the body’s reactions to a specific allergy.

    Chronic sinus infection can be prevented and the steps that you take are not that different when you are suffering from an acute sinus infection. You just have got to practice proper hygiene, get flu shots once a year, stay away from people who have colds as it is a contagious illness, limit your drinking, keep yourself hydrated at all times, buy a humidifier and avoid being in polluted areas or around people who smoke.

    Should you already have chronic sinus infection, just follow the instructions of the doctor and update him or her on any progress.

    Chronic sinus infection is no joke. Just to give you an idea of how serious it is, over 30 to 40 million Americans get it every year. If you don’t want to be another person added to the statistics, do what is needed so you are always healthy.

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