Preventing Sinus Infections During Flu Season

When you have a cold or the flu, a sinus infection is a common complication. Although a sinus infection may not be as severe as other flu complications that require emergency care, like chest pain or shortness of breath, it can be extremely uncomfortable and prolong the amount of time you miss from work or school. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of a sinus infection. Try these tips to keep sinus infections at bay.

Stay Hydrated
Hydration is critical to overcoming most illnesses you contract. When it comes to sinus infections, proper hydration may help you avoid the infection completely. Drinking plenty of fluids every day helps to keep the fluid in your nasal passages thin, so that it doesn’t thicken and trap bacteria that can lead to an infection. If you already have a cold or the flu, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to speed your recovery and reduce the chances that you’ll get a sinus infection.

Treat Nasal Congestion
If you experience nasal congestion, treat it as soon as possible to prevent a sinus infection from developing. The longer your nasal passages stay congested, the more likely it is for bacteria to become trapped. Try treating your stuffy nose with an over-the-counter decongestant, and remember to drink extra fluids when taking a decongestant, as these medications can make you dehydrated. If the decongestant isn’t effective, see your doctor.

Try Nasal Irrigation
In this video, Dr. Alen Cohen, an ENT at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, recommends that patients try nasal irrigation to prevent sinus infections. Using a neti pot or other natural irrigation system cleans dust, bacteria, and other irritants from the sinuses so that they can’t cause prolonged inflammation and infections.

If you do experience a sinus infection, the physicians at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center are here to help. From emergency care in West Hills in our ER to cold and flu treatments from our physicians , we are ready to provide the care your entire family needs. Request a referral to one of our providers by calling (818) 676-4321.

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