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Sinus Infections

Posted on Mon, Sep 28, 2015

Sinus infections, also referred to as sinusitis, usually occur after a common cold swells the mucus membranes which traps mucus and air behind the sinuses. The changing pressure allows (usually harmless) bacteria to slip into the sinuses, where it grows inside the mucus. Our physicians at eMedical Urgent Care after hours doctors office have provided some insight on sinus infections below:

What are the Sinuses?

Behind the bones of your face there are hollow spaces which are filled with air that lead to the nose cavity. This is known as the sinuses. Your sinuses have the same mucous membrane lining as your nose does. The membrane produces a slimy secretion (called mucus), which keeps the nasal passages moist. This mucus traps dirt particles and germs.

What is Sinusitis?

In medical English, the suffix “it is” means an “Inflammation.” Sinusitis is a swelling of and infection of the sinuses. Since the passageways from the sinuses to the nose are very narrow, swelling and mucus may block the passageways leading to painful pressure. They can be categorized as:
  • Acute: Lasts 4 weeks or less
  • Sub-acute: Lasts 4 to 12 weeks
  • Chronic: Lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or years
  • Recurrent: Several acute attacks within a year

Causes of a Sinus Infection

Sinus infections are common all year round due to the increased pollution we continue to push into the air and our resistance to antibiotics. Most often it’s either allergens (such as pollen and mold) or viruses (such as the common cold) are to blame for swelling. When the swelling causes the passageway to close off, bacteria, viruses and even fungus can get trapped in the sinuses all leading to an infection.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
  • feeling pressure in your head
  • a headache that is most painful when you first wake up in the morning or when you bend your head forward
  • pain around your eyes and eye lids
  • earaches or neck pain
  • aching in the teeth, cheeks and upper jaw
  • thick, green mucus and stuffy nose (loss of smell)
  • cough, especially on the evenings
  • fluid draining down the back of your throat (postnasal drainage)
  • sore throat
  • dizziness (the inner ear is affected causing a person to lose equilibrium and become off-balanced)


You want your nose to run. Try treatments like sipping on hot tea, taking a hot, steamy shower, add some spicy mustard to lunch, or even watch the Notebook for a good cry…and relief. You can also try a nasal irrigation like a netipot to rinse the nasal passages, warm compress and sleeping with your head raised. In addition, decongestants will also help to relive pressure, and help open up the airways. The more that your mucus stays thick, the more pain and pressure you’ll create, so remember to avoid dairy products which will exasperate the symptoms.

When Should I see a Doctor?

The good news is that sinus infections are not contagious. Although, a true sinus infection, if left untreated, can lead to other infections around the eyes and/or teeth or an upper respiratory infection. When over the counter relief prove to be ineffective and pain and stuffiness persist, seek medical attention. If you have a fever, if the mucus is thick or green, antibiotics are a necessary treatment. Treatment for Sinus Infections are available at eMedical. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. [youtube]


Fall Sports: How to Recognize a Concussion

Posted on Thu, Sep 22, 2011

It’s a brisk fall afternoon. You’re sitting in the bleachers, watching your son’s JV football game. In the scuffle during a play he hits his head on the turf. You see him get up a bit slowly, but he shakes it off and lines up for the next play. Should you be concerned? It is estimated there are 3 million head injuries each year related to contact sports, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For teens and young adults aged 15 to 24 years, it is second only to motor vehicle accidents as the cause of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions can be caused by mild or more severe blows to the head. They may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Recently, more attention has been placed on recognizing and treating concussions earlier to decrease the risk of long-term neurological damage. The Signs of a Concussion Early signs of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Vision changes
  • Unequally sized pupils
  • Lack of awareness of surroundings
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Lack of coordination
If your child is injured and shows any of the above signs, he or she should stop participating in the sports activity immediately. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association requires that any student athlete who sustains a possible concussion or any loss of consciousness be removed immediately from play. A medical evaluation is required to determine if a concussion was sustained. If it’s determined that your child did have a concussion, he or she must be symptom-free for one week before he or she can return to play. You should seek immediate medical attention if your child’s symptoms persist for more than 10 minutes. If the symptoms are mild, such as mild headache, dizziness, nausea without vomiting or loss of memory for a few minutes, watch to see if the symptoms worsen. The physicians at eMedical Urgent Care can help determine if further care is needed. When to Go to the Emergency Department You should bring your child to the nearest emergency department if the injury involves:
  • Large cuts
  • Prolonged loss of consciousness
  • Severe headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to walk
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
What to Expect After a Concussion A few days to a few weeks after having a concussion your child might experience:
  • A persistent, low-grade headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety and/or a depressed mood
  • Trouble sleeping

The recovery period for concussions can vary from patient to patient. Some may develop “post-concussion syndrome,” which can last weeks or months and includes chronic headaches, dizziness and nausea.  If your child sustains a more severe concussion, he or she should be seen by a neurologist in addition to your primary physician to manage ongoing care.