Facts About Steroid Shots for Sinus You Must Know
Sinus infections are a usual occurrence secondary to an upper respiratory tract infection. These infections spread to the sinuses and cause inflammation, which is commonly called sinusitis. Sinuses are located behind the cheeks, nose, and forehead. They are filled with air and are lined with mucus. They get congested when the flow of this mucus is impeded. Steroid shot for sinus infection improves symptoms of respiratory tract infections and can help relieve symptoms of a cold.
Steroid Shot for Sinus Infection
The symptoms that come with sinusitis and respiratory tract infections may be severe and overwhelming. However, they can easily be managed by steroids.
1. How does a steroid shot work to alleviate symptoms of sinus infection?
Symptoms of sinus infection are made manifest by certain proinflammatory factors. Steroid shot for sinus infection inhibits the activation of these proinflammatory factors by preventing inflammation. The major categories of these factors are leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Besides causing inflammation, leukotrienes and prostaglandins also reduce the airflow to the alveoli and activate other inflammatory disorders.
Prostaglandins and leukotrienes are produced from separate biochemical processes starting with arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is synthesized from membrane phospholipids. Steroids are effective at reducing inflammation because they inhibit the initial step of this pathway – the synthesis of arachidonic acid from membrane phospholipids.
This mechanism of action makes steroids more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which only inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins. As effective as they may be, prolonged use of steroid shot for cold and sinusitis can lead to adverse effects. Always consult your doctor for professional advice before using steroids. It is much better if you take steps as they are prescribed by your doctor.
2. How fast does a steroid shot work?
How fast a medication works is always determined by its onset and duration of action. Different steroids have variable onset and duration of action. However, most of them have a slow onset of action and their effects can last for about 18 to 24 hours.
3. How long can steroid shots be effective for sinus infection?
In most cases, you may not need a second injection because they are effective at managing these symptoms. Nevertheless, symptoms can return after treatment but this is rare and often happens about 3 to 12 months after the first shot.
4. Side effects of steroids
Like all therapeutic drugs, steroids have side effects, but most of these effects are not severe. Some of the side effects include:
- Pain around the injection site
Pain at the site of injection is always a complication called post injection inflammation. It is characterized by swelling and irritation at the site where the needles enters the skin. Your skin could either be reacting to the needle or to the drug that has been administered. The reaction may be immediate or delayed, but it is not serious and often resolves on its own after some time.
Bruising often occurs when the blood vessels beneath the skin are damaged. The injured blood vessels leak blood into the skin in small amounts. As blood accumulates under the skin, it collects around the injured area forming a bruise. Bruises from injections are not common when the medication is administered intramuscularly. They only become more common when the medication is given intramuscularly.
- Sleeping problems
When using steroids, the higher the dose, the more likely you are to suffer from insomnia. In most cases, steroids such as dexamethasone makes you feel energized, which consequently causes difficulty sleeping.
- Mood swings
Steroids have been linked to psychotic disorders, delusion, and dementia. They are also known to make you irritable and aggressive. This side effect is sometimes called "roid rage.”
- Nausea and dizziness
Not all steroids will cause nausea. Actually, dexamethasone (steroid) is used to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting. Nevertheless, some studies have associated prednisone (steroid) with nausea. Steroids can also precipitate dizziness.
- Infection at the site of injection
The skin is colonized by a sea of bacteria. They are not infectious due to the integrity of the skin. But when the integrity of the skin is breached during injection, the bacteria can be introduced into the deeper layers of the skin and causes infections that start from the site of injection.
Additional Tips for Sinus Infections
- Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water makes the mucus produced in your sinuses flow smoothly. This reduces the pressure and congestion within the sinuses.
- Clear the air
Air pollution, especially by cigarette smoking, worsens sinusitis. As a result, staying away from polluted air or clearing the air that you breathe is helpful when managing sinusitis.
- Use a humidifier
Dry air doesn't allow the mucus in your sinuses and nose to flow smoothly, inhibiting the drainage from your sinuses. Congestion that sets in is among the leading causes of sinusitis. This can be prevented by adding a little humidity to your air using humidifiers.
- Take OTC pain relievers
Over the counter pain relievers are helpful in managing the pain that presents secondary to the inflammatory process. They are used for symptomatic relief and do not treat the disease.
Because of the constant environmental pollution and overwhelming climatic conditions, sinus infections are very common nowadays. The condition, however, is not serious and can be easily managed. Steroid shot for sinus infection is mostly indicated for use in such circumstances but ensure you take medication only as prescribed by your doctor. Check the video below for more insight on steroids and sinusitis.