Samantha is a 35 year old female who recently had an upper respiratory infection (common cold). Her symptoms from the recent cold improved and she has returned to work. However, over the last 2 days she has been experiencing a stuffy nose, nasal discharge (yellow / green color) and mild facial pain. Her facial pain is located to her forehead, above her eyes and also to her cheek area. She does not have a fever, but is experiencing mild pressure to her ears.

Sam decides to contact her nurse practitioner, Dr. Stasha Roberts, owner of Compassion Primary Care, and a virtual office visit is scheduled. After reviewing her symptoms Dr. Roberts recommends using over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen for the facial pain, flushing her sinuses with saline rinses and using a steroid nasal spray to help to manage symptoms. Dr. Roberts also suggests that Sam take a warm shower, apply warm compresses to her face and use steam to provide relief of sinus pressure. Sam is reminded that it is not unusual to experience sinusitis after a common cold, and that ear pressure is a common symptom of sinusitis. Since this is day 3 of her symptoms, a virtual appointment is scheduled 7 days out to reassess her symptoms. Dr. Roberts informed Sam that if she develops a high fever (102 or greater) or severe facial pain then she needs to contact the office before her scheduled follow-up appointment.

Sam is reminded the majority of sinusitis is caused by viruses and not bacteria. Sometimes, even sinusitis caused by bacterial infection in healthy adults will clear on its own, without the need for antibiotics. If Sam’s symptoms have not improved during her follow-up or she develops symptoms discussed above, then antibiotics will be started. So, if you think you have similar symptoms as Sam, and need to be seen please contact us at 813-669-3084 or schedule a visit online at In need of a primary care provider, we are taking new patients, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Common Symptoms of Sinusitis

  • Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
  • Nasal discharge (thick yellow or green color)
  • Tooth pain
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Fever
  • Trouble smelling
  • Ear pressure / fullness
  • Headache
  • Bad breath
  • Most of the time these symptoms improve in 7 to 10 days

When Additional Care is Needed

  • Symptoms present 10 days or longer
  • High fever 102°F or greater
  • Sudden / severe facial pain
  • Trouble seeing / double vision
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Stiff neck
  • Swelling or redness around one or both eyes

#sinusitis #rhinosinusitis #earpain #nasaldischarge #nasalcongestion

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