How Telemedicine Services Can Treat Sinus Infection

September 9th, 2016

Even if you are out of town or in a remote location, you can receive care that saves money in both time and travel expenses. Telehealth closes the gap in rural areas where physicians and specialists are not always available. It can reduce medical emergencies with preventative care and investigate the need for emergency service ahead of time. Insurance companies are now starting to offer coverage, so you may want to inquire about it before seeking the telehealth service.

Since telemedicine is fairly new, people are not always sure what types of illnesses and symptoms qualify for online doctor appointments compared with standard office visits. Telephone visits began in the late 90s and video chats began even more recently around 2013. Telehealth sites have a list of illnesses that are easily treated by phone, tablet, and video consultation. Sinus Infections are in the top ten on that list.

You might feel like you are experiencing allergies or a severe cold, but also notice pain in your teeth or face. The important thing is finding out if the infection is viral or bacterial. A virus runs its course, but a bacterial infection needs the help of antibiotics or it has the potential to become a major infection.

How Does It Work?

There are many online companies offering telemedicine today and you will want to take a look at a few and compare plans for your specific needs. Each one will require you to register online by filling out some basic health history information. They may want to know the last time you had a physical exam in order to approve you for prescribed medication. Online consultations are meant to work in combination with regular office visits, not replace them, but there are many circumstances that don’t require a face-to-face exam.

Sinus infections are on the list of illnesses that can be treated by phone, chat, or video because they are not considered a serious condition, however, they can become one if not treated in a reasonable period of time. Some people delay office visits until they realize they are not getting better. A simple phone call or video consult with a doctor can be easy to fit into your schedule and they are offered seven days a week and 24 hours a day for your convenience. No germ-filled waiting rooms turning a five-minute assessment into a 3-hour roundtrip excursion, and the cost is generally less.

What Can I Expect?

To keep your appointment as brief as possible, write down a list of your symptoms and when they started. Make a note of any questions you would like to ask. Let them know if you have had a fever and if you have allergies to certain medications.

A preset video consultation puts you face-to-face with a state licensed physician using your computer screen or smartphone. They will begin by asking specific questions about your sinus symptoms to assess whether your sinus infection is viral or bacterial. Laboratory tests are rarely needed. The diagnosis is based on your physical appearance and the information you provide on symptoms, the length of time you have experienced them, and the severity. These may include:

  • Sinus Pressure
  • Headache
  • Ear Pressure
  • Green or yellow mucus
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Fever

When the doctor has gone over the essential information to make a diagnosis, they present a treatment plan immediately, unless a laboratory test is required. The results of a lab test can take roughly two to three days before the doctor can then diagnosis and advise the correct treatment. Options can include:

  • Continuing over-the-counter medications
  • Antibiotics for a period of five to 21 days
  • Steroid Nasal Spray for underlying allergies and/or reducing inflammation of nasal passages
  • Oral steroid for severe cases along with underlying allergies
  • Referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist
  • Surgery is rare

Your treatment may include a prescribed antibiotic for a bacterial infection, but they do not work for a viral sinus infection. If antibiotics are prescribed, take the full prescribed dose until it is finished to avoid recurrence. Most telemedicine companies will allow up to seven days for follow-up questions related to the infection. You will receive emails detailing the visit and recommended treatment for your records.

All medical information you provide is set up on a secure portal according to HIPPA laws and state regulations and your medical history is as safe as at any regular physician’s office. Telemedicine has the ability to make staying healthy a much more convenient process for both individuals and families.

Sources and Links:

Secure Medical Top Symptoms Patients Report to Schedule Online Telehealth Doctor Visits,

  1. com, 2016. How Telemedicine Services Can Treat a Sinus Infection,

Cirrus Medical Network, 2014. Sinus Infection (Sinusitis), Telemedicine Primary Care Series,

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