The treatment for a nasal abscess includes a thorough examination of the abscess and drainage of the pus. Once the abscess has been drained, steps are taken to treat any underlying infection. Other treatments for a nasal abscess may include pain management, such as warm compresses and medications to control pain.
Abscesses develop from an infection. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of abscesses, although fungal infections and parasitic infections are possible in some instances. As a result of the infection, pus begins to collect in the surrounding tissues and forms a pocket of pus.
Nasal abscesses often form along the tissues of the nasal cavity, such as the nasal septum that separates the nostrils in the center of the nose. They can stem from trauma to the nose, chronic bouts of sinusitis and dental infections. With the most common cause, trauma to the nose, abscesses develop when a hematoma becomes infected.
Symptoms of an abscess in the nasal cavity can vary in severity. The first signal of a nasal abscess may be pain and redness. Pain can range from minor to severe. Progression of the severity of an abscess typically includes nasal blockage, fever, headache and even difficulty breathing.
A thorough physical examination should confirm the presence of an abscess. Blood tests may also be done as well as cultures related to the pus collected during an examination to determine the cause of the abscess. Treatment will be based on the data collected during the examination.
Physicians may decide to drain the abscess through an incision. Large abscesses will require a surgical incision in the surrounding tissue and may require a drainage tube to help direct and collect the pus drainage. Small abscesses in the absence of other symptoms, such as severe pain and fever, may be left to drain on their own. This is done through the application of warm compresses.
Medications may be required to treat the underlying cause of the abscess. A physician may prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection. The antibiotics will help eliminate bacteria in the nasal cavity and help eliminate the possibility of the return of an abscess. Antifungal medication will be prescribed for cases resulting from a fungal infection.
Pain management treatment and medications may also be required during the treatment process for an abscess in the nasal cavity. Warm compresses can help alleviate pain and inflammation of the nasal cavity. Options for pain medication can include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, and prescription pain medications.