Sinus infections are bothersome to everybody. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses which occurs with bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Our doctor performs treatments for sinusitis for patients in our region.
Sinuses and sinusitis
The sinuses are air-filled spaces located in the skull behind the forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nasal bones. Healthy sinuses usually contain no bacteria or other germs. Usually, air is able to circulate and mucus is able to drain out. When too much mucus builds up or the sinus openings become blocked, it’s easier for bacteria and other germs to grow.
What conditions cause sinusitis?
- Allergies and colds can block sinus openings or create too much mucus
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated nasal septum
- Nasal bone spur
- Medical conditions which cause the small hairs of the sinuses to not move out mucus properly
What are the risks factors that cause sinusitis?
- Large adenoids
- Kartagener syndrome
- Immotile cilia syndrome
- Altitude change
- Hay Fever
- Weakened immune system from chemotherapy or HIV
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Sinusitis can be acute which means it lasts up to 4 weeks; sub-acute where it lasts up to 12 weeks; or chronic where it lasts for longer than 3 months. Typically, acute sinusitis occurs following a cold that doesn’t get better or that worsens after about a week. Chronic sinusitis symptoms tend to be milder.
Sinusitis symptoms include:
- Nasal discharge and congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Sore throat
- Cough that’s typically worse at night
- Bad breath
- Loss of smell
- Fatigue and generally not feeling well
- Tenderness or pain of the face or behind the eyes
- Tooth ache
How does my doctor diagnose sinusitis?
Our doctor performs exams and tests for sinusitis including a physical examination of your nose and sinuses, as well as other diagnostic tests.
How is sinusitis treated?
Most acute sinusitis infections go away on their own; however antibiotics may be beneficial if there’s severe swelling around the eyes, headache or facial pain, or high fever. Special medications may be required for chronic sinusitis and surgery may be necessary to drain and clean the sinuses. Surgery may also be performed to repair a deviated septum or to remove nasal polyps.
What is the self-care for sinusitis?
Self care for sinusitis includes:
- Nasal saline spray several times a day
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Use of a humidifier
- Application of warm, moist washcloth to face daily
- Run shower 2-4 times daily and sit in bathroom and inhale steam
- If congested, avoid flying; temperature changes or extremes; bending forward with head down
Note: Using OTC nasal spray decongestants can worsen nasal congestion if used for more than 3-5 days. For sinus pressure, try ibuprofen or acetaminophen.