SINUS INFECTION (SINUSITIS)

Sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Sinuses are small, air-filled cavities behind the forehead and the cheeks. We have 4 pairs (8 in total) sinuses in our body, 2 behind the forehead, 2 on either side of the nose, 2 behind the eyes and 2 behind the cheekbones.

 

Sinuses open into the cavity of your nose and help control the temperature and water content of the air we breathe in. in a sinus infections, these channels leading into the nose are blocked, causing the specific symptoms associated with sinusitis. the sinuses behind the cheekbones, known as maxillary sinuses, are the ones most commonly affected.

Sinusitis is acute when it develops quickly and clears within 12 weeks,

or chronic which can last up to months.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of sinusitis include:

blocked or runny nose

pain and tenderness in the face, especially upon touching

high fever

tiredness, fatigue

headache

cough

pressure and/or ringing in ears

loss of taste and smell

Sinusitis is most commonly caused by viral infections, which may spread to the sinuses from the upper airways, or through bacterial infection.

A less common cause of sinusitis is an infected tooth.

 

MANAGEMENT

Management of sinusitis is mainly conservative ( fluids, rest, over the counter pain killers such as paracetamol or brufen), due to the most likely reason being viral infections. Antibiotics are not needed or recommended for viral infections.

However, if the symptoms are very severe and keep coming back, you may be prescribed an antibiotic, steroid nasal sprays, or surgery in extreme cases – if other treatments have failed. such surgeries usually involve removing dead tissue that is blocking the sinuses to improve the drainage in to the nose.

WHAT TO AVOID IN SINUSITIS:

You should avoid the following commonly advised remedies for sinusitis, as they can worsen the blockage instead of making it better:

inhaling steam

steroid tablets

alternative medicine, such as homeopathy

antihistamines

 

 

Dr. Annie

Physician, mom and wife

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