A sinus infection is a common health condition that affects millions of people in India each year. The infection makes your sinuses and nasal passages inflamed, and this inflammation is referred to as sinusitis. The sinuses are 4 paired hollow cavities located between your eyebrows, back of your nose, cheekbones, and in your forehead.
The sinuses produce mucus, preventing dryness inside the nose. This mucus helps to trap dust, allergens, and other pollutants from entering your body. Sometimes, bacteria or allergens trigger too much mucus production, which can block your sinus openings.
Having a cold or allergies commonly generates excessive mucus. When mucus builds up in your sinus cavity, it enables bacteria and other germs to grow, which can lead to a bacterial or viral infection. The majority of sinus infections are viral, and they may go away without treatment in one or two weeks.
After 1 to 2 weeks, if you do not feel better, consult your doctor because you might have a bacterial infection.
Types of sinus infections
Based on the time the infection lasts, the condition is classified as follows:
The duration of acute sinusitis is very short.
Usually, a viral infection caused by the common cold causes certain symptoms, which may last around 1 to 2 weeks. Acute sinusitis can last up to four weeks when caused by a bacterial infection. Seasonal allergies can also bring on the illness.
Symptoms of subacute sinusitis can persist for up to three months. A bacterial infection or seasonal allergies typically result in this condition.
Sinusitis symptoms that last longer than three months are chronic. Usually, they are less severe. Most of the time, they are caused by bacterial infection. In addition, chronic sinusitis is often associated with chronic allergies as well as nasal structural problems.
Signs and symptoms of sinusitis
Common signs and symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal discharge or stuffy nose
- Facial pressure or pain.
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Severe headache
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
Common causes of sinusitis include:
- Nasal polyps – abnormal tissue growths that block the sinuses.
- Deviated nasal septum
- Other medical conditions like cystic fibrosis and HIV can create complications.
- A weak immune system due to other diseases can lead to nasal blockage.
- Respiratory tract infections like common colds can cause inflammation and block mucus drainage. Both viruses and bacteria are responsible for these infections.
- Allergies which include the seasonal allergies
When children spend time in daycares and schools, illness from other children might be a cause. Those who use pacifiers or drink bottles while lying down back are at risk of developing sinusitis.
Adults who smoke are at a higher risk of developing sinusitis. You should quit smoking. It is harmful to you as well as to your friends and family.
Treatment for Sinusitis
Treatments for sinusitis include:
Nasal corticosteroids – These nasal sprays reduce inflammation and prevent it. If the sprays don’t work, you might be advised to rinse your nose with a saline solution mixed with budesonide or spray the solution in your nose.
Saline nasal irrigation – a spray or solution that reduces drainage and flushes out allergens and irritants.
Oral or injected corticosteroids – Severe sinusitis accompanied by nasal polyps may benefit from using these medications. Taking oral corticosteroids over an extended period can cause severe side effects, which is why they are only used to treat serious symptoms.
Allergy medications – Your doctor may prescribe an allergy medication if allergies are the underlying cause of your sinusitis.
Aspirin desensitization treatment – for sinusitis and nasal polyps caused by reactions to aspirin.
Antifungal treatment – this treatment is given when the infection is caused by fungi.
Medication to treat nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis – Your doctor may recommend dupilumab or omalizumab injections for the treatment of nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis. Nasal polyps and nasal congestion can be treated with the help of these medications.
Bacteria can also cause sinusitis, and it can be treated with antibiotics. In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may prescribe other medications along with antibiotics if the underlying infection can’t be ruled out.
If allergies are possibly causing sinusitis, they are treated with allergy shots (immunotherapy) that reduce the body’s inflammatory response to various allergens.
Endoscopic sinus surgery might be recommended in cases that do not respond to treatment or medication. Your doctor uses an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light head) to examine the sinus passages in this procedure.
Based on the cause of the blockage, the doctor uses different tools to remove the polyp tissue that causes nasal blockage. You may also have the option of enlarging the narrowed sinuses for drainage.
One way or the other, there is treatment available for sinusitis. Consult our physicians at Klavo Clinics to know more details if you want to undergo sinusitis treatment.