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Sinusitis means your sinuses are inflamed. The cause can be an infection or another problem. Your sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose. They produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen, this can block the sinuses and cause pain.

There are several types of sinusitis, including

  • Acute, which lasts up to 4 weeks
  • Subacute, which lasts 4 to 12 weeks
  • Chronic, which lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or even years
  • Recurrent, with several attacks within a year

Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, which then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies, nasal problems, and certain diseases can also cause acute and chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms of sinusitis can include fever, weakness, fatigue, cough, and congestion. There may also be mucus drainage in the back of the throat, called postnasal drip. Your health care professional diagnoses sinusitis based on your symptoms and an examination of your nose and face. You may also need imaging tests. Treatments include antibiotics, decongestants, and pain relievers. Using heat pads on the inflamed area, saline nasal sprays, and vaporizers can also help.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of Sinusitis

The following features are indicative of Sinusitis:
  • thick, discolored discharge from the nose
  • nasal obstruction or congestion
  • pain, tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • reduced sense of smell and taste
  • ear pain
  • aching in the upper jaw and teeth
  • sore throat
  • bad breath
  • fatigue
  • nausea

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Common Causes of Sinusitis

The following are the most common causes of Sinusitis:
  • nasal polyps
  • deviated nasal septum
  • cystic fibrosis
  • respiratory tract infections
  • hay fever

Risk Factors for Sinusitis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Sinusitis:
  • deviated nasal septum
  • nasal polyps
  • asthma
  • aspirin sensitivity
  • HIV/AIDS
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hay fever
  • exposure to cigarette smoke

Prevention of Sinusitis

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Sinusitis. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • minimizing the contact with people who have cold
  • avoiding cigarette smoke and polluted air
  • using a humidifier

Occurrence of Sinusitis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Sinusitis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Sinusitis can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Sinusitis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Sinusitis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Sinusitis:
  • Nasal endoscopy: To see and analyse the inside of sinuses
  • Imaging studies: CT scan or MRI done to see the details of the sinuses and nasal area
  • Nasal and sinus cultures: To determine the disease causing bacteria or fungi
  • Allergy skin test: To see the allergen that's responsible for the nasal flare-ups

Doctor for Diagnosis of Sinusitis

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Sinusitis:
  • Otorhinolaryngologist

Complications of Sinusitis if untreated

Yes, Sinusitis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Sinusitis is left untreated:
  • meningitis
  • osteomyelitis
  • cellulitis
  • partial or complete loss of sense of smell
  • vision problems

Procedures for Treatment of Sinusitis

The following procedures are used to treat Sinusitis:
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery: Removes the tissue or shave away a polyp that's causing nasal blockage

Medicines for Sinusitis

Below is the list of medicines used for Sinusitis:

Self-care for Sinusitis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Sinusitis:
  • Take rest: Helps to body fight inflammation and speed up recovery
  • Drink fluids: Helps in diluting the mucous secretions and promoting drainage
  • Moisturize sinus cavities: Eases facial pain
  • Sleep with elevated head: Reduces congestion

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Sinusitis

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Sinusitis:
  • Apply warm compresses to face: Helps to ease facial pain
  • Moisturize sinus cavities: Help to ease pain and mucus drain

Time for Treatment of Sinusitis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Sinusitis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Is Sinusitis Infectious?

Yes, Sinusitis is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • hand-to-hand contact

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Sinusitis.

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