Everything You Need to Know About Sinus
Sinus, also known as sinusitis, is a serious health issue which occurs when the openings inside your nose and head get filled with mucus and air, swell and gets structural blockages. It is common with the people who have allergies or asthma or have a weak immune system. Americans spend over $1 billion every year in medication and treating. Acute sinus infection last four to eight weeks, and when it last longer, it is considered as chronic sinus. Chronic sinus can cause dreadful disease if not treated on time.
The most common symptoms include:
- Nasal inflammation due to pressure on sinus tissue.
- Facial pain when facial areas are touched.
- Nasal congestion or blockage, causing difficulty in breathing.
- Swelling around nose, eyes or forehead.
- Postnasal drainage in the back of the throat can be seen in a bacterial infection.
- Reduce a sense of smell.
- Fever due to infection in sinus tissue.
- Headache because of partially or completely blocked sinuses.
- Ear pain
- Bad breathe usually due to bacterial infections.
Chronic and Acute Sinus
Both chronic and acute sinus has homogeneous signs and symptoms. But acute sinus is a temporary infection associated with cold and chronic sinus is a more serious infection which lasts more than twelve weeks. Fever is not a sign of chronic sinus, but you might have with acute sinus.
Firstly, you have to know the cause of sinusitis. If your infection last longer and antibiotic treatment is not working, schedule an appointment with a doctor. The physician will do a physical examination. If the symptom continues, the doctor may refer to ENT for more in-depth examinations. In case of severe sinusitis, a CT scan can help to find out the exact reason. In this CT scan, they use a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light on the top that is put through the nose. If the infection is caused owing to the bacteria then antibiotic therapy would be more effective. But if the infection is caused by fungus then it needs to be treated with antifungal agents. Fungal sinus is more menacing because it could penetrate into the nearby bone.
Treatment for sinus problems
Usually, bacterial sinus is cured with antibiotics. It normally takes 3 to 28days depending on the antibiotic. Sever patients are prescribed longer treatments as the sinuses get deeper into the bone where blood supply is minimal. Antibiotics abolish a sinus infection by attacking the bacteria that causes it, but until then, they do not do much to the symptoms.
These nasal sprays prevent and alter inflammation and swelling nasal passages, curing the biggest problem of this infection. It also helps in shrinking the return of nasal polyps. It usually takes a few days for the spray to effectively work and relive the symptom permanently. Corticosteroids may also dry out the membranes lining the nose if taken in high dose and for a long time.
Decongestant nose drop/spray
Decongestant spray or nasal drop smoothens the mucus and reduce swelling that makes it easier to breathe. But after a few hours, the nose may start to swell again. So, it is not good to use the medication for more than three to four days.
Antihistamines blocks inflammation and fight symptoms of allergies that can lead to swollen nasal.
Surgery is the last recommendations if the medication fails to work. It is mostly performed by an otolaryngologist. It is often performed by local or general anesthesia, which is why patients can go home on the same day.
- Avoid allergens
- Practice good hand hygiene
- Avoid smoking
- Stay away from people with colds.
- Use humidifier
- Keep vaccinations updated
If you are prone to a yearly sinus infection, it may be vital to do allergy testing to see if this is the primary cause of the recurring problem. And sometime home remedies may do the trick for some people but call your doctor if you had symptoms for more than a few days.
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