Its also known as sinus infection and rhinosinusitis. This is a disease that is characterized by the inflammation of the sinuses. Sinuses are filled with air during their normal working conditions. But when sinuses get filled with fluids, they get blocked and germs, bacteria and viruses can grown in them.
Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include the common cold, allergic rhinitis (swelling of the lining of the nose), nasal polyps (small growths in the lining of the nose), or a deviated septum (a shift in the nasal cavity).
There are different types of sinusitis. They are as follows:
1) Acute Sinusitis
This is a sudden onset of cold-like symptoms. They can be anything like runny nose, stuffy nose and facial pain etc. This type of sinusitis lasts for about 4 weeks.
2) Subacute Sinusitis
Subacute sinusitis is merely a more severe version of acute sinusitis in which the symptoms of the disease get prolonged.
3) Chronic Sinusitis
A condition characterized by sinus inflammation symptoms lasting 8 weeks or longer.
4) Recurrent Sinusitis
Several attacks within a year.
Symptoms can range from headache or facial pain, a persistent feeling of pressure on the blocked sinuses if also common. The pain is localized in the sinuses but gets worse if the person bends down or lies down. The pain propagates from one side of the head to the other side.
Infection of the eye socket is possible, which may result in the loss of sight and is accompanied by fever and severe illness. Another possible complication is the infection of the bones (osteomyelitis) of the forehead and other facial bones which is known as Pott’s puffy tumor.
Sinus infections can also cause middle ear problems due to the congestion of the nasal passages. This can be demonstrated by dizziness, “a pressurized or heavy head”, or vibrating sensations in the head. Post-nasal drip is also a symptom of chronic rhinosinusitis.
a) Acute Sinusitis
Acute Sinusitis attacks usually happen due to upper respiratory tract infections which are generally caused by viruses like rhinoviruses, coronaviruses. In case of bacteria being the culprit, then there most likely cases are streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.
Acute episodes of sinusitis can also result from fungal invasion. These infections are typically seen in patients with diabetes or other immune deficiencies such as AIDS and can be life-threatening. In type I diabetics, ketoacidosis can be associated with sinusitis due to mucormycosis.
b) Chronic Sinusitis
They can be caused by the following factors:
i) Nasal Polyps
These are tissues that grow and block the nasal passages or sinuses.
ii) Respiratory Tract Infection
Infections in the respiratory tract, like common cold, can make the sinuses swell leading to blocking of mucus drainage. This leads to perfect conditions ripe for the growth of bacteria.
iii) Deviated Nasal Septum
Sometimes a deformity in the septum, which is basically the wall between the nostrils, can lead to the blocking of sinus passage.
For Acute Sinusitis
A diagnosis is made on the basis of the length of the disease. If symptoms last for less than 10 days, then its considered to be viral and when they exceed more than 10, then its taken to be caused by bacteria. Pain caused by sinusitis is sometimes confused for pain caused by pulpitis (toothache) of the maxillary teeth, and vice versa. Classically, the increased pain when tilting the head forwards separates sinusitis from pulpitis.
For Chronic Sinusitis
For sinusitis lasting more than 12 weeks a CT scan is recommended. Nasal endoscopy and clinical symptoms are also used to make a positive diagnosis. A tissue sample for histology and cultures can also be collected and tested.
Most cases of Sinusitis are casued by viruses and resolve within a few days. In case the symptoms persist for longer period of time, a dose of amoxicillin is administered. Antibiotics are not recommended for people with mild symptoms due to increased side effects and cost of drug.
2) Nasal Corticosteroids
These nasal sprays help prevent and treat inflammation. Examples include fluticasone (Flonase), budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua), triamcinolone (Nasacort AQ), mometasone (Nasonex) and beclomethasone (Beconase AQ).
In cases that continue to resist treatment or medication, endoscopic sinus surgery may be an option. For this procedure, the doctor uses an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube with an attached light, to explore your sinus passages. Then, depending on the source of obstruction, the doctor may use various instruments to remove tissue or shave away a polyp that’s causing nasal blockage. Enlarging a narrow sinus opening also may be an option to promote drainage.
Home Remedies For Sinusitis
Oregano oil has anti-biotic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties when taken internally, it can also used topically to fight cold sores, nail fungus, and dandruff among other things. Oregano oil may also be steam-inhaled as an alternative to ingestion.
Saline Nasal Rinse
If you are prone to sinus infections and you don’t have a Neti pot , you’ll want to get one. This handy little device makes it easy to irrigate your nasal cavity, clearing out unwanted mucus and any inhaled contaminants that may be caught in there. Use your Neti pot twice a day for optimum relief!
Apart from containing the natural anti-inflammatory curcumin, this spice is also an anti-oxidant. When combined with spicy ginger root and brewed for hot tea, this combination can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, alleviate sinus pressure, and make you feel better all around. Ginger root also has the added bonus of calming an upset stomach – a frequent side-effect of excessive nighttime sinus drainage.
This is especially useful to decongest blocked sinuses and allow proper airflow. Lay back with a warm compress draped across your nose, cheeks, and forehead for three minutes. Remove the warm compress and replace with a cold compress for 30 seconds. repeat as and when required.
Steam helps relieve congestion by loosening mucus. Give yourself a steam treatment using a bowl of hot water and a large towel. Add menthol, camphor, or eucalyptus oils to the water, if you like. Place the towel over your head so it falls along the sides of the bowl, trapping the steam inside. Most people do this until the steam dissipates. The steam from a hot shower can also work but is a less concentrated experience.