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Sinusitis refers to an infection of the sinuses, a series of hollow cavities within the skull that assist in a variety of functions including breathing. Sinusitis is most often categorized by the duration of the inflammation.
Types of Sinusitis include:
Sinusitis is an extremely common disease. Over 28.5 million American adults were diagnosed with sinusitis in 2012. Sinusitis is most often treatable and with proper treatment does not most often lead to complications.
In a healthy nose, mucus is produced by glands within the paranasal sinuses, located on either side of the nose towards the front of the face, and then flows into the nose. In sinusitis, inflammation of the nose causes the opening from the paranasal sinuses to the nose to become blocked, leading to a build-up of mucous and air within the sinuses that leads to feelings of pressure and discomfort. Sinusitis may also be caused by the migration of bacteria from the nose into the sinuses, resulting in the inflammation of the sinus mucous membrane.
Several factors can trigger the nasal inflammation that leads to sinusitis. These include:
The following factors can cause nasal inflammation, increasing your risk of developing sinusitis:
There is no single diagnostic test for sinusitis. Your doctor will most likely make a diagnosis of sinusitis using a combination of the following:
The following may be symptoms of sinusitis:
Pain, pressure, or discomfort in any of the following regions:
Excess mucous, either from the nose or in the back of the throat (post-nasal drip). Mucous may be white, yellow, green, or slightly bloody.
Most cases of sinusitis are easily treatable when detected early. The majority of patients with sinusitis make a complete recovery within a few weeks of treatment, though few patients experience further complications and infections. If you feel that you are experiencing any symptoms of sinusitis, contact your doctor. Be sure to fully complete the treatment plan recommended by your doctor to ensure the elimination of the subject.
The following tips can help you manage your sinusitis symptoms:
Sinusitis is not commonly screened for because the symptoms are fast onset and patients typically report them themselves. If you experience any of the symptoms of sinusitis, contact your doctor.
The following tips can help you prevent sinusitis:
Treatments for sinusitis vary depending on whether it is acute or chronic.
Treatments for acute sinusitis include:
Decongestants to help with excess mucous and swelling within the nasal passages. These include:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) to help relieve pain and reduce fever. These include:
Antibiotics in cases of bacterial infection.
Treatments for chronic sinusitis include:
The following alternative treatments may be useful in the treatment of sinusitis:
Neti pot. Available for purchase at your local health food store, a neti pot is a device that allows you to pour saline solution into your nostril in order to flush out the nasal passages. This can help loosen and thin mucous build up. Be sure to follow the directions that accompany your neti pot in order to assure proper use.
Massage. Massaging the sinuses can help promote proper drainage. If you don’t have access to a professional masseuse, you can try self-massaging by rubbing the areas of your sinuses in circular motions for several seconds. Sinus pressure points include in between and above the eyes, on the sides of the nose, and the cheeks.
Steam baths. To make a steam bath, bring a pot of water to a near boil and then remove from heat, lean over the pot, and place a towel over your head to contain the steam rising from the water. Breathing in steam can help decongest your nasal passages. Be sure to use caution when doing a steam bath, as too much steam can result in burns to the skin.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that uses the insertion of needles at various points around the body in order to restore bodily energy. Acupuncture can help to lessen inflammation, swelling, and congestion within the sinuses.
Herbal remedies, including:
f you are experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If you are receiving treatment for sinusitis and experience any of the following, contact your doctor immediately:
You may want to ask your doctor the following questions:
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