Sinusitis (also known as rhinosinusitis) is nothing but the inflammation of the sinus lining which is mostly caused by either bacteria or viruses.
This can affect the person of any age group and can become severe if accompanied by other conditions such as asthma and allergies.
The word sinusitis is made up of two words.
- One is Sinus which stands for the anatomical structure of the human body which are basically air-filled cavities present behind the cheek bones as well as the forehead.
- The other word “It is” stands for inflammation.
Thus the word sinusitis explains the inflammation of the sinus.
In This Article ...
What Is Sinus?
There are 4 pair of sinuses present in the human body which are usually present on the cheeks and the forehead region. These are:
- 1 pair of sinus present behind the forehead,
- 1 pair of sinus present at either side of the bridge of the nose,
- 1 pair of sinus present behind the eyes, and
- 1 pair of sinus present behind the cheekbones.
The largest, as well as the most common infection acquiring sinus, is the one which is present behind the cheekbones.
Different Types of Sinusitis Or Sinus Problems
Various types of sinusitis problem which may be further classified according to its duration of presence in the human body are as follows:
Acute Sinusitis: This type of sinusitis develops in the human quickly within a few days of the duration of the onset of common cold or flu and gets clear within a few weeks.
Sub-Acute Sinusitis: An inflammation that lasts from 30-60 days can be the thought-out result of sub-acute sinusitis. It leads to thick greenish or yellowish nasal discharge along with the loss of power to smell.
Chronic Sinusitis: When the sinusitis symptoms and signs are lasting for more than 12 weeks in duration, then it is termed as chronic sinusitis. Normally the chronic sinusitis is less common in nature but if occurs it will last for many months.
Recurrent Sinusitis: Numerous attacks of cold within a year are associated with the most severe form of sinusitis called recurrent sinusitis. It leads to dental pain and fatigue with bad breath. It is a very severe condition which demands proper medication.
Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis
Sinus is a problem which shows various signs such as pain and tenderness on the face (mainly near the infected area).
The pain will be throbbing in nature and it gets worse when you move your head for any activity. In some cases, the pain also appears in the tooth and the jaws while biting the food stuff.
Running nose which often gets blocked is another major symptom of sinusitis. High production of greenish or yellowish mucus in the nostrils and the oral cavity because of the infection is the main cause of this problem.
Other signs or symptoms of sinus problems include:
- Prolonged high temperature with general body tiredness or weakness
- Recurrent cough along with sneezing reflex will be observed in some cases
- Bad breath due to heavy infection of the lining in the sinus and nostrils
- Pressure in the eyes which causes on and off the flow of tears from the eyes
- Loss of taste and smell because of the blockage of the nostrils
- Headache mainly on the frontal headache due to heaviness of the head
Causes of Sinusitis And Diagnosing The Problem
The sinuses naturally have openings and these openings have communication with the cavity of the nose. It helps to control the body temperature and water content of the atmospheric air that is reaching the lungs.
The mucus which is produced in the mucus lining drains into the nose through the channels.
When the sinus get infected with a virus or bacteria then it may cause blockage of these sinus channels which further leads to heaviness, swelling, and pain in the sinus area because of solid mucus accumulation inside the sinus cavity.
The most common causes of sinusitis or rhinosinusitis are:
- Common cold or flu (influenza). In case of a common cold, the virus or bacteria which cause the common cold spreads from the upper respiratory tract to the sinuses and causes inflammation over there.
- The substances which irritate the sinuses like pollen grains, smokes, chemical agents like pesticides, household dust and disinfectants, etc. also acts as the triggering factor for sinusitis.
- Certain diseases like bronchial asthma, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, etc. also acts as the primary reason for the occurrence of sinusitis.
- Sometimes an infected or decayed tooth also causes inflammation and infection of the sinuses.
- Anything which blocks or narrows the nasal passage like nasal polyps, facial palsy, bell’s palsy, facial injury, etc. also causes blockage of the sinus passage which results in the formation of sinusitis.
Most of the physicians diagnose sinusitis by merely observing the symptoms and signs of the patient.
In most of the cases, the sinusitis uses to occur because of viral infection and can be diagnosed easily. In case of any doubts, the patient will be referred to an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist for further diagnosis of the problem.
The ENT specialist will carry out the necessary tests to determine the underlying problem and its cause. The major test prescribed usually will be an X-ray and CT scan.
Can Sinusitis Cause Asthma Or Other Respiratory Issues?
Studies show that the effects of sinusitis on the body and brain can be fatal which may some times make you dizzy and tired. Acute sinusitis can also cause certain respiratory problems due to the accumulation of heavy mucus in the affected area.
Asthma and sinus congestion are also linked to each other and are evidenced in many cases.
There are instances seen when people who were already suffering from conditions such as chronic nasal inflammation and/or respiratory issues (such as asthma bronchitis, etc.) developed chronic sinusitis that is not actually caused due to infection.
Also in a few cases, where a person was already suffering from conditions such as asthma got their asthma attacks triggered due to their acute sinuses.
Treating your sinuses or controlling frequent asthma attacks early at times can, therefore, help a lot by preventing conditions get chronic and much complex.
How To Treat The Sinus Problem Naturally?
Nasal Infection or sinusitis is often not referred to as a serious disease. And at most of the times person suffering from sinusitis need not go to a physician.
The chances are, the problem gets resolved by itself by taking proper care and hygiene steps without any medication.
However as it takes a prolonged duration to get resolved by its own (from a few weeks to even a month), it is recommended to visit your doctor if the problem is severe.
He may recommend the best treatment options to get faster relief without any risks. Depending on the inflammation type and severity, there are various treatments that can be recommended by your doctor. Some of these are:
Using decongestants: In case of acute sinusitis and asthma congestion one should use nasal decongestant spray as the first and foremost option.
Various types of decongestants for sinus are easily available in the market and can be bought to be applied on the area of infection. It not only helps in clearing up the nasal cavity but also in relieving the pain.
Using antibiotics: In case of sub-acute and chronic sinusitis, medical intervention is mandatory. When a decongestant appears to be of no use one should opt for antibiotics (if not being allergic to it).
Antibiotic is the foremost and best medication for treating severe sinus infection in less time.
Nasal discharge: The yellowish mucus formed during sinusitis is harmful to the body because it causes cough and various bronchial diseases. It should be therefore discharged as soon as possible to avoid blockage and infection.
Nasal discharge using a SinuPulse Elite Advanced Nasal Sinus Irrigation System is an easy and effective method to get relief from rhinosinusitis fast and naturally.
Devices such as these can help a lot for those who are unable to clear their nasal discharge by themselves.
In the case of recurrent sinusitis or asthma, surgical treatment is a left alternative which is recommended only after you have tried all the best natural methods for treating your sinus problems.
After a proper consultation with the doctor, one should opt for surgery depending on the severity and cause of the inflammation.