According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, there are about 134 million people in India suffer from sinusitis. In other words, one in every 8 Indians suffers from sinusitis.
Sinusitis is the condition in which the nasal cavities and sinuses inflame or swell. These can swell or inflame due to allergies, germs or structural anomalies. There are several degrees of sinusitis a person can suffer from.
Stages of Sinusitis
This is the first stage of sinusitis. Acute sinusitis lasts for the shortest period of time. Usually, the person starts experiencing symptoms of cold caused due to viruses. Consequently, it will be futile to use antibiotics at this stage. The infection eventually clogs the nasal cavity and results in another infection. Once the cold turns into an infection due to bacteria, the antibiotics can work. In rare cases, not only it can be a bacterial infection but also a fungal infection. In this type of sinus infection, the symptoms can last up to 4 weeks. The main cause of acute sinusitis is seasonal allergies.
The symptoms of subacute sinusitis last up to 4-12 weeks. The most common types of contributing factors for subacute sinusitis are – seasonal allergies and bacterial infections.
Sinusitis that lasts for more than 3 months is termed as chronic sinusitis. This can occur with or without nasal polyps. Moreover, people suffering from persistent allergies or structural abnormalities are more prone to chronic sinusitis. In order to diagnose properly, the ENT specialist can recommend a CT scan of the sinuses and the nose. Moreover, the doctor physically examines the nasal passages with an endoscope. Additionally, they can also recommend tests for blood and allergy as well as bacterial cultures.
For the treatment of chronic sinusitis, patients can take nasal irrigation and decongestants by loosening out the phlegm.
People suffering from recurrent sinusitis are prone to developing sinus attacks several times in a year.
Symptoms of Stages of Sinusitis
Usually, the initial symptoms of sinusitis still in the acute stage, are similar to those of common cold- runny nose, watery eyes, pressure around the eyes. Once the infection turns severe into the chronic stage, the person experiences other symptoms such as-
- Sinus pressure around the eyes and cheeks
- Chronic headache
- Stuffy nose (Read more: How to get rid of a stuffy nose?)
- Draining of thick yellow or green mucus from the nose
- Bad breath
- Impaired sense of smell
Risk of developing Sinusitis
There is no particular reason that can provide an explanation for infection developing in the sinuses. However not to be ignored, there are certain factors that can increase the chances of sinusitis developing. Some of them are-
- Person having a deviated septum that results in narrowing of nasal cavities
- Abnormal growth of bone in the nose
- Prone to developing allergies
- Development of nasal polyps
- Immunity is very low
- Exposure to mold
- Traveling by airplane
- Dental infection
- Suffering from cystic fibrosis
4 Types of Sinuses
Sinuses are simply hollow spaces in the bones around the nose. The sinuses help to keep the nasal cavities moist and trapping of any germs or allergens by producing mucus or fluid.
4 types of sinuses are present around the nose and eyes.
- Maxillary sinuses- These are the hollow spaces that are present inside the cheekbones on both sides of the nose.
- Frontal sinuses- The cavities located around the eyes and the forehead are referred to as frontal sinuses.
- Ethmoid sinuses- This type of sinus is present between the eyes and bridge of the nose
- Sphenoid sinuses- These nasal cavities are located behind the eyes and around the upper nasal bone.
Read more: Know about sinus pressure points
Home remedies to cure acute sinus infection
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Breathe in moist air
- Eat spicy foods
- Consume immunity-boosting foods
- Know allergens that can trigger a sinus infection
- Rest properly
- Nasal irrigation with neti-pots
- Take more vitamin C
- Essential oils with inhaling steam
- Apply warm compresses to the sinuses
Antibiotics for Sinusitis
In addition to following these home remedies judiciously, you can also take some antibiotics that can treat the bacterial infection in the sinuses.
Decongestants for Acute Sinusitis
Decongestants help to clear the accumulated mucus in the sinuses. These are available both as nasal sprays as well as capsules. These unclog the sinus congestion and reduce symptoms. Some common decongestants include Sudafed, Brethex, Brozine, Dimetapp, etc.
Treatment for curing chronic sinus infection
The most effective treatment option for chronic sinusitis is FESS or Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. In this procedure, the doctor inserts an endoscope inside the nasal cavity to perform the surgery. There is a camera on the top of the endoscope through which the surgeon navigates and removes any abnormalities or nasal polyps to clear the nasal airway. The surgery is finished by placing a nasal packing. This is a day-care procedure that allows the patient to go back home after thorough observation.
After undergoing the procedure, the patient suffering from chronic sinusitis was able to recover fast and had improved sleep.