Sinusitis Infection - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

  • Sinusitis Overview
  • Fast Facts on Sinusitis
  • What Causes Sinus infection
  • Top Symptoms
  • Prevention
  • Types of Sinus Infections
  • Diagnosis
  • Sinus Treatment
  • Surgical Treatment of Sinus Infection
  • Diet After Tonsil Surgery
  • Complications after Sinus Surgery

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Sinusitis Overview

Sinusitis or sinus infection causes inflammation when sinuses that are behind the nasal cavity get infected. They can also cause swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinuses are part of the human anatomy and when they are healthy, they are filled with air. If somehow they get blocked, the natural drainage is affected.

The sinuses can grow pathogens and cause an infection. The sinus cavity is divided into four paired spaces and the same are joined by narrow canals.

The natural function of the sinuses is to make thin mucus and help drain out the same from the nose to keep the airway free of infection. See, the drainage is also a filtration system of the nose.

The sinus infection can be of two types. It can be acute, which lasts for 5 to 6 days and resolves on its own or chronic sinusitis which is a long-lasting sinus infection.

Fast Facts on Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a common problem and generally gets resolved on its own. It does not require a doctor visit if a patient experiences benign symptoms. The common problems or symptoms that people face are runny nose, bad breath, or a headache.

But, the condition should not be ignored. A thorough diagnosis is not going to hurt you. If you are suffering from a sinus infection, make an appointment with ENT doctors and get diagnosed.

There are cases where the sinus infection can cause severe headache or a feeling of pressure in the sinus cavity. In some cases, it can lead to toothache or ear pain.

What Causes Sinus infection

Sinus affects a lot of people every year. Sometimes, it can be caused by allergies or blocked nasal passage. Among the common reasons, swelling inside the nose, common cold, drainage duct blockage, structural differences, nasal polyps or immune system deficiencies are responsible for the occurrence of sinus infection.

It has been noted that several medications that suppress the immune system can also lead to sinus inflammation and cause sinus headache or feeling of pressure around sinus. Besides, chronic sinusitis has a lot of triggers which entails factors such as blocked airways from asthma or allergies, an infection of the nose, fungus or deviated nasal septum.

In kids, the sinus infection can be caused by allergies or illnesses from other kids at daycare or school. Besides, pacifiers also affect sinus in kids. Some kids get it if they drink water from a bottle while lying on the back. If you are a parent, you should keep your kids away from second-hand smoke as it can lead to infection of sinuses.

Top Symptoms

Sinus infection or sinusitis can be identified easily as it has a lot of symptoms. Though, the most common among all in adults are infections and smoking. Since we have already discussed acute and chronic sinusitis and their differences, the symptoms are somewhat different.

Notice if you have: 

  • Facial pain or pressure

  • Stuffed-up nose or runny nose

  • If you experience loss of smell

  • Cough or congestion

  • Fever

  • Bad breath

  • Fatigue

  • Dental pain

  • Thick, green, or yellow nasal discharge

All these symptoms indicate the evidence of acute sinusitis. In the case of chronic sinusitis, the symptoms last over 12 weeks. You can identify the period of occurrence of the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of congestion in your face

  • Nasal obstruction or nasal blockage

  • Pus in the nasal cavity

  • Fever

  • Runny nose or discolored postnasal drainage

  • Headaches that cause a feeling of pressure

  • Bad breath

  • Tooth pain

Prevention

The best way to avoid sinus infection is by maintaining good hygiene. If you are more susceptible to a sinus infection or experience sinus headaches from time-to-time, you can begin with frequently washing your hands. Another thing you can do is keep your nose moist with nasal saline sprays and manage your allergies well.

One of the most important factors is to avoid sinus headaches is to avoid nasal irritants such as pollution, smoke. You can cover your nose when you cross an area where there is high-pollution or smoke. Some patients of acute sinus infection find relief by irrigating sinuses regularly with a saline sinus wash.

Besides, avoid taking antibiotics if possible. Lastly, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a strong immune system. This can help keep viral infections at bay.

Types of Sinus Infections

Sinusitis can be classified in different categories such as viral sinusitis, bacterial sinusitis, allergic sinusitis, and chronic sinusitis.

Viral sinusitis

If a patient is experiencing cold-like symptoms including runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, nasal congestion, and coughing, then he might have a viral sinusitis. Besides, in the case of viral sinusitis, mucus may be clear, or slightly colored.

Antibiotics do not work against viral infection, so the best treatment is to get rid of the symptoms of sinusitis is by getting as much rest as possible. A patient can consume fluids, use saline nasal sprays, and take over-the-counter pain relievers and oral decongestants. In general, sinusitis caused by a virus is cured in 7-10 days.

Bacterial sinusitis

If a patient has bacterial sinusitis, he may experience thick nasal discharge, swollen nasal passages, and dripping mucus from the back of the throat. Some patients of bacterial sinusitis also experience facial pain and pressure. These patients should immediately consult a doctor.

The ENT doctor or sinus specialist may prescribe amoxicillin. Most patients of acute bacterial sinusitis respond to antibiotics with symptoms resolving in 10-14 days.

Allergic sinusitis

Allergic sinusitis can cause inflammation that leads to nasal congestion and swelling of the mucus membranes. The mucus can block normal sinus drainage. In most cases, allergic sinusitis leads to chronic sinusitis as symptoms are seasonal but may last for a year.

A patient of allergic sinus infection complains about:

  • Sneezing

  • Itchy nose, throat, or eyes

  • Nasal congestion

  • Postnasal drip

  • Runny (clear mucus) nose

The allergic sinusitis can be treated with antihistamines. A person can avoid allergic triggers, and, in some cases, allergy shots.

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis generally causes symptoms that last for months. Nasal congestion and post-nasal drainage, cough during the night or morning are common symptoms. A patient who has nasal polyps is more susceptible to this type of infection.

Diagnosis

An expert ENT doctor can help you figure out if you have sinusitis or something else. Also, the doctor can identify the reason for sinus infection. The ENT specialist can ask questions to discuss how long you’ve had sinus symptoms. The doctor can see if the symptoms are getting worse or improving.

If you are experiencing symptoms from the last 10 days and they’re not getting worse, you might have a viral infection. It will go away on its own with time.

The doctor may suggest over-the-counter treatments, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen or nasal decongestants. If you begin to use nasal decongestants, you have to read the directions carefully.

Sinus Treatment

Sinus Treatment in Ayurveda

The ayurvedic treatment of sinus involves local steaming with the vapor of Dashmooladi Kwath. A patient can use Shirodhara and Shiro Basti as well. Besides, a Vata-Kapha diet is the first step to solving the problem of sinus. You should avoid too hot soups and too cold ice cream. Try to consume warm meals that are not spicy and easy to digest. Also, try to eat an oil-free diet to cure sinus with ayurvedic treatment.

Sinus Treatment in Homeopathy

Homeopathy treatment aims to increase the immunity of the body so it can fight the infection on its own. It helps improve immunity and the natural healing process of the body. Here the most recommended homeopathic medicines for sinus cure. In some cases when the patients are in a lot of pain, homeopathic medicines are not the best choice as they take time to build complete immunity.

Belladonna: Sinus pain or sinus headache can come suddenly and tend to leave suddenly. You can take this medicine for sinus infection cure but you have to adhere to its dosage.

Hepar Sulphur: This medicine helps relieves sinus pressure and cure the infection. 

Sinus Treatment in Allopathy

Antibiotics aren't needed to treat acute sinusitis as they don't work on viral or fungal sinus. Besides, cases of bacterial sinusitis improve without antibiotics on their own. If an ENT specialist prescribes antibiotics, it's critical to take the entire course of medication. Furthermore, the ENT doctors may also prescribe antifungal medications, or suggest immunotherapy.

Surgical Treatment of Sinus Infection

When medicinal treatment such as antibiotics, nasal decongestant, and nasal steroids no longer treat sinusitis, sinus surgery is the best option for the patient. Earlier, surgical sinus treatment involved an open incision that required bone and tissue removal to open obstructed sinus passageways.

Now, advanced sinus surgery at Pristyn Care can be completed through the nostrils, leaving no scar and making recovery much easier for the patient. Also, a surgical procedure performed by advanced equipment, Microdebrider heals faster and can be performed on an out-patient basis.

During sinus surgery, obstructed sinus passageways are re-opened, restoring normal sinus drainage and function. The best & most reliable sinus cure procedure uses the latest medical devices that are regulated by the USFDA.

The patients feel free of the condition and can go home within 24 hours. After 2-3 days of surgical treatment, the patient can continue his routine.

Diet After Tonsil Surgery

It is important to consume a lot of liquids. This will help you heal faster and reduce the risk of bleeding. Follow a liquid diet or soft diet for a few days after the surgery. Do not consume citrus or tangy food. Eat plain food such as mashed potatoes, applesauce, ice cream. You can consume solid food after a few days. Avoid milk and dairy products.

Complications after Sinus Surgery

Though modern surgery involves fewer complications, the surgical procedure may involve some problems. Dehydration and too much activity after the surgery can also increase the chances of bleeding. 

Frequently asked Questions

How long does it take to recover after sinus surgery?

Depending on the severity of the surgery, recovery may take a few days. With modern daycare sinus surgery, a patient may take 2 - 3 days to begin his normal life.

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How do I clean my nose after sinus surgery?

You can use salt water rinses beginning 1 to 2 days after surgery. Also, an ENT doctor may recommend that you use a nasal steroid spray 15-30 minutes after using the salt-water rinse.

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