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What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is often confused for allergies as symptoms can be similar. Common symptoms of sinus infection include:
• Nasal Discharge
• Facial Pain, Pressure & Fullness
• Sore Upper Teeth
• Bad Breath
• Low-Grade Fever
Sinuses are four pairs of hollow spaces found in the facial region around the nose and eyes. Sinuses include: Frontal, Maxillary and Ethmoid.
Anything that causes swelling in the nose can block the openings between your sinuses and your nose, including a cold, an allergic reaction such as hay fever, or a reaction to some chemical to which you’ve been exposed. The blockage causes air and mucus to become trapped within the sinuses, which may trigger painful symptoms.
Types of Sinus Infections
Sinusitis is categorized by the amount of inflammation someone has and the duration of the infection. Sinusitis can occur in any of the four pairs of sinus cavities, all of which are named for their locations.
• Frontal, in the frontal bone of the forehead
• Sphenoid, in the sphenoid bone, at the center of the pituitary gland
• Ethmoid, between the nose and eyes
• Maxillary, under the eyes, behind the cheeks
What Is The Difference Between Acute Sinusitis, and Chronic Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is classified by duration:
• Acute sinusitis — Lasts up to 4 weeks. This is the most common form.
• Chronic sinusitis — Symptoms persist, or continually return, after 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis will likely require more invasive treatment approaches.
Causes Of Chronic Sinusitis
These are the common causes of chronic sinusitis:
• Nasal polyps — When polyps grow in the nasal passages or the sinuses this can mucus drainage.
• Deviated nasal septum — If a person has a crooked septum (the wall between the nostrils), this can block or restrict the sinus passages.
• Respiratory tract infections — Respiratory tract infections, usually from the cold virus, can inflame and thicken the sinus membranes and block mucus drainage.
• Allergies — When the body overreacts to allergens, the sinuses become inflamed and swollen.
• Other medical conditions — Various immune system-related diseases can cause blockage of the nasal passages.
Causes Of Acute Sinusitis
In most cases, acute sinusitis, which lasts 4 weeks or less, is caused by the common cold, a viral infection. It can also be due to allergies. For instance, a person allergic to ragweed has a good chance of developing a sinus infection during times when ragweed is out.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?
In order to facilitate successful treatments, an accurate diagnosis is needed first. Too often, treatments are initiated without really knowing the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Treating the symptoms alone may alleviate them temporarily, but the symptoms will often return, over and over again.A successful diagnosis may include:
• A careful review of each patient’s medical history and symptoms
• A Nasal Endoscopy
• CT scan of the sinuses
• An Allergy Test
The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner we can initiate a treatment plan tailored for you. This allows us to correctly treat your problems right away and it can save you the time and expense of going to multiple places to have tests performed and taking medications that may not help.
How do you treat sinusitis?
• Saline irrigations
• Mucus thinning agents such as mucinex
• Allergy control antihistamines nasal sprays