The sinuses are four pairs of cavities located between the eyes and in the forehead, as well as behind the cheekbones. These cavities have mucosal tissue linings that are responsible for producing mucus which trap bacteria and other particulates that could damage tissue.
This mucus then drains out from the nose, or comes out in coughs, ridding the body of these particles. Though there is usually only a little fluid in the sinuses and it is mostly filled with air, it can potentially become filled with fluid and trapped bacteria, leading to inflammation. This inflammation of the sinuses is known as sinusitis, and it can also be caused by nasal polyps or swelling of the linings. The condition is also known as rhinosinusitis.
If you are suffering from chronic sinusitis, which is sinusitis that persists for longer than 3 months, then we recommend you visit a professional immediately. The physicians at Surgimed Hospital are highly qualified and can help guide you on the best course of action, if you require a consultation in that city.
Some of the most common symptoms of the condition include:
- Post nasal drip (when mucus slides down the throat)
- Inflammation of the nasal cavity
- Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
- Stuffy nose, making it difficult to breathe through the nose
- Sensations of pressure and pain around the eyes, nose and forehead
- Swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Sore throat
- Aches in the upper jaw and teeth
- Pain in the ears
There are multiple types of sinusitis, and chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis share similar symptoms. However, acute sinusitis is temporary and responds well to antibiotics. On the other hand chronic sinusitis is a condition that lasts at least 3 months, and is not characterised by a fever.
Apart from bacteria, sinusitis can also be the result of viral and fungal factors that cause the sinus to swell and become blocked. This can also be cause by other factors that include:
- Nasasl polyps, which are growths from the tissue lining of the sinuses and can block the nasal passages
- Deviated septum, which is a piece of cartilage that divides your nose that has not developed straight and proper, blocking the nasal passage
- A weakened immune system, whether from an illness like cystic fibrosis or as a side-effect of medications such as immune blockers used for transplants
- Respiratory tract infections such as the common cold can cause inflammation of the sinus membranes which leads them to swell and block the proper drainage of the sinuses
- Allergies such as hay fever can also lead to inflammation of the sinuses and subsequent blockage
Depending on the severity of the inflammation, the treatment of the condition will vary. Simple acute sinusitis is normally treated for its symptoms via decongestants, allergy and cold medications, and nasal saline irrigation. If the condition persists for over 10 days, antibiotics may be recommended, as well as intranasal steroid sprays that can help with inflammation and decongestion.
In the case of chronic sinusitis, antihistamines may additionally be prescribed, along with leukotriene antagonists to help with swelling and allergy symptoms. If the sinusitis is the result of a deviated septum blocking the nasal passageway, you may need corrective surgery to straighten it out to alleviate sinusitis symptoms.
If you are considering the use of topical or oral treatment options, or considering surgery, you should discuss these options with a physician first. These ENT specialist in Lahore are great options if you require a consultation in that city.