What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation or infection of the lining of one or more air-filled cavities around the sinuses.
Sinuses are normally sterile and self-cleaning. Mucus drains freely from the sinuses through narrow holes into the nasal cavities. Air passes through these small holes as well. But a common cold or pharyngitis, allergies, an anatomical abnormality or, infrequently, an infected tooth, can lead to sinusitis. There is an infection pansinusitis and here are its symptoms and treatment options.
- Facial pains or pressure especially near affected sinuses.
- Nasal congestion and discharge (could be green, yellow, sometimes blood tinged)
- Fever (sometimes)
- Cheek pain that may resemble toothache
- In the later stages, complete blockage of the sinus openings, blocking the discharge and increasing pain.
How long does it last?
The infection may be acute or chronic.
- Acute sinusitis usually lasts about 3 weeks and is associated with colds or pharyngitis.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts longer, often 3 months or more, and is associated with allergies, anatomical abnormalities and repeated or untreated acute infections.
- If you are given a prescription, take the medication as directed. Finish the entire prescription.
- Drink plenty of liquids (water, juices).
- Use a humidifier to loosen congestion.
- For minor pain, use Tylenol as recommended.
Call your doctor if:
- You have a temperature higher than 102 degrees.
- Your symptoms persist over 2 weeks.
- Your condition worsens.
- You develop blurred vision.
- If you are using nose drops, don’t allow other persons to use your drops. They will be contaminated by the infection. Discard them after treatment.
- Avoid non-prescription nose drops or sprays. Use prescribed drops only for the recommended time. Both can interfere with normal nasal and sinus function and can be addictive.