Sinus infection, medically called rhinosinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal cavities and the linings of the sinuses. This inflammation is secondary to infection caused by viruses, bacteria, and rarely fungi. Additionally, allergens can irritate the lining of the nose and the sinuses, contributing to sinusitis. Similarly, people who have nasal polyps and tooth infections complain of sinus symptoms. Aggravation of symptoms warrant a checkup by professional like ENT specialist in Lahore.
What are the types of sinus infection?
- Acute infection: Sinus infections can be acute, with symptoms that start suddenly and last for 2 to 4 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: if the infection lasts longer than 4 weeks and less than 12 weeks then its subacute infection.
- Chronic sinusitis: if the sinus infection lasts for more than 12 weeks then it turns into a chronic infection.
- Recurrent sinusitis: when sinusitis episodes occur several times a year, then it turns into recurrent sinusitis.
What are the symptoms of sinus infection?
Sinusitis can present with a myriad of symptoms:
Sinus headaches: involvement of the sinuses—especially the frontal sinuses, causes radiating pain in the head. This sinus headache is most prominent with involvement of the frontal sinuses and the ethmoidal sinuses and is worst in the morning.
Throat irritation: is the result of draining of discharge from the sinuses into the throat. With persistent discharge in particular, the throat irritation is more evident and results in cough i.e. worse on waking up in the morning.
Hoarseness of voice:postnasal drip can also end up irritating and inflaming the vocal cords. This in turn leads to pain and hoarseness of voice, which can get worse with time.
What are the risk factors of sinusitis?
In certain cases, the odds of sinusitis are greatly increased. These risk factors include having a cold. In colds, there is nasal congestion, which in turn can affect the drainage of sinuses and cause inflammation there as well. The drainage of sinuses is affected in case of nasal polyps as well, which are small growths in the nasal passage, causing obstruction and inflammation. In addition, a deviated nasal septum, seasonal allergies, respiratory tract infections and a weakened immune system, all can enhance the chances of sinusitis.
How to treat sinusitis?
Most cases of sinusitis resolve on their own. The goal of therapy is to minimize congestion and subsequent pain.
The symptomatic management of sinusitis includes:
Over-the-counter pain medication: sinusitis pain can be relieved by over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Warm compresses: warm compresses decrease the inflammation and swelling in the affected areas and opens up the transition spaces. Warm, moist washcloth can be used for this purpose over the sinuses. This significantly improves the pain and discomfort.
Drink plenty of fluids: fluids will help to thin out the mucus so it drains easily.
Inhale steam: also helps to thin out the mucus so it drains. It should be done at least two to four times a day.
Nasal decongestants: these decongestants should only be used for two to three days as they can cause rebound congestion if used for longer period of time.
A healthcare provider like the ENT specialist in Islamabad can help you recognize your sinusitis triggers and treat them accordingly. Be sure to seek help if your condition is lasting for more than ten days, occurring more often than normal or increasing in intensity.