Sinus problems/sinusitis are the conditions affecting the sinuses, which are small air pockets located behind the eyes, nose, between the cheekbones, and between the brows. Mucus is a thin, flowing liquid generated by the sinuses that protect the body by capturing and moving germs away from it. Bacteria may result in an excessive quantity of mucus, which may clog the sinuses’ airways. Sinusitis is a common condition characterized by inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. The mucus generated by the sinus cavities is essential for the nasal passages to operate correctly.
Since it hinders the normal outflow of mucus, this common illness causes the nose to become stuffy. Breathing through your nose may be difficult, and the area around the eyes may be puffy or uncomfortable.
Chronic sinusitis may occur because of an infection, sinus growth, or a disease that causes swelling in the sinuses’ lining.
When you have a cold or allergies, your mucus production is likely to be high. Along with growing thicker, this mucus buildup may encourage the growth of bacteria and other germs in your sinus canal, possibly resulting in bacterial or viral sickness. The majority of sinus infections are viral in origin and resolve without therapy within a week or two.
Sinus problems or sinusitis occur when anything interferes with the flow of air into the sinuses as well as the drainage of mucus from them. A number of different causes can cause sinusitis. Many factors, including allergies, common colds, and tissue irritants like cigarette smoke, cocaine, and OTC nasal sprays can cause nasal passage swelling. Swelling of the nasal passage tissue lining and adjacent nasal channel tissue can result in obstruction of the sinus apertures. Tumors or growths may also obstruct the sinuses if they are located in close proximity to the apertures.
A number of variables may contribute to sinusitis or sinus problems, including dehydration and sickness, as well as medications that are drying. Many variables may interfere with mucous secretion, including the water content, decrease in mucous secretions induced by disease (cystic fibrosis), and medications (antihistamines). In order to aid mucus is flowing out of the sinuses, cilia, which are microscopic hair-like fibers located on the surface of epithelial cells, move back and forth on the surface of epithelial cells. Many irritants, including cigarette smoke, have the potential to cause damage to these small cilia in the respiratory tract. In order to prevent sinus infections or sinusitis, they may be unable to assist mucus in draining from the sinuses because of this condition.
Symptoms of acute sinusitis (sinus problems): It is possible that you have acute sinusitis if you have two or more of the symptoms, as well as thick, green or yellow nasal discharge. Fever, poor breath, tiredness, and tooth discomfort are among the other signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of sinusitis that persist over time (chronic sinusitis): The following symptoms may occur for 12 weeks or longer – a feeling of congestion or fullness in your face, a nasal obstruction or nasal blockage, pus in the nasal cavity, a high temperature, a runny nose, or discolored postnasal discharge. In addition, you may suffer headaches, bad breath, and tooth pain. Perhaps you will be tired all of the time throughout this period.
Symptoms like this may be caused by a variety of factors. If you suspect that you have sinusitis, you should consult with your doctor.
The diagnosis is based on investigating the symptoms. During a physical exam, physician may examine inside your nose for indications of infection and feel discomfort in your nose and face. It is possible for your doctor to look into your sinuses via the use of a tiny, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light that is placed through your nose. This may assist your doctor in identifying a deviated nasal septum, polyps, or tumors.
Imaging studies are used to diagnose chronic sinusitis. Images obtained using a CT or MRI scanner may reveal specifics about your sinuses and nasal region. These may be able to identify a deep inflammation or physical obstruction, such as polyps, tumors, or fungus that would otherwise be difficult to detect with an endoscope alone.
An allergy test is performed if your doctor thinks that allergies are causing your chronic sinusitis, they may suggest an allergy skin test to rule out the possibility. It is safe and fast to carry out a skin test, and it may also assist in determining which allergy is causing your nasal flare-ups.
Samples of your nose and sinus discharge are required (cultures). When it comes to diagnosing chronic sinusitis, cultures are usually not required. When the disease does not respond to therapy or worsens, your doctor may perform a nasal swab to collect samples that may be used to identify the underlying cause, such as bacteria or fungus.
Following are the treatment options for sinus problems.
- Corticosteroids: Allergy sufferers may benefit from the usage of nasal corticosteroids. It is possible to use these nasal sprays to both prevent and treat inflammation in the nasal passages. If the nasal sprays are not effective enough, your doctor may recommend washing with a solution of saline mixed with a few drops of budesonide or spraying the solution straight into your nose to relieve your symptoms.
- Allergy drugs: If allergies are the root cause of your sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe allergy medications to alleviate the symptoms.
- Antifungal medicines: You may benefit from antifungal treatment to alleviate your symptoms in case of having fungal infection.
- Antibiotics: If you have sinusitis that is caused by bacteria, you may need to take antibiotics to treat the illness. If your doctor is unable to rule out an underlying infection they may prescribe an antibiotic, which may be used in conjunction with other medicines.
When To See a Doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have had sinusitis a number of times and the ailment has not responded to treatment, you have experienced sinusitis symptoms that have lasted more than 10 days and your symptoms have not improved at all after seeing your doctor. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, you should see a doctor right away, since they may signalling towards a severe infection: Fever, Swelling or redness around your eyes, severe headache, double vision or other visual problems and stiff neck.