Headaches, stuffy nose and pressure around your eyes, nose and temples, it could be sinusitis.
Each person has four sets of sinuses located in cheeks, in the nose next to the eyes, in the forehead and in the back of the nose in the center of the head. If the lining and opening of the sinus cavity becomes inflamed and swollen, it does not allow the sinus to drain properly. This can happen with viral infections or allergies. Bacteria begin to grow if the opening is obstructed. The result can be pain and pressure from a sinus infection.
Acute sinusitis can occur at any time of the year. If it is from a viral infection it usually clears in approximately 7-10 days without antibiotics. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, frequently begins as a viral infection and changes to a bacterial infection. It does not clear up without a prescribed antibiotic and this is known as acute sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is defined as having persistent sinusitis symptoms for three consecutive months.
Who’s At Risk
Younger children have a higher risk for developing sinusitis because of a weaker immune system. Children and adults with underlying health conditions, allergies, chronic nasal congestion, chronically infected adenoids, and possibly reflux issues may also be more prone to develop sinusitis.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Headache and face pain
- Colored discharge from nose
- Pressure or pain over the sinuses or teeth
- Daytime or night-time coughing
When to Seek Medical Care
If you or your child has sinusitis symptoms lasting longer than 7-9 days, or at any time develop a fever, swelling or flu like symptoms, contact your primary physician. Along with staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest, your physician may recommend over the counter medications or nasal irrigations to help alleviate symptoms and keep you comfortable at home. High fever or swelling around the eyes are more alarming signs and you should seek more urgent medical attention.
Sinusitis is acute or chronic inflammation in the nose or paranasal sinuses. Some of the newer studies say between 14 to 16 percent of people in the United States might suffer from various forms of sinusitis.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Most of the time people with sinusitis have some sort of constellation of symptoms of facial pressure or pain. It is usually around their eyes, above their eyes, below their eyes and between their eyes. A decreased of smell and decreased airflow through the nose. Either one or both sides or an alternating airflow, a decrease is very common. We also see a lot of drainage from the nose.
What are the types of sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis which is a shorter duration of symptoms and then there is an intermediate sinusitis called a subacute sinusitis, which is generally from four to 12 weeks of symptoms. Then there is chronic sinusitis with a duration of 12 weeks or longer of symptoms related to sinusitis.
How do you treat sinusitis?
It depends on the type. If you’re an acute sinusitis, meaning your duration of symptoms hasn’t been very long, most of the time it is related to a virus and mostly treated with supportive therapy. Nasal rinses, steroid nasal sprays, decongestants, mucolytics, those kinds of things.
For the broad population of patients with chronic sinusitis there is no cure. We are dealing with a quality of life disease. There are a few instances where that’s not true. What our goal is in managing it is to try and improve your quality of life.
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