Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses around the nose (paranasal sinus) or nasal tract. The paranasal sinuses are the eight cavities located near the nose in the bones of the skull. The mucus membrane that is inside the nose continues into the paranasal sinuses. If this membrane becomes inflamed, then swelling, irritation, or infection can occur.
There are many causes for sinusitis. Some primary reasons are:
- Viral infection
- Dental infection
- Anatomical abnormalities in the nose or skull
Some rare causes of sinusitis are:
- Sinus surgery
- Immune compromised patient
- Cystic fibrosis.
Sinusitis is always accompanied by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, so another term used for sinusitis is “rhinosinusitis.”
Rhinosinusitis is defined as inflammation of the nose and paranasal sinuses which is identified by two more symptoms: congestion of the nose or discharge of fluid which lasts less than 12 weeks, according to The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Sinusitis can be viral or bacterial. Viral sinusitis typically lasts less than 10 days and shows improvement early on. If sinusitis lasts more than 10 days, gets better, then gets worse, and is accompanied by fever after the first few days of illness, it may be bacterial.
There are many over-the-counter medications available to treat the symptoms of sinusitis.
Usually, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are given to reduce nasal swelling. Saline rinses can be helpful, as well. Nasal saline sprays are often used to get rid of the congestion and clear the nasal passage. In case of bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed. A course of antibiotics course is usually prescribed for 5-7 days. Although a person can start feeling better after 2-3 days of antibiotic use, that person should complete medication as prescribed to avoid a relapse of the infection.
Management of sinusitis
Hot beverages may help reduce nasal congestion. Rest and sleep are important with any illness. Apply heat to the nostrils by keeping a warm towel on the face for five minutes or by taking hot steam. Steam will unclog the nasal tract and will aid in breathing. Add humidity to your room or living space with the help of a humidifier or vaporizer.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you experience difficulty in breathing, you should see a medical provider in order to avoid possible serious complications.
Treatment for sinusitis and sinus infections is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.
For more information on sinusitis and sinus infections, see the following website: