Sinusitis affects approximately 31 million people in the United States each year.
Most cases of sinusitis are caused by a virus and go away on their own after a period of time. Viral sinusitis is contagious, so the person must take appropriate steps to avoid transmitting it to others.
Most patients ignore this condition as insignificant, but it may cause severe pain in some, due to inflammation of the membranes lining the sinuses in the skull.
What are the sinuses? sinuses?
The sinuses are cavities located in the cranium, located between the eyes, behind the cheekbones, and in the forehead. These sinuses have openings that connect them to the nose. These cavities help make the skull less weight and allow warming the air that enters through the nose. The sinuses are also responsible for determining the voice of a person who changes With air vibrations inside the sinuses.
The lining of these sinuses has the same structure as the lining of the nose. The nasal sinuses produce a sticky secretion called mucus. This mucus keeps the nasal passages moist, which helps protect against dust, allergens and pollutants.
The sinuses in the skull include:
The two frontal sinuses
They are located in the frontal bone, and there is a sinus on each side behind each eyebrow arch. The two sinuses are rarely symmetrical, as the septum separating the two frontal sinuses is always inclined towards one of them. The frontal sinus opens through the nasolacrimal canal to the ethmoid funnel, which in turn opens within the semilunar space in middle meatus of the nose;
It is the only single sinus in the head, located within the body of the sphenoid bone, a little deep in the skull, and located near the optic nerve and pituitary gland in the brain. The sphenoid sinus opens to the ethmoidal recess through an opening in the anterior wall of the sinus. The root of the pterygoid process, the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, as well as the basal section of the occipital bone.
It consists of a group of small cavities called sieve cells, which are located within the ethmoid labyrinth. The ethmoid sinus cells are divided according to their location into three sections:
- The anterior ethmoid cells, which form the anterior section of the cavities of the ethmoid sinus, burrowed into the ethmoid labyrinth. The anterior ethmoid cells open to the ethmoid funnel, which in turn opens to the anterior part of the meniscus, which is a crescent-shaped groove in the lateral wall of the middle meatus.
- The middle ethmoid cells are a group of cavities forming the middle section of the ethmoid sinus. The middle ethmoid cells protrude into the nasal cavity to form a protrusion in the lateral wall of the middle nasal meatus called the ethmoid bulla. The middle ethmoid cells open to or near the bulla.
- The posterior ethmoid cells are a group of small cavities, which open into the nasal cavity via the superior nasal meatus.
They are large and are located behind the cheekbones on both sides of the nose. They are pyramid-shaped and are considered the largest sinuses in the head.
What is sinusitis sinusitis?
Sinusitis is inflammation or swelling of the lining of the sinuses.
Healthy sinuses fill with air, but when they become blocked and filled with mucus, germs can grow and cause infection.
Causes of sinusitis include viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergies, and an autoimmune reaction.
Although sinus infections are painful and annoying, they often go away without medical intervention. However, if the symptoms are severe and persistent, the patient should consult a doctor.
Symptoms of sinusitis vary depending on the duration and severity of the condition. It is generally observed in patients with sinusitis:
- Nasal secretions that may be yellow or green.
- Postnasal drip, where the mucus flows down the throat.
- Pain and a feeling of pressure in the face.
- stuffy or runny nose;
- sore throat.
- Bad breath.
- fever and cough;
- Weakness in the sense of smell and taste.
- Pain and swelling around the eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead.
Causes of sinusitis
Sinusitis can be caused by many factors, but it always involves fluid retention in the sinuses, which allows bacteria to grow and multiply in the sinuses.
The most common cause is viruses. Bacterial infections can also lead to sinusitis. There are some irritants of sinusitis such as allergies and asthma, as well as pollutants in the air, such as chemicals.
A fungal infection can be the cause of fungal sinusitis.
Factors that increase the risk of developing sinusitis
- Having a previous respiratory infection, such as a cold.
- Nasal polyps, which are small benign growths in the nasal passage that can lead to blockage and inflammation.
- Seasonal allergies.
- Allergy to substances such as dust, pollen and animal hair.
- A weakened immune system due to a drug or a medical condition.
- Deviation of the septum. The septum is the bony and cartilaginous septum that divides the nose into two openings. When this septum is tilted to one side, either through an accident or while it is growing, it can increase the likelihood of developing sinusitis.
Types of sinusitis
There are two types of sinusitis, which generally differ from each other in the period of time in which the disease persists, and the time of recovery and treatment depends on the type of inflammation, namely:
A temporary infection and can occur when a person has a cold or seasonal allergies. Symptoms usually clear up within 7-10 days but can last up to 4 weeks.
It may be difficult to breathe through the nose with acute sinusitis, the patient may feel swelling in the area around the eyes, and may feel a throbbing pain in the face or headache.
Also called chronic rhinosinusitis, chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks or recur three times within one year.
I showed Studies More than 50% of people with moderate to severe asthma also have chronic sinusitis.
When should you visit a doctor?
Home remedies are usually sufficient for recovery. However, the patient should see a doctor if symptoms:
- It lasts more than 10 days without getting better.
- They include severe symptoms that do not go away with over-the-counter medications.
- These include vision changes or swelling around the eyes.
- It worsens after a period of improvement.
- This includes a fever lasting more than 3-4 days or greater than 101.5°F (38.6°C).
There may be other symptoms. If the symptoms are worrisome, seek medical help immediately.
Diagnosis of sinusitis
A doctor can make a diagnosis by:
- Ask about symptoms.
- Perform a physical examination.
- Use the endoscope to examine the nasal passages and sinuses.
- An MRI or CT scan to check for structural problems.
- Perform sensitivity tests to identify potential triggers.
Sinusitis home remedies
In about 70% of cases, acute sinusitis clears without a prescription.
Various home remedies and over-the-counter medications can relieve symptoms.
Examples of these treatments and medications include:
- Nasal irrigation, in which the nasal cavity is washed to expel excess mucus from the nose and sinuses. Nasal washing in a broader sense also refers to the use of a saline nasal spray or spray to moisten the mucous membranes. One way to do this is a neti pot, a container designed to rinse and clean the nasal cavity of waste. Or mucus, neti pot may be used to treat allergic rhinitis, nasal problems or colds.
- Sleep or rest with the head and shoulders comfortably resting on a soft pillow, with the pain-free side of the face on the pillow.
- Warm compresses: Apply gently to the affected areas to reduce swelling.
- Pain relievers: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce pain and fever.
- Steam inhalation: by placing a hot damp towel on the face, or inhaling steam directly from a bowl of hot water.
- Essential oils: They are compounds extracted from plants and represent the essence of the plant. It may help to add a few drops of menthol or eucalyptus oil to hot water or a towel, with the caution not to swallow any of them or put it directly on the skin.
Antihistamines, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin), aren't usually appropriate options, as they can harden mucus, making symptoms worse.
A doctor or pharmacist can advise about these options and how to use them.
Treatment options depend on the type of infection, which mainly depends on how long the condition has lasted.
Acute and subacute sinusitis
Usually, you don't need any procedure, but if symptoms persist or are severe, then a doctor can prescribe treatment.
In the case of a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics, but if symptoms persist after completing the prescribed dose, the patient should return to the doctor.
Chronic sinusitis is not usually caused by bacteria, so antibiotics are unlikely to help.
Reducing exposure to triggers, such as dust, pollen and other allergens, may relieve symptoms.
Corticosteroid sprays or tablets may help control inflammation, but they often require a prescription and medical supervision, and long-term use of these medications can cause adverse effects.
Surgery to treat sinusitis
A doctor may recommend surgery if other treatments haven't worked. This is an option for people with chronic sinus infections, or for people with an abnormal sinus structure or abnormal sinus growth.
However, surgery may not completely solve the problem, and patients often need to continue other treatments after surgery to prevent sinusitis from returning.
Sinus surgery is a procedure that aims to open up the sinus passages and remove everything obstructing the drainage pathways in them, including removing:
- Thin pieces of bone.
- mucous membranes;
- Swollen or damaged tissue.
- Tumors blocking the nasal passage or sinuses.
The most common type of sinus surgery is endoscopic surgery. However, there are other procedures that can be performed:
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery FESS
FESS is performed using an instrument called an endoscope, which is a thin tube. The endoscope is inserted into the nose to access the openings of the sinuses. Tiny telescopes and surgical tools can then be passed in and used to carry out the procedure. The surgeon uses these tools to remove obstructions blocking the nasal passages.
The operation is performed entirely through both nostrils and leaves no scars. Some swelling may occur, but it disappears very quickly. Usually, the patient who underwent this surgery feels uncomfortable for a short period of time.
FESS can be done more frequently than once, and it can also be done on an outpatient basis.
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Image-guided surgery IGS
Image-guided endoscopic surgery is a newer procedure that may be recommended for severe forms of sinus obstruction.
CT and infrared scans are used to help the surgeon identify anatomical structures and remove as little nasal tissue as possible. With this guidance, the surgeon can navigate the sinus passages and precisely remove tissue and other obstructions.
This is a less common and more aggressive procedure, done when there is an abnormal growth within the sinus, and is aimed at finding a way for the sinus secretions to drain out.
The surgeon makes an incision in the upper jaw, above the second molar, and then enters the sinus cavity through this incision. This surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia.
In children, surgery should be a treatment of last resort, and even if a doctor recommends surgery to treat a child's sinusitis, it may be a good idea to get a second opinion before going forward with that option.
Recovery after surgery
Depending on the type of surgery and health condition, the patient can go home the same day or the day after surgery.
After the operation, the patient often feels discomfort in addition to crusting, congestion and slight bleeding from the nose, but these are normal symptoms and do not cause concern and quickly disappear with adherence to the medications prescribed by the specialist responsible for the case.
Medications prescribed to the patient during the first period after surgery often include some antibiotics and nasal sprays.
Inside the nose, near the sinuses, put a little gauze or bandages to control the bleeding. They can be absorbable and dissolve over time. If they are not absorbable, the doctor will have to remove them.
Days may pass before the patient begins to feel better, depending on his health condition and age. To achieve better results and avoid complications and side effects as much as possible, a set of tips must be followed during the period following the operation:
- Avoid blowing secretions from the nose (blowing from the nose out).
- Keep the mouth open as much as possible when sneezing, to reduce pressure in the sinuses.
- Elevate the head during sleep by placing an extra pillow under the head.
The patient must follow the doctor's instructions in the postoperative period, and take all medications as prescribed, the patient may have to make changes in his daily routine in the first two weeks after surgery.
Prevention of sinusitis
The following tips may help prevent sinusitis:
- Avoid smoking and passive smoking.
- Keeping abreast of reliable modern vaccines.
- Stay away from people with colds and other respiratory infections.
- Use a humidifier to humidify the air in your home and keep it fresh.
- Maintain and clean air conditioners regularly to prevent mold and dust from gathering in them.
- Avoid and handle allergens as much as possible.
The difference between allergies and sinusitis
Allergies occur when the body's immune system overreacts to irritants and allergens, while the causes of sinusitis are usually bacterial or viral.
Symptoms of allergies and sinus infections can be very similar, both conditions can cause sinus pain, pressure, runny nose, congestion and sneezing, and allergies can sometimes lead to sinusitis, however some nuances can help a person know whether He suffers from an allergic reaction or sinusitis.
It's important to get an accurate diagnosis because the treatments for allergies and sinusitis are very different.
A person may have an allergic reaction if they have:
- Symptoms that come and go, or appear only at certain times of the year.
- Symptoms that only appear in certain situations, such as entering a pet store.
- Itchy eyes with tears.
- Watery, clear or thin discharge from the nose.
- Frequent sneezing.
A person may develop sinusitis if they:
- Thick yellow or green mucus.
- Symptoms that do not appear to be related to specific situations.
- Pain in the gums or over the teeth.
- Bad breath.
- Sensation of intense pressure in the face.
- Decreased ability to smell or taste.
The prognosis is good for most cases of sinusitis. Sinus infections often clear up on their own within a week or two.
When symptoms do not go away, the infection may be bacterial, and antibiotics in this case can do the trick.
Although rare, fungal sinus infections can be severe and difficult to treat.
With proper medical care, most people with sinusitis recover well. However, if the infection does not improve after three months, the doctor may refer the patient to an ear, nose, and throat specialist who can identify and treat the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis.
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Sinusitis Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible for wisdom teeth to cause sinusitis?
What happens if sinusitis is left untreated?
It can lead to a brain abscess or meningitis, both of which can be life-threatening.
an infection that persists, gets worse, or gets better and then quickly gets worse, needs treatment by a doctor, Antibiotics may be sufficient for treatment, but in some cases other treatment such as surgery may be needed
Does sinusitis affect focus?
The researchers stated that the more severe sinusitis, the less brain activity this causes, and this may lead to the patient suffering from lack of attention and sleep disturbances, not just difficulty concentrating, and therefore a specialist should be consulted to control the disease.