of the sinuses
sinusitis lasts from several weeks
to several months
include a runny nose
, a persistant cough
that can worsen at night and pain
in the face
due to swelling.
Sinusitis can be caused by infections, allergies or medications. It can occur as a result of changes in temperature, air pressure and irritants in the air. High humidity can also be a factor. A cold or overusing decongestant nasal sprays, smoking, or swimming and diving may also increase your risk. Nasal polyps and other problems with the sinuses also increase your chance of getting sinusitis.
There are various ways to treat and otherwise alleviate sinus pains. They include:
- Saline nasal sprays: These can help to reduce irritation and moisten dry mucous membranes. This can be either store-bought solutions, or you can mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt with 7 ounces of warm water and using a bulb syringe to then gently rinse the nasal passages.
- Decongestants: These are helpful in reducing congestion.
- Antihistamines: If the condition is caused by irritants or allergies, antihistimines will help reduce the reaction.
- Antibiotics: If there is an infection, antibiotics would be prescribed to combat it.
- Steam: Steam can help reduce pressure and symptoms. You can use the steam from a cup of hot water, or a cloth that has been moistened with hot water. You can also add eucalyptus or menthol.
- Humidifier: This can be helpful, especially if you are in an environment with a dry forced-air system in operation.
- Air filters: If your condition is a result of irritants in your environment you can use specialized filters to help eliminate irritants. Irritants can include pollen, dust and mold.
- Surgery: When all else fails and the condition does not improve, surgery may be the only option. Various surgeries include the removal of adenoids in children, and in adults, the removal of polyps, repair of a deviated septum or functional endoscopic sinus surgery which enlarges the natural openings of the sinuses to allow better drainage.
If left untreated
, sinusitis can also lead to other health
problems. If you have a chronic condition that is painful it can lead to increased stress
and higher blood pressure
can also build up and lead to a condition of postnasal drip
which can irritate the throat
and cause coughing
. If untreated this may also lead to infection which could also spread. Also, in some cases, the swelling can spread
, eventually affecting the membranes throughout the face, including ear
. In rare
cases, acute sinusitis can result in brain
infection or other serious complications
It is estimated that 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year. Over 33 million cases are reported by health officials annually.