Sinusitis is an infection of the perinasal cavities (sinuses) caused by bacteria. It is usually preceded by a cold, an allergy crisis, or a nasal irritation from environmental pollutants.
Normally the mucus that collects in the sinuses drains into the nostrils. When you have a cold or allergic crisis, they become inflamed and unable to drain mucus, leading to congestion and infection.
In some cases, the doctor may also request an x-ray of your perinasal cavities or take a sample of a runny nose to examine for bacteria.
Have you ever had an exceptionally severe or prolonged cold or allergy crisis? If so, there is a good chance that it was sinusitis. This number could be significantly higher since the symptoms of bacterial sinusitis often mimic those of a cold or allergy, and many patients never see a doctor for proper diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.
When acute sinusitis turns into chronic sinusitis
When you frequently suffer from sinusitis, and the infection lasts for three months or more, it could be chronic sinusitis whose symptoms may be less severe than those of acute sinusitis.
In chronic sinusitis, irreversible inflammatory changes may appear in the mucosa of the nose and perinasal sinuses, which may require surgery for repair.
Fungal allergies can also cause sinusitis. These pictures usually manifest as a predominantly chronic infection, rather than acute.
Prevention Of Sinusitis
As always, prevention is better than cure. To avoid sinusitis during a cold or allergic crisis, keep your sinuses clean:
- Use an oral decongestant or a short treatment with a nasal decongestant spray.
- Gently blow your nose, blocking one nostril (nostril) as you blow through the other.
- Drink plenty of fluids to maintain a smooth nasal discharge.
- Avoid air travel. If you must fly, use a nasal decongestant (oral or spray) before taking off to avoid sinus blockage and thus allow the mucus to drain.
- Avoid contact with substances that cause an allergy crisis. If you can’t, use an antihistamine and / or corticosteroid nasal spray to control allergy attacks.
- Properly studied and treated allergic rhinitis will have a significantly lower risk of leading to sinus symptoms.
If these symptoms persist despite appropriate medical treatment, care should be taken to search for an underlying cause. The role of allergy and recurrent respiratory infections should be considered.
When to go to the otolaryngologist?
Because sinus symptoms sometimes mimic manifestations of colds and allergies, you may not realize that you need to see a specialist. If you suspect you have sinusitis, check out these signs and symptoms: If you suffer from three or more of them, you should see their otolaryngologist.