WHAT IS SINUSITIS?
Sinuses are air-filled spaces located behind the forehead and eyebrows and behind and on either side of the nose. When an infection causes inflammation in the sinuses, it is called Sinusitis. Infections are caused by viruses, bacteria and mold (fungi). Acute Sinusitis can last 3 to 8 weeks. After eight weeks, it is considered a chronic condition. Sinusitis can often develop from a cold or allergy. Asthma is linked to a form of chronic Sinusitis caused by constant inflammation and not necessarily from an infection.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Common symptoms of Sinusitis include postnasal drip, discolored nasal discharge (greenish), nasal stuffiness and congestion, tenderness in the face, frontal headaches, pain in the teeth, coughing, fever and fatigue.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Your Esse Health Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor will examine your throat, nose and sinuses looking for redness, swelling and discolored nasal discharge, and gently push on your face to determine the amount of tenderness present over the sinus cavities. Sinusitis that persists longer than eight weeks may require further evaluation. Your doctor may take a mucus sample to determine the exact cause of the infection. If you are experiencing severe pain, you may need a CT Scan. This procedure utilizes low dose X-rays and generates a continuous image as you breathe, showing exactly where there are areas of blockage.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Sinusitis caused by a virus should resolve in a few weeks. Should your symptoms last longer than ten days, you may have a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are the standard treatment for Sinusitis caused by bacteria. Antibiotics are usually taken from 3 to 28 days, depending upon the antibiotic prescribed. Over-the-counter medications may help relieve the symptoms. Nasal decongestant sprays can help shrink nasal passages but should not be used for more than four days. Antihistamines can block inflammation caused by an allergic reaction. Nasal saline washes can thin out secretions, also providing some relief. If you think that you may have Sinusitis, visit your Esse Health Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief office.