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Sinus: Everything To Know About The Condition!

In India, approximately 134 million individuals suffer from Chronic Sinusitis. 

A pretty common condition, Sinusitis affects numerous individuals worldwide. From the relentless battle against nasal congestion to the nagging discomfort of facial pressure, Sinusitis significantly affects an individual's quality of life. A person suffering from Sinusitis faces numerous challenges that hinder their routine tasks. The symptoms of this condition range from impaired breathing to congestion and headaches. 


The issues caused by Sinusitis are diverse, making it crucial to understand the intricacies of this condition. Comprehending it is very important in navigating its complexities and finding effective treatment. With this blog, I propose to unravel the essential details of this infection by providing insights like Sinusitis meaning, its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. 


Let’s get into it, shall we?


Sinusitis Meaning

Before understanding the meaning of Sinusitis meaning, it is pivotal to know what sinuses are. Sinuses are four paired spaces or cavities in your head. These spaces are connected through narrow passages. The function of the Sinus is to produce mucus that drains out of the nasal passages and helps keep the nose free of allergens, bacteria, and other germs. It also helps keep the nose clean. 


Now that you have briefly understood Sinus meaning, it's time to know what Sinusitis is. It is the swelling or inflammation of the tissues lining the Sinuses. Sinuses are located inside the face. These structures are normally filled with air. However, they can get blocked and be filled with fluid when viral infections, allergies, or bacterial infections irritate them. When sinuses fill with fluid, the condition is known as Sinusitis, which causes pain and pressure in the face and other symptoms. 



Sinusitis is of different types and in most cases, healthcare professionals diagnose the type of this infection based on the duration of symptoms. Chronic, acute, subacute, and recurrent acute are the varying types of Sinusitis. 


After understanding Sinusitis meaning, it's now time to move to the other intricacies of this condition. Hence, the following section of this guide will introduce you to the causes of Sinusitis. 


What Are The Causes Of Sinuses?

Infection from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens results in Sinusitis. However, below are the more specific causes of this condition. 

  • Swelling inside the nose in varying conditions like the common cold.

  • Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria like Haemophilus Influenzae bacteria, Streptococcus Pneumoniae bacteria, and Moraxella Catarrhalis bacteria.

  • Blockage of drainage ducts.

  • Development of Nasal polyps.

  • Structural differences that narrow the drainage ducts.

  • Nasal allergies.

  • Flu (influenza).

  • Deficiencies of the immune system.



As you are now aware of the causes of Sinusitis, let’s move to the next segment of this post that sheds light on its symptoms.


Sinus Symptoms

Below listed are the most common Sinus symptoms:

  • Lethargic feeling

  • Ear pressure or pain

  • Runny nose with green or thick yellow mucus

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Tiredness

  • Bad taste in the mouth or bad breath

  • Stuffy nose

  • Postnasal drip means dripping of mucus down the throat

  • Facial pressure, specifically around the eyes, nose, and forehead wors, ens when the head moves or bends over

  • Pain or pressure in teeth

  • Headache

  • Face numbness


The last and following sections of my blog will look into the treatment options for sinusitis and prevention measures for this condition. 


Treatment And Prevention Of Sinus 

Treatment 

The treatment path for Sinusitis is chosen based on several factors, such as the cause of Sinusitis, its type, and how long it has lasted. Below is a detailed look into the treatment options used for this condition. 


  • Antibiotics

If a person suffers from Sinusitis due to bacterial infection, their doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If Sinusitis is acute, antibiotics are to be taken for 10-14 days. However, if it is chronic, antibiotics are prescribed longer. Some of the most common antibiotics for treating bacteria-caused Sinusitis include Augmentin, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Levofloxacin, Cefixime, Cefpodoxime, and Clindamycin. 


  • Decongestants

Another treatment option used for Sinusitis is the use of decongestants. These medicines are available as nasal sprays as well as pills. Decongestants work by lowering the amount of mucus in the sinuses. However, following the doctor's instructions is essential when using this treatment option, as using the nasal sprays for more than three days can cause congestion. 


  • Steroids

Doctors also prescribe inhaled steroids in some cases of Sinusitis to lower the swelling in the sinus membranes. In severe cases of Chronic Sinusitis, oral steroids might be prescribed. 


  • Painkillers

Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers are another way of treating Sinusitis. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are two examples of such medicines that help ease discomfort caused by Sinusitis. However, without a doctor's consultation, one must not take these medicines for more than ten days.


  • Allergy medicines

Sinusitis is also caused due to uncontrolled allergies. So, if a person has Sinusitis without a known cause, it is worth getting some allergy testing. If an allergy is diagnosed, the doctors might prescribe medicines to treat the allergies, like Antihistamines. One must also try avoiding allergy triggers that will eventually treat Sinusitis. A healthcare professional might also prescribe allergy shots in these cases.


  • Surgery

If prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines do not work to treat Chronic Sinusitis, a doctor might recommend sinus surgery. These surgeries treat whatever prevents the normal drainage of mucus, like benign growths called polyps, structural abnormalities like deviated septum, or fungal infections. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty, and Septoplasty are some of the most common surgeries used to treat this condition. 


Prevention

Although there is no sure measure to prevent Sinusitis, some methods might help. 

  • Wash your hands frequently, specifically during cold season or flu season. 

  • Do not touch your face in these seasons. 

  • Avoid smoking and other people's smoke. 

  • Stay away from your allergy triggers. 

  • Consult your doctor to see if you need allergy shots or prescription medicines to prevent allergies.


Final Thoughts

From Sinusitis meaning to its prevention measures and treatment options, knowing all about this condition can significantly help manage and get the right help. The information in this blog will also help you prevent it if you contract this infection yearly. Someone in my family has it so I know the tricky patterns that it plays in. So, even though this condition is commonly heard and is considered a minor infection, the discomforts caused by it are severe, making it essential to know its intricacies whether you are a seasonal sinusitis sufferer or curious to know in detail about it.

 

The Author : Dr. Sunil Khattri 

+91 9811618704


Dr. Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

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