Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the tissues or membranes lining the sinuses. Most often it also includes a sinus infection. This affects the ability of the membranes to drain mucus from the nose and sinuses which causes mucus build-up. Sinuses are air-filled spaces or cavities behind the bones in the head; behind the eyes, forehead, nose and cheeks. They are connected by narrow channels. Acute sinusitis is a very common condition. Types of sinusitis include:
- Frontal sinusitis: behind the forehead
- Ethmoid sinusitis: behind the bridge of the nose
- Sphenoid sinusitis: behind the eyes
- Maxillary sinusitis: behind the cheeks
Acute sinusitis is usually caused by a common cold, which is a viral infection. Other possible causes include:
- Air pollution
- Narrowed nasal passage
- Cigarette smoke
Common symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
- Thick green or yellowish nasal discharge
- Postnasal discharge
- Breathing difficulty due to nasal congestion or blockage
- Fever, headache, tiredness
- Pain around eyes, cheeks, nose
- Headache and pain that worsen when bending
Other symptoms include:
- Bad breath
- Decreased sense of smell
- Ear pressure
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Nasal endoscopy
- CT scan
- Allergy testing
- Testing nasal and sinus samples
- Use humidifiers to moisten the air.
- Avoid or quit smoking.
- Identify allergens and avoid exposure to it.
- Avoid cigarette smoke and polluted air
Most cases of acute sinusitis do not require treatment. It resolves on its own. Self-care methods are usually used. Treatment done to relieve symptoms include:
- Decongestants to reduce nasal congestion
- Nasal steroids to reduce inflammations
- Saline nasal sprays to rinse nasal passages
- Pain relievers to relieve the pain associated with it
- Antibiotics are used if there is a bacterial infection
- Immunotherapy may also be done to treat allergies.
Self-care home remedies include:
- Avoid blowing nose with great force
- Periodic nasal washings
- Steam inhalation
- Drink plenty of water
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