Sinusitis is one of the common afflictions. It can be extremely difficult to get rid of and can have a varied presentation of symptoms. The word sinusitis basically means inflammation of the sinuses. This inflammation can occur in response to an infection, an allergy or through the overgrowth of the lining of the sinuses.
Types Of Sinusitis
Different types of sinusitis include:
- Acute (lasts for less than four weeks)
- Sub-acute (four to eight weeks)
- Chronic (more than eight weeks)
People who have an anatomically narrow drainage system from the sinuses are more likely to develop sinusitis, as are those who are on immune-suppressing medication.
The most common symptoms that people present with include an increase in the facial pressure or a heaviness of the head. It can almost be an effort to get through the day with this heaviness and a lot of people complain of exhaustion, drowsiness and a tendency to fall asleep while they are suffering from sinusitis.
Pain in the region of the sinuses, teeth and even ears is another common symptom. Patients may have a stuffed nose, a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing at night, bad breath, and they may experience a severely reduced sense of smell as well. Some people also complain of a burning sensation along their nasal passage and sinuses.
The diagnosis of the condition is done on the basis of a clinical examination, however sometimes a CT scan may be ordered to see the extent of the involvement. An endoscopic examination of the sinuses may also need to be done, however, that is often both diagnostic and curative in nature.
The treatment for sinusitis starts with over the counter medication and home remedies that are often effective. The use of nasal decongestants, anti-allergy medication, steam inhalation and nasal drops is all that needs to be done in a large majority of cases.
If all of these measures are found to be ineffective, then more invasive options need to be looked at. A nasal endoscopy that will help clear out the sinuses, while providing a closer look at its interior structure, is an effective option. Many times the opening of the sinus is not big enough to allow for complete drainage. In such cases, the opening needs to be enlarged so that the mucus being produced in the sinuses can be cleared away at a normal rate.
The lining of the sinus can also proliferate leading to the formation of nasal polyps. These polyps need to be removed surgically so that the sinusitis can resolve. This procedure has a high chance of recurrence since even a small part of the lining left behind will cause a recurrence of polyp formation.
Sinusitis is one of those conditions that can be treated at home in most of cases, however if the condition of the patient does not improve after a week or 10 days, then it is time to get to a doctor for a closer look.
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