Sinusitis, commonly referred to as a sinus infection, is an inflammation or swelling of the tissues that line the sinuses. When the sinuses get blocked and filled with fluid, germs may grow, resulting in an infection. Sinusitis is a prevalent affliction.
Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis occurs when you have two or more of these symptoms. If you have thick, green, or yellow nasal discharge, it is most likely acute sinusitis.
The primary signs of acute sinusitis are:
- Facial pain and pressure
- A stuffy nose
- A runny nose
- Loss of smell
- Cough or congestion
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
If you have the following symptoms for 12 weeks or more, then you may have chronic sinusitis:
- A feeling of congestion in your face
- Nasal blockage
- Pus in your nose
- Runny nose
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
Treatment of Sinusitis
For a simple sinus infection, the doctor may want you to take a decongestant and use saline nasal washes. However, you should make sure that you don't take over-the-counter decongestants for more than three days.
The doctor may want to put you on a series of antibiotics. This will probably last for 10 to 14 days. The symptoms that you have will probably abate with this treatment.
You can use warm, moist air for chronic sinusitis. You can get this from a vaporizer, or you can inhale the steam from a pot of hot water. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam.
There are other natural remedies that have been generally accepted to help ease sinus infections, but none have ever been proven by medical researchers to cure chronic sinusitis. Read our blog on the myths of natural remedies to sinusitis to learn more.
There are also some things that you can do at home to ease chronic sinusitis:
- Apply warm compresses to ease the pain in your sinuses
- Use saline nose drops
- Take over-the-counter decongestant drops or sprays
Your doctor may also give you steroids along with the antibiotics that they prescribe.
- If you are suffering from allergies, the doctor may give you an antihistamine.
- If you have a fungus, the doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication.
- For immune deficiencies, the doctor may give you immunoglobulin.
Surgical Treatment of Sinusitis
In certain cases, your sinusitis doctor will recommend sinus surgery. This will be the case if the structure of your sinuses is improper. Nasal polyps may also be blocking your sinuses. They will need to be removed.
Sinusitis can be a painful and debilitating condition. However, except in unusual cases, the affliction can be easily treated by your doctor.