What is Acute Sinusitis?

Since the symptoms are the same as that for common cold, many people go undiagnosed for Acute Sinusities. But fact is – more than 37 million people suffer from acute sinusitis every year across America. Sinuses are air-filled cavities located near the nose and nasal passages. When there is swelling in the nasal passages, namely the nose, throat, pharynx, there is fluid buildup that prevents the normal mucus drainage in the sinuses. This condition is acute sinusitis and may persist for about four weeks.

Symptoms of acute sinusitis

These range from pain in the face, fever, cough, tiredness, headaches, inflammation in the eyes and facial tissues, sore throat and nasal congestion. You have trouble in breathing and nausea and may have dental pain. You may have pain and tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead. Some people develop bad breath and may lose their sense of taste and smell. You may have erythema or redness in the area where the sinuses are present. This is due to increased blood flow in the capillaries around the sinuses.

Causes of acute sinusitis

Infection occurs since the area around the sinuses remains moist due to improper drainage of mucous. Acute Sinusitis is most likely caused due to a viral infection. However, if the cold prolongs over two weeks the cause may be bacterial or fungal. Other causes of acute sinusitis include growth of tissue in the form of nasal polyps that blocks the nasal passages. Some allergies can cause a swelling in your sinuses. In some cases, a divided nasal septum can block the sinuses, resulting in acute sinusitis. Individuals with cystic fibrosis, gastro esophageal reflux or other diseases that affect the immune system may have blocked sinuses. Those who smoke or experience passive smoking may develop acute sinusitis over a period.

Treatment of acute sinusitis

You must consume plenty of liquids if you suspect acute sinusitis. Consult a doctor if you have continuous fever above 100F for many days, headaches, and pain in the region around the face and eyes. The doctor will examine you physically for signs of inflammation and make the correct diagnosis. Besides, he may suggest a detailed CT scan to examine areas of tenderness.

In case of a bacterial infection, the doctor may suggest a course of antibiotics like amoxicillin and doxycycline or a combination therapy, depending on your response to the treatment. Severe cases may require surgery to remove sinus blockages.

If you suffer from an allergy, removing the allergen from your surroundings may bring relief. Mild cases may respond to over the counter decongestants, nasal corticosteroids spray, or oral corticosteroid pills to overcome nasal congestion. You can spray saline solution several times a day for relief. Use warm compress over the affected areas to relive pain and take steam inhalation to open your sinuses several times a day.

Steps to overcome acute sinusitis

Keep away from smoking and secondary sources of smoke. Avoid drinking alcohol and drink a lot of water to hydrate your body. Avoid people with colds if you are susceptible to acute sinusitis and vaccinate yourself against flu every year. Install a humidifier in your home if you have centralized heating that can cause the air to become dry. Ensure to clean the humidifier regularly to keep it free from dust. Do not travel by air if possible or spray a nasal decongestant before your air journey.

Never neglect acute sinusitis as it can develop in to chronic sinusitis and other serious respiratory conditions like asthma. It can lead to meningitis, problems in your eyesight and in extreme cases to a blood clot in the brain that can be fatal.