Sinusitis-Symptoms,Diagnosis And Treatment

Sinusitis (or sinus infection) is a common illness that is characterized by inflammation of the sinuses. Sinuses are tiny, air-filled spaces behind your forehead and cheekbones. Sinusitis is normally caused by a virus infection, and it often clears within a couple of weeks. Your sinuses produce mucus which usually drains into the nasal passage via small channels. When you have sinusitis, the channels are congested (or blocked) due to swelling (inflammation) of the lining of the sinuses.

Sinus infection conditions and symptoms

Sinusitis may be linked to viral and bacterial infections. In other cases it may be caused by non-infectious inflammation, for instance due to allergies. Acute sinusitis lasts for about four weeks, while chronic sinusitis may last from eight to twelve weeks.

If you have asthma, allergies and cystic fibrosis, you have a high likelihood of suffering from sinusitis. You are also likely to get it if your nose had been broken previously or if you have a malformed septum (the wall that divides the nostrils). People with a compromised immunity or those with diabetes are also more susceptible to sinusitis complications.

Common symptoms of sinusitis include nasal congestion(or obstruction),facial discomfort, production of a colored discharge through the nose, diminished sense of taste or smell, headache, bad breath, toothache, fatigue and fever.

Diagnosis

An immunologist can perform allergy-testing in order to determine the root cause of your chronic sinus infections. Your doctor may also check your nasal passages using a method called nasal endoscopy (also called rhinoscopy).This entails inserting a thin instrument up your nostrils to examine the nasal passages and search for any blockage.

The doctor may also require that you undergo a CT scan or MRI so as to see if there are abnormalities in your sinuses. Abnormalities may include nasal polyps (non-cancerous growths in the nose) or narrowing of the drainage passages.

Treatment methods

Normally, your sinusitis will subside after two to three weeks. The symptoms may be relieved by using common painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen(paracetamol). You can also use nasal decongestants, though it is not advisable to take them for more than one week. Other treatment methods that you can try at home include placing a warm pack on your face and frequently cleaning the inside of the nose using a salt solution.

If your condition does not improve, your doctor can prescribe various medications including antibiotics and corticosteroids. More serious sinusitis complications may require surgery in order to boost the drainage of your sinuses.

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