The swelling of a person’s sinuses is a condition called sinusitis. Common symptoms include headache and facial pain. The medicinal solution to sinusitis is a course of antibiotics.
As per the medical dictionary, the definition of “sinusitis” is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of any sinus, especially the paranasal sinuses.
Sinuses and their Sets
The term “sinuses” refers to the hollow spaces that are present in the facial bones of humans, which are just behind the nasal cavity. The sinuses have a mucous membrane, similar to the nose, which helps in trapping dirt and dust particles by keeping the passages moist. Sinuses are present in 4 sets:
- The maxillary sinuses, which are present in cheekbones;
- The frontal sinuses, located above the eyes;
- The ethmoid sinuses, found between the eyes and just above the nose;
- The sphenoid sinuses, which are situated behind the eyes
A person suffering from sinusitis is likely to have Swollen Sinuses, with almost all the sinuses being affected. The maxillary sinuses are most commonly affected.
Causes of Sinusitis
Whenever the paranasal sinuses of a human suffer from inflammation, sinusitis occurs. It is usually caused by viral or bacterial infection. Fungal infection is also a possible cause. Sometimes, allergic reaction, such as hay fever, can lead to sinusitis. According to research, autoimmune reaction may also cause sinusitis; this happens when healthy parts of a body are suddenly attacked by its own immune system.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
Depending on which sinuses have swollen, the symptoms of sinusitis vary:
- If the maxillary sinuses have swollen, the sufferer feels a pain in the cheeks. Toothache can be a symptom in such a case, while it is also possible that those enduring maxillary sinusitis feel a headache.
- When the frontal sinuses are enlarged, the patient suffers from severe headache and pain in the forehead area above the eyes.
- Swelling of the ethmoid sinuses is felt in the form of headache, but in this instance the pressure is on the area behind the eyes.
- Should the sphenoid sinuses become inflamed, an intense pain is felt in the top of the head, and possibly also a neck ache. The sphenoid sinuses are less commonly affected than the other 3 sets.
Diseases Linked with Sinusitis
The respiratory tract is the first area to become disrupted when Swollen Sinuses are detected by the body. Hence, many doctors claim that asthma patients are at higher risk of suffering sinusitis than normal people. Various other problems related to the respiratory tract, such as common cough and cold, nasal polyps and allergies, such as hay fever, might also lead to sinusitis.
Types of Sinusitis
There are 3 basic varieties of sinusitis:
1. Acute Sinusitis
This is the rapid onset of swollen and/or blocked sinuses, the cause of which can be anything from a common cold to a severe fungal infection. If no action is taken to resolve the problem, serious complications may occur. Depending on the cause of acute sinusitis, home remedies – including nasal sprays and anti-inflammatory painkillers – are provided to cure it. In this condition sinus drainage is hindered and mucus continues to build in the nasal passages. Fever could also occur, along with swollen nose and headache. Acute sinusitis can last up to 4 weeks in extreme cases.
2. Sub-acute Sinusitis
Sub-acute sinusitis is when a person suffers from acute sinusitis continually, or in recurring bouts. One of the leading causes is lack of proper treatment for patients suffering from acute sinusitis. The headache and fever experienced are usually less severe in sub-acute sinusitis than acute sinusitis, and the cure and the remedies are different. Sub acute sinusitis can last up to 12 weeks, in the worst case.
3. Chronic Sinusitis
Usually, infection is the cause of chronic sinusitis, which is characterized by an inflammation lasting longer than 12 weeks. However, another responsible factor could be nasal polyps. Sinuses become swollen and mucus builds up so severely that it even becomes difficult to breathe. Other symptoms include facial pain and headache. The minimum time chronic sinusitis remains is 12 weeks, and unfortunately it is a recurring condition, likely to return frequently.
Treatment of Sinusitis
Most doctors recommend antibiotics for treating swollen sinuses. However, some home remedies include steam inhalation, warm facial compress, nasal irrigation, sleeping with raised head, decongestant tablets and sprays, and painkillers to alleviate the symptoms of sinusitis.
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