The medical condition sinusitis is characterized by the inflammation, or swelling, of the tissues that line the sinuses (air-filled spaces found in the nasal cavity). Sinusitis can be traced back to other pre-existing conditions, such as allergic rhinitis, polyps, and a deviated septum. There are different types of sinusitis, which is determined according to the duration and the localization of the infection.
Millions and millions of people around the globe have had at least one episode of sinusitis in their lives, regardless of severity. However, those who are living with other certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of acquiring this disease. People who are living with persistent common colds, blocked nasal ducts (for the drainage of mucus), structural abnormalities in the nasal cavity, and immune deficiencies are much more prone to sinusitis as compared to those who are living healthy lives.
In case you want to determine if you are living with sinusitis, you should look out for the following symptoms like: headaches and facial pains (reportedly the most common ones), nasal discharge (yellowish or greenish in color), nasal stuffiness and congestion, and impaired sense of smell. In some cases, fever, fatigue, toothache, and bad breath (halitosis) may accompany the regular symptoms. However, in a chronic sinus infection, the symptoms persist for a much longer period of time. Also, some of the symptoms are much more serious than the ones experienced in a regular sinus infection; for one, the nasal discharge produced by a person with chronic sinusitis has pus and/or blood in it.
If you are worried about the progression of your condition, seek sinus infection treatment as soon as you can. But before taking in anything, be sure to consult a medical expert first. The doctor will first run a series of diagnostic tests to determine if your suspicions are true. To ensure his findings, he might require you to undergo other tests such x-ray, nasal endoscopy, CT scan of your maxillary sinuses, and/or allergy testing (especially in the case of those who contracted the illness due to an allergic reaction).
Once it has been found that you indeed have sinusitis, your doctor would advise you to take certain measures, depending on the factors that brought about your condition and its severity. Usually, doctors recommend their patients first to use a nasal spray as a sinus infection treatment. Nasal sprays are used to decongest the nasal cavities by moistening the lining along the said cavities and consequently softening the debris that has accumulated along those linings, making it easier to get them out of the air passageways. For those who are not comfortable with using nasal sprays (which are also known as “nasal douches”), oral decongestants are sometimes recommended as an alternative sinus infection treatment.
Since nasal decongestants work based on the premise the moisture alleviates decongestion, inhalation of water vapor is also advised as a sinus infection treatment. It has been proven that the warmth, along with the moisture that the steam from boiling water provides does wonders in easing nasal decongestion. To make the process more effective, some people even apply warm compress against the affected sinus to facilitate airflow.
For those who are suffering from sinusitis primarily because of bacterial infection, the intake of antibiotics as a sinus infection treatment is sometimes recommended by doctors. However, remember to use these medications in moderation since not everyone is advised to take this kind of treatment. Also, keep in mind that antibiotics only addresses a certain type of sinus infection; for example, if your illness is of viral origin, do not be surprised if your antibiotics are doing very little to alleviate your condition.
For those whose infections are caused by allergies, the use of antihistamines as a sinus infection treatment is also recommended. On the other hand, if your sinusitis is mainly caused by fungi, antifungal treatments in the form of topical creams and/or oral medications might be prescribed by your doctor. And lastly, if your infection is caused by a problem in your immune system like immune deficiency, you might be advised to take supplements to boost the strength of your immune system.
In more serious cases, surgical procedures might be necessary. This sinus infection treatment is only recommended for those who have not seen any significant improvement after following the above mentioned treatments. This type of sinus infection treatment can be done in different ways, depending on the problem that needs to be addressed. Sometimes, incising the facial/nasal region must be done to provide an alternate opening that will facilitate the better flow of air. Some procedures, on the other hand, aim to restructure the nasal cavity to reduce the blockage; for example, a deviated septum will have to be fixed if it is narrowing the airway.
One disadvantage of surgery is that it takes quite some time to heal. A normal person will be able to resume his/her regular activities five to seven days after the operation. However, full recovery will take around four to six weeks. If you are not quite comfortable with that idea, you have, of course, the options to reassess the other less invasive options at hand.
If you are currently suffering from sinusitis, complement your sinus infection treatment with a healthy lifestyle. If you are a regular smoker, you have to stop for a while to avoid further aggravating your condition. Also, avoid staying in dusty and polluted places for too long, as these can be irritating to you. In addition to that, stay away from anything that might trigger an allergic reaction lest you want to make your ordeal more uncomfortable for you. If you want to get well sooner, try to exercise some discipline in your system.
If you fail to seek the appropriate sinus infection treatment, you will be at risk of developing even more complex illnesses. In extreme cases, sinusitis can even lead to meningitis (swelling of the meninges in the brain), formation of abscesses (accumulated pus) in the brain, and bone infections.