Sinus problems are among the most common medical problems of Americans every year. As a matter of fact, millions of Americans suffer from this year in and year out. To be more specific, around 37 million of the American populace have problems with their sinuses on a yearly basis according to studies and statistics. So you do not need to worry that much if you are experiencing some problems with your sinuses. However, it is important to seek treatment in the soonest possible time.
Factors that Cause Sinus Problems
There are a lot of possible causes for problems with your sinuses. Among the most common of which is allergies. You may have ingested some food or drink that you are allergic to. Then this may have caused the secretion of mucus. Then the mucus gets lodged in your sinuses, dried up and built up. This will then cause the pressure or pain in that area.
On the other hand, the weather can also be a factor for sinus problems. In fact, exposure to changes in temperature due to the changing of the seasons can cause problems in the sinuses. This is especially true if you have a weak immune system.
There are also cases when sinus problems may just be an indicator of an underlying medical condition. For instance, it may already be a symptom of a bacterial or fungal infection. This is especially true if the problem has not gone away or is recurring even after treatment. In this case, it is best to consult your doctor so you will have immediate treatment. Common illnesses like colds and flu may also be the cause of your sinus problems.
All in all, you must take note of the fact that it is very important to determine the cause of your sinus problem. This will help you or your doctor in determining the proper treatment method to give you relief from your problems in the sinuses. Bear in mind that a cure will only be effective if it addresses the root of the problem. For instance, antihistamines which are used for allergies will not be able to cure problems of the sinuses arising from a bacterial infection.
Common Sinus Problems
There are actually different types of problems with the sinuses. Again, it is important for you to know this. For one, so that you will actually know what you are suffering from. This way, you can tell your doctor about it. And second, this is important for proper diagnosis and treatment. So to help you out with that, here are some of the common problems encountered by people when it comes to their sinuses.
- Sinus blockage
As its name suggests, it is the actual blockage of your sinuses. This can be caused by any of the factors mentioned above. Here, you must know that each of your sinuses has a spot. This is very narrow. It is termed as the ostium or transition space. That is the opening which is responsible for the drainage in your nostrils or sinuses.
So when that spot is blocked during the transition phase of any of your sinuses, the mucus then backs up and builds up in the area. When the mucus dries up, it clogs your sinuses and drainage, as well as breathing, becomes difficult.
- Extra sinus
On the other hand, there are people who happen to have an extra sinus. You must know that normally, people only have two sinuses. But in special cases, there are people who have three. In fact, as much as 10% of people all over the world have another sinus aside from the two.
When this happens, this extra sinus will further narrow the transition space of ostium. Then the process discussed above will most likely happen. Since this is already genetic, the only solution that you can go for here is to have surgery. This way, the extra sinus will be properly and safely removed. You have to do this right away so you will prevent any complication or further medical problems.
- Deviated nasal septum
And lastly, there is the deviated nasal septum, this can be a genetic problem. Some people are already predisposed because they have structural defects in their nasal cavity. On the other hand, this can also be caused by trauma to the nose area. Say for instance you engaged in a fist fight during your grade school days and you were hit hard in the nose area. Or you were playing a sport like basketball or volleyball and you had this injury.
The deviated nasal septum is one of these defects. The nasal septum refers to that thin wall of cartilage as well as bone which can be found in your nasal cavity. This then separates the two nasal passages that you have. In normal cases, the septum is supposed to be located at the center of the nose so that your nasal passages will be equally divided.
But for around 80% of the population, the nasal septum is actually displaced to either the left side or the right side. Hence, one of the nasal passages becomes narrower or smaller than the other. This then causes the sinus issues like sinus pressure and sinusitis.
At the same time, the deviated septum can also cause further problems like difficulty or obstruction to breathing. It can also be a factor for snoring.
Symptoms of sinus problems
So how do you know whether or not you are already suffering from a sinus problem? There are actually a number of indicators or symptoms. Here are some of them.
- In certain instances, you may feel pressure or pain in your head.
- There are also cases when you have a terrible headache that actually gets worse during the morning. Say for instance, after waking up you suddenly feel your head pounding. Then it gets worse during the morning or when you have to lean forward. On the other hand, there are those who experience cough fits during the night.
- You may also feel pain in the area of your upper teeth or even your jaw line. This is mainly because this part is still connected somehow to your nasal cavity and the pain can be projected.
- A stuffy or runny nose is another indicator of sinus problems.
- If you have a bacterial infection for which the sinus problem is just an indicator, you may notice a discharge which is greenish or yellowish in color. Bad breath can also accompany this.