Sinusitis has been a major health issue that affects millions of individuals all over the globe. Individuals who have allergies, structural blockages in the sinuses or nose, asthma or a weakened immune system face the highest risk for developing the condition.
In most cases, a bad cold can be mistaken as sinusitis. Most of the symptoms are similar including facial pain or headache, nasal congestion and runny nose. Unlike with common cold, the symptoms of sinusitis can be triggered by bacterial infections. The condition often entails treatment involving antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
If an individual is suspected with sinusitis, a doctor should be consulted for proper assessment of the condition as well as a proper diagnosis. In most circumstances, the treatment for sinusitis is easy. Remember that by stopping a sinus infection early, the development of the late symptoms and other complications can be avoided. If not treated early, the condition can progress in which the symptoms are worse and somewhat harder to manage.
A close look on sinusitis
Sinusitis involves the inflammation of the sinuses. As stated early, it can be caused by bacterial infection but viruses and fungi can cause the condition as well. If an individual has sinusitis, the condition disrupts the normal flow of mucus from the sinuses to the rear of the throat. The tiny hair-like “sweepers” are blocked once allergies or infections cause the nasal tissues to swell which traps the mucus in the sinuses.
In some individuals, they have structural defects that contribute to the condition. The common defects include the deformity of the bony partition in between the two nasal passages, narrowing of the sinus openings and nasal polyps. In addition, those who have these structural defects often suffer from chronic sinusitis.
Once an individual suspects that he/she has sinusitis, the common symptoms of the condition include the following:
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal congestion or stuffiness
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Frontal headaches
- Tenderness of the face
- Pain in the teeth
- Bad breath
Sinusitis is often confused with rhinitis. Take note that rhinitis only affects the nasal passages and can be caused by allergies or cold.
Remember that allergies play a vital role in chronic or seasonal episodes of rhinitis. The sinus and nasal passages become swollen, congested and inflamed in an attempt to flush out the offending particles that instigate the allergies. Pollen is considered as a seasonal allergen while dust mites, mold and pet dander can instigate symptoms all year round once an individual is exposed to them.
Asthma is also linked to chronic sinusitis. Individuals who have chronic nasal inflammation and irritation or asthma can develop a type of chronic sinusitis that is not caused by infection. The suitable treatment of sinusitis often improves the symptoms of asthma.