Get to know sinusitis better / What are its symptoms?

Sinusitis is also a common disease defined as inflammation and infection of the paranasal sinuses. The sinus cavities produce mucus that the nasal passages need to function effectively. Sinusitis can be acute or chronic, and causes of sinusitis include viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergies, and autoimmune reactions.

Although annoying and painful, sinusitis often goes away without medical intervention. It is best to see a doctor if you have severe and persistent symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US physicians diagnosed chronic sinusitis in 2016 for 4.1 million people.

In 2018, 28.9 million people in the United States reported a diagnosis of sinusitis in the past 12 months, or 11.6 percent of the population, according to Medical News Today.

What is sinusitis?

The sinus is a hollow space and comes in many forms, but sinusitis affects the paranasal sinuses of the spaces behind the face that lead to the nasal cavity. The lining of these sinuses is the composition of the nasal mucosa. The sinuses produce a slippery secretion called mucus that keeps the nasal passages moist and traps dirty particles and germs. Sinusitis occurs when the mucus contracts and the sinuses become inflamed and inflamed. Doctors often refer to sinusitis as rhinosinusitis because sinusitis almost always occurs with rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the nose.

Symptoms of sinusitis

The symptoms of sinusitis vary depending on the duration of the disease and the severity of the symptoms. Symptoms include:
Nasal discharge that is green or yellow
Pain or pressure on the face
Capping or runny nose
Sore throat
Bad Breath
Decreased sense of smell and taste
Sensitivity and swelling around the eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead

Causes of sinusitis

Sinusitis is caused by a variety of factors, but it is always the result of fluid getting stuck in the sinuses and causing germs to grow. The most common cause of sinusitis is a virus, but a bacterial infection can also lead to sinusitis.

Stimulants include allergies and asthma, as well as air pollutants such as chemicals or other irritants. Fungal infections and molds also cause fungal sinusitis.

Risk factors for sinusitis

The following increases the risk of developing sinusitis in a person:
Having a previous respiratory infection such as a cold
Nasal polyp, which is a small, benign growth in the nasal passage that causes blockage and inflammation
Seasonal allergies
Sensitivity to substances such as dust, pollen and animal hair
Having a weak immune system due to medication or illness
Having a deflection blade
The septum divides the bone and cartilage of the nose into two holes. When this condition is tilted to one side or increases the risk of sinusitis through injury or growth.

Read more: Treat diarrhea with a few quick home remedies

Types of sinusitis

There are different types of sinusitis and it can last for a long time. Acute sinusitis is temporary and occurs if you have a cold or seasonal allergies. Symptoms usually resolve within 7 to 10 days, but may last up to 4 weeks.

Chronic sinusitis is when symptoms last for more than 12 weeks or recur three times a year. More than 50% of people with moderate to severe asthma also have chronic sinusitis. The recovery time and treatment depends on the type of sinusitis.

When to see a doctor?

People can usually manage sinusitis at home. However, they should see a doctor if they have any symptoms:
Continue for more than 10 days without improvement
Contains severe symptoms that do not go away with over-the-counter medications
Contains vision changes or swelling around the eyes
Exacerbation of symptoms
Includes fever that lasts more than 3 to 4 days or more than 38.6 degrees Celsius
There may be other symptoms, so see your doctor if you have any symptoms.

Diagnosis of sinusitis

A doctor may do the following to diagnose:
Asks about the question marks
Perform a physical examination
Use the endoscope to see inside the nasal passages
Prescribe MRI or CT scan to check for structural problems in some cases
Perform allergy testing to identify possible irritants
Your doctor may visually examine the nasal cavity with a light source or a small handheld device with a light attached called an otoscope, and he or she may also use the device to examine the ear. If symptoms persist, the person should see an ear, nose and throat specialist for a more thorough examination.

Home remedies for sinusitis

About 70% of acute sinusitis resolves without medication. Various over-the-counter home remedies also relieve symptoms. Examples of these treatments and medications include:
Nasal lavage: Rinse your nose with salt water or saline solution. Neti vase is one way to do this. Always use clean water and sterile equipment to rinse your nose.
Rest: Get enough sleep or rest and place your head and shoulders on a pillow above the surface.
Hot compress: Gently apply warm compresses to the affected areas to relieve swelling and discomfort.
Pain relief: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen reduces pain and fever.
Vapor inhalation: Put a warm, damp towel on your face or inhale the steam from a bowl of warm water.
Essential oils: Adding a few drops of menthol or eucalyptus oil to warm water or a towel can help. Never swallow the essential oil and do not apply it directly to the skin.
Anticonvulsant pills and sprays: These reduce swelling and empty the sinuses. Use only for 3 days, however, the symptoms may worsen after stopping the product.
Over-the-counter nasal corticosteroids: This type of nasal spray reduces inflammation of the nose and sinuses.
Antihistamines such as cetirizine and loratadine are usually not good options for treating sinusitis because they tighten the mucosa and make the symptoms worse.

Read more: 6 dangerous consequences of over-the-counter medication

Treatment of sinusitis

Treatment options for sinusitis depend on how long the disease lasts.
Acute and semi-acute sinusitis
If symptoms persist or are severe, your doctor may prescribe treatment for relief. If there is a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If symptoms persist after taking antibiotics, you should see a doctor.

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is not usually caused by bacteria, so antibiotics are unlikely to help treat it. Reducing exposure to stimulants such as dust, pollen and other allergens relieves symptoms.

Corticosteroid sprays or pills help manage inflammation, but they often require medical prescription and supervision. Long-term use of these drugs leads to side effects.


If other treatments for sinusitis do not work, your doctor may recommend surgery. However, surgery may not completely solve the problem, so the person needs to continue other treatments after surgery to prevent the sinusitis from returning. In children, surgery should be the last resort to treat sinusitis.

Ways to prevent sinusitis

The following tips can help prevent sinusitis:
Observe hand hygiene
Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
Keep vaccines up to date
Avoid people with colds and other respiratory infections
Use a humidifier to humidify the air in the house and keep it clean
Maintenance of air conditioning units to prevent the accumulation of mold and dust
Avoid and manage allergens if possible

in the end

Sinusitis is a common problem that affects many people and there are several reasons for its occurrence. In most cases, sinusitis is mild and can be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter medications. If sinusitis causes severe symptoms or persists for several weeks, your doctor can help reduce the symptoms by taking the appropriate treatment.
Translator: Elahe Zarei

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