It refers to the swelling of the paranasal sinuses that can occur with an infection caused by a virus, a bacteria or a fungus. When the paranasal openings are blocked of have too much mucus accumulated, bacteria and other microorganisms can multiply more easily.
Sinusitis can present due to one of the following situations:
- The small hairs (cilia) on the paranasal sinuses, that help expel the mucus, are not functioning appropriately due to some kind of infection.
- Flus and allergies can cause the production of too much mucus or can block the opening of the paranasal sinuses.
- A deviated septum, nasal bone spur or nasal polyps can block the opening of the paranasal sinuses.
Sinusitis can be categorized as:
- Acute: when the symptoms are present for four weeks or less; it’s caused by bacteria that proliferate in the paranasal sinuses.
- Chronic: when the swelling and inflammation of the paranasal sinuses are present for over three months; it can be caused by bacteria or a fungus.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis in adults regularly manifests after a cold that doesn’t get better or one that gets worst after 5 to 7 days of developing symptoms. The symptoms can range from:
- Bad breath of loss of smell.
- Cough that usually gets worst at night.
- Fatigue and a general discomfort.
- Headache: pain similar to pressure, pain behind the eyes, toothaches or facial sensibility.
- Congestion and nasal secretion.
- Sore throat and postnasal drip.
- Phlegm or bad tasting secretion in the back of the mouth.
The symptoms of chronic sinusitis are the same as the ones in acute sinusitis, but hey tend to be milder and last over 12 weeks.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis can be:
- Cold of respiratory disease that has improved and then worsens again.
- High fever combined with dark nasal secretion for at least 3 days.
- Nasal secretion with or without a cough that has been present for over 10 days without improvement.
You can try the following measures to help reduce sinus congestion:
- Apply hot and wet cloths to the face several times a day.
- Drink plenty of liquids to dilute the mucus.
- Inhale vapor 2 to 4 times a day (for example, sitting in the bathroom with the hot water running).
- Apply nasal saline solution several times a day.
- Use a humidifier.
- Use a neti pot (nasal irrigation) to cleanse the paranasal sinuses.