The sinusitis is a relatively common disease among both adults and children alike . This is the name given to the inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which causes great discomfort and breathing difficulties.
What is sinusitis?
It is known as sinusitis to the inflammation and infection of the paranasal sinuses, in the vast majority of cases caused by fungi, viruses or bacteria.
It is important to note that the paranasal sinuses are bony cavities found in what is called the facial massif. These cavities are composed of air and are communicated with the nostrils.
Types of sinusitis
Broadly speaking, there are two types of sinusitis. The main difference between the two lies in the period of time that the symptoms last, although there are also others related to the causes and treatments.
- Acute: lasts a maximum of eight weeks. The vast majority of patients suffering from this disease have been infected by a certain bacterium.
- Chronic: it is known as such the type of sinusitis whose symptoms are more serious and last for more than three months. The main cause is fungi, which are more difficult to treat than bacteria and viruses.
Causes of sinusitis
There are a wide range of causes that can lead to sinusitis. In general, this condition occurs after the obstruction of the paranasal sinus openings , so that mucoid secretions accumulate in them. Thus, an ideal environment is created for the proliferation of fungi, bacteria and viruses.
The most common causes of sinusitis are as follows.
- Vegetations: in the case of children, vegetations can be one of the most probable and frequent causes of this condition.
- Anatomical problems: in both children and adults an anatomical problem, such as a deviation of the nasal septum or the appearance of one or more polyps in the nostrils.
- Infectious rhinitis : This disease is another of the most common causes of sinusitis. It consists of inflammation of the nasal mucosa and its origin is usually an infection.
One of the main disadvantages of sinusitis in terms of its diagnosis by patients has to do with the fact that initially the symptoms are very similar to those of a flu or a common cold . Thus, the main warning sign occurs when a week passes after the onset of a cold and the symptoms do not improve, but rather get worse.
The signs that are usually given are the following.
- Headache : Almost 100% of patients with sinusitis have a headache. A headache of great intensity, which occurs with great pressure on the cheeks. This pain intensifies with any type of physical effort.
- Nasal congestion: one of the main symptoms of sinusitis is congestion of the nasal passages. In the vast majority of cases, it occurs bilaterally, although it can also occur unilaterally.
- Sensitivity: the high sensitivity to touch in certain areas of the face such as the eye area is another of the warning signs.
- Tiredness: Sinusitis patients experience a high level of fatigue throughout the day for no apparent reason.
- Halitosis : in certain cases bad breath is another of the symptoms of this condition.
It is important to note that in 75% of cases of acute sinusitis, patients respond very well to treatment . As for chronic sinusitis, given its complexity and the severity of the symptoms, it is more difficult to treat. A high percentage of patients are cured without any type of sequelae, although it depends largely on their physical condition and whether or not they suffer from a previous chronic disease.
If you feel one or more of the symptoms described in the previous apparatus, you should go to the doctor to establish a diagnosis and, based on it, the most appropriate treatment.
First, the doctor will take a medical history based on the symptoms and your state of health, assessing whether or not you have any previous chronic disease . He will then proceed to perform a physical examination, palpating different areas of the face to detect whether or not there are pain in them, with special emphasis on the paranasal sinuses .
If there is suspicion of sinusitis, the most common diagnostic test is nasal endoscopy . It is a visual examination that allows the doctor to see the nasal cavity in a comprehensive manner and in what state the nasal mucosa is.
If the nasal endoscopy does not provide a clear result, an MRI can be requested to visualize both the bones and tissues of the nasal area. This test is especially useful to rule out that there is any type of tumor.
In the vast majority of cases, acute sinusitis is cured with the administration of antibiotics to fight the infection . In some cases, this treatment is accompanied by nasal decongestants to improve inflammation of the sinonasal mucosa.
In the case of chronic sinusitis, one of the most common procedures is endoscopic sinus surgery , which seeks to restore the function of the paranasal sinuses. It is a minimally invasive operation; no type of external incision is made, but rather it is done using an endoscope that corrects those abnormalities that have led to sinusitis.
In both cases, there are a series of recommendations that are worth taking into account to minimize the symptoms of sinusitis.
- It is essential to drink a large amount of liquid to dilute the secretions.
- Inhaling steam two to four times a day is also helpful.
- Another of the home treatments that work best to treat this condition is the application of hot packs to the face several times a day.
Complications of sinusitis
Although acute sinusitis is initially a mild prognostic disease, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms and seek medical advice. Left untreated sinus inflammation and infection can lead to serious health complications.
An untreated sinusitis can lead to a crisis asthma , which implies a great difficulty breathing. It can also trigger vision problems if the infection spreads to the eye.
Another of the most serious complications of this condition is meningitis ; an infection that affects the membranes and fluid that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Home remedies for sinusitis
If it is an acute sinusitis, medical treatment can be combined with some home remedies that help minimize the symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar is a very useful ingredient because it helps the mucus to become less dense and thus can be easily removed. You just have to mix a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and add a teaspoon of honey; you must take this remedy three times a day for five days.
Chamomile is a 100% natural ingredient that significantly helps soothe the symptoms of sinusitis. It thins the mucus that clogs the sinuses, helping you breathe better.
You just have to prepare an infusion of chamomile flowers. When you have it ready, inhale the vapors it gives off for a few minutes and, when it is warm, take small sips. You can follow this remedy twice a day.
Onion and radish
One of the best home remedies to treat this condition thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Helps decongest the nose and relax inflamed ducts.
You just have to grind half an onion and a couple of radishes until you get a thick paste. When you have it ready, place it on a cloth and apply it on the sinuses for half an hour. You can repeat this treatment a couple of times a day until the infection clears.
How to avoid sinusitis?
Finally, we want to point out some tips to avoid this condition as much as possible.
- It is important to increase the humidity of the body , and especially of the sinus tracts. For this, the intake of fluids is essential, especially water. It is also a good idea to install a humidifier .
- Pollutant spaces are better avoided.
- If there is any type of infection in the respiratory tract, it is advisable to admit anti- decongestants .
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.