What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis or a sinus infection is characterized by an inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. It may cause unpleasant side-effects including headache or pressure in the cheek, nose, eyes, and/or neck. Additionally it may be accompanied by fever, bad breath, coughing and nasal congestion. The condition may be acute (appears suddenly) or chronic (infection that is long term). Chronic sinusitis is by far the most prevalent form of the condition.
What causes Sinusitis
Sinusitis is typically caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. Acute sinusitis develops quickly and is often triggered by a viral infection. It lasts no more than 4 weeks and will not necessarily require treatment. Sinusitis symptoms in an acute infection normally begin to clear within a week. If, however, an acute infection is bacterial in origin then treatment should be sought by the affected individual. If the condition is not treated it may become chronic or spread to other areas of the body. Acute infection with a bacteria has the typical characteristic of excessive nasal discharge which has visible signs of pus. The symptoms may gradually become worse over a 5 day period and will last beyond 10 days. Once these symptoms are present, the individual should seek medical treatment to reduce the risk of further infection and the possibility of developing the chronic form of the condition.
Chronic Sinusitis is primarily the result of a fungal or bacterial infection. The infection is treatable, though with varying degrees of success. The use of antibiotics may be essential to alleviate symptoms. However, in some cases this may not lead to a complete cure of the present sinusitis symptoms. A health care professional may perform an allergy test which could determine the underlying cause of the symptoms experienced. Chronic sinusitis may permanently alter the lining of the sinuses which may make an individual more susceptible to infection.
Typical Sinusitis Symptoms
The main symptoms associated with sinusitis are stuffiness or runny nose with noticeable pain and pressure in the facial area. Nasal discharge will be yellow or greenish in color. Forward movement of the body and the head leads to an increase in the pain and pressure experienced by sufferers. The area where pain and pressure develops generally indicates the sinus that is currently affected.
- Pain associated with the cheeks and upper teeth is typically trigger by inflammation within the maxillary sinus.
- Pain associated with the forehead just above the eyebrow is normally caused by inflammation within the frontal sinus.
- Pain located directly behind the eyes, the top of the head or in the temples is likely initiated by inflammation within the sphenoid sinus.
- Pain that is centered behind or around the eyes is generally triggered by an inflammation within the ethmoid sinuses.
Other Sinusitis Symptoms
- General headache that is evident while stuffiness persists.
- Yellow or green colored discharge that comes from the nose or from the back of the throat.
- Unpleasant smelling breath.
- Congested nasal passage.
- Dry cough, or cough that is not accompanied by mucus.
- Pain in the teeth or a single tooth.
- Compromised sense of taste or smell.
- Loss of appetite.