What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection or rhinosinusitis, is inflammation of the sinuses resulting in symptoms. For those that are prone to this type of infection the signs and symptoms are all too familiar. Common signs and symptoms include thick nasal mucus, a plugged nose, and pain in the face. Other signs and symptoms may include fever, headaches, poor sense of smell, sore throat, and also cough. The cough is often worse at night.
In order to get a diagnosis you must see your healthcare provider where they can diagnose acute sinusitis by reviewing a person’s symptoms and examining the nose and face. Doctors may perform a procedure called rhinoscopy, in which they use a thin, flexible tube-like instrument to examine the inside of the nose. Symptoms doctors look for include pus drainage from the nasal passages, redness and swelling of nasal passages, tenderness surrounding cheeks and forehead, and swelling around the eyes as well as cheeks.
Sinusitis is generally due to infections, allergies, air pollution, or structural problems within the nose. Most cases of sinusitis are caused by a viral infection. If symptoms persist for more than ten days or the patient’s symptoms become worse, then a bacterial infection will likely be present. You can prevent infections like sinusitis by hand washing, avoiding smoking, and also being up to date on all immunizations. Over the counter painkillers such as nasal sprays or naproxen can help relieve the pain from the symptoms of sinusitis.
Most sinusitis cases are caused by viruses and resolve without antibiotics. As far as treatments are concerned antibiotics are not generally prescribed for these type of infections. Usually recommended treatments for most cases of sinusitis include rest and drinking enough water to thin the mucus. Some have found that breathing in steam such as from a hot shower help to relieve some of the symptoms.