The sinuses are an important part of your health and wellness. This connected series of hollow cavities are located in the cheeks and forehead and between the eyes of the skull. Most experts are not entirely sure the real purpose of sinuses, but they are essential for moving, cleaning and humidifying the air that you breathe. Unfortunately, irritants, allergens, and viruses can cause inflammation of the sinuses. Known as sinusitis, this condition can cause discomfort and pain. An estimated 16 percent of the adult population has had sinusitis, but most people are not really familiar with this condition. Here are a few fast facts about acute sinusitis.
Each person is different, so you may experience different symptoms than another person with acute sinusitis. However, most people will experience the following:
- Headache in the sinus area
- Facial pain and tenderness
- Pressure in the ears and teeth
- Nasal congestion
- Discolored nasal drip
- Facial swelling
- Sore throat
- Slight cough
If you have one or more of the above symptoms, contact your doctor to determine if your sinuses are inflamed.
It Can Affect Anyone
Acute sinusitis can affect anyone at any time. This can make preventing the inflammation a bit difficult.
Because younger children's immune systems are not as strong, they are most prone to sinusitis. The sight of children sniffling and using tissues throughout the day is common in elementary schools, day care centers, and preschools.
It is important to note that other risk factors apply. If you suffer from hay fever and other allergies, asthma, or a deformity or congenital defect of the nasal passage, you have a higher risk of developing sinusitis.
Also, smoking places an excess amount of stress on the nasal passage, increasing your risk of inflammation.
Treatment Is Possible
Treating acute sinusitis will basically center around easing the symptoms.
Nasal spray is an effective option for reducing swelling and inflammation in the sinuses. Sprays that contain corticosteroids are most effective for easing the inflammation.
Decongestants may also be necessary. These medications reduce congestion in the sinuses, helping you breathe without difficulty and pain.
Lastly, ibuprofen is helpful if you are experiencing headaches, swelling, and discomfort in the sinuses and mouth.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may order involved testing, such as an endoscopy, to determine if there are any defects in the nasal passage. Tumors and polyps can lead to sinusitis, so removing these growths will be necessary.
Living with acute sinusitis is possible, but it can be uncomfortable. To learn more about sinusitis and your treatment options, consult your family doctor today.