Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses, which are air-filled spaces or cavities surrounding the nasal cavity and the eyes. Sinusitis can be acute or chronic. Acute infections usually resolve within 10 days. If an infection persists for more than 12 weeks, the sinusitis is considered chronic.
When working properly, the sinuses produce mucus which drains into the nasal passages and eventually into the throat, where it is swallowed. Sinusitis occurs when the sinus drainage pathways are blocked. This allows mucus to build up in the sinuses, where it traps bacteria and can cause infection.
Several common conditions can block sinus drainage pathways. Allergies and colds cause inflammation of the soft tissues lining the nose and sinus cavities, which can prevent mucus from draining. The nose and sinuses can also be blocked by a deviated nasal septum. It is a displacement of the thin wall that separates the right and left nasal passages. As it can manifest as swelling of the turbines, which are bony structures that clean and moisten the air as it passes through the nasal passages. Symptoms of sinusitis resemble those of colds and allergies. They may include:
- A feeling of dull pain or pressure on the face.
- A headache.
- A thick runny nose.
- A post-nasal drip.
- Bad breath.
- A cough and loss of smell.
Types of chronic sinusitis.
There are four types of chronic sinusitis: allergic, non-allergic, with nasal polyps and without nasal polyps. In order to determine which type is causing your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate treatment, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical history. Including the frequency and severity of your symptoms. He then closely examines your nasal passages and sinus cavities to determine if there are any signs of obstruction, inflammation, infection or polyps.
13 signs that you have chronic sinusitis.
Common signs of chronic sinusitis are:
- Congestion or “fullness” of the face.
- Blockage of one or both nasal passages.
- Runny nose.
- Discolored post-nasal drainage (drip at the back of the throat).
- Pus in the nasal cavity.
- Ear pain.
- Pain in the upper jaw and teeth.
- Cough or clearing of the throat.
- Sore throat.
- Bad breath.
The presence of two or more of these symptoms usually indicates that you have chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is often confused with acute sinusitis because they have similar signs and symptoms. The main difference is that acute sinusitis is temporary and mostly associated with a cold.
Fiberoptic nasal endoscopy is a diagnostic test that provides detailed images of the sinus cavities and nasal passages. It can reveal potential causes and signs of chronic sinusitis, such as inflammation, slow evacuation of mucus from the sinuses, the presence of a deviated nasal septum, enlarged turbinates, or nasal polyps.
The endoscope is a thin, fiber-optic instrument that provides your doctor with a clear, bright image of the entire nasal passage. To perform this procedure, your doctor may first spray the nose with a decongestant to open the nasal passages and a local anesthetic solution to ease any discomfort during the procedure. The doctor then inserts the endoscope into each nostril.
To diagnose chronic sinusitis caused by an allergic reaction, your doctor asks you about your medical history, including whether you’ve had any allergies in the past. If you haven’t had an allergy test and your doctor suspects this may be the cause of the sinus infection, they may refer you to an allergist for a simple blood test to check for high levels of antibodies in the blood, which indicate an allergic reaction.
To scan :
A CT scan may be recommended in addition to fibroscopy if your doctor needs more details about the extent of a sinus infection and the anatomy of the sinus cavities. CT technology uses X-rays to create a series of detailed, three-dimensional images of your sinuses from different angles. The CT scan can reveal the extent and location of inflammation and polyps in the sinuses, which may not be visible during a nasal endoscopy.
Treatment options for chronic sinusitis.
Treating chronic sinusitis can be difficult. It often requires a combination of several methods, such as nasal irrigation, decongestants, and antibiotics. Some treatments can even be done at home for short-term relief. Like saline rinse, over-the-counter pain relievers, and nasal sprays. Of course, sometimes you have to call a professional to get rid of chronic sinusitis for good. Because every patient is different, it’s important to schedule a sinus evaluation to determine the best treatment option for you.