Sinus is a swelling or inflammation of the tissue lining sinuses. Usually our sinuses are air filled, but sometimes they become blocked and filled with fluid in which various types of viruses and bacteria can grow and cause severe infection. There are some conditions that cause blocked sinus such as allergic rhinitis, common cold, deviated septum and nasal polyps.
Different Types of Sinus Infection
- Acute Sinus Infection: sudden symptoms of stuffy and runny nose and facial pain that does not go away after 2 weeks. It typically ends after 4 weeks or may be less.
- Chronic Sinus Infection: in this case, the infection lasts 8 weeks or longer.
- Sub-acute sinus infection: this condition refers to inflammation that does not go away and lasts 4-8 weeks.
- Recurrent sinus infection: In this case, people suffer from several attacks within a year.
Symptoms of Acute Sinus Infection
Some of the main symptoms of acute sinus are;
- Nasal Stuffiness
- Facial Pain
- Loss of smell
- Cough and congestion
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
- Presence of thick nasal discharge
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Sinus infection:
- Facial Congestion or fullness
- Pus in the nasal cavity
- Nasal blockage
- Post nasal drainage
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
Diagnosis of Sinus Infection
Your primary care doctor reviews your symptoms in order to diagnose sinus and give you a physical exam. This examination mainly includes pressing and feeling your sinus for tenderness. He may also tap your teeth to investigate if you have inflamed paranasal sinus. In order to assess the other possible causes of sinus infection, doctors use different diagnostic tests which may include nasal endoscopy, mucus culture, allergy testing, X-rays and blood work.
Treatment of Sinus Infection
Acute Sinus Infection
In case of simple sinus infection, your doctor may treat you with decongestents such as steam inhalations. Using nonprescription decongestant nasal drop may also provide relief from symptoms. However it is not advisable to use these medications for a longer time without recommendation.
Usually 4-5 days are enough to use these medications or otherwise they will cause congestion to increase. Antibiotics to treat acute sinus infection are given for 10-14 days. With treatment, the symptoms of sinus infection usually go away and you can stop using antibiotics.
Chronic Sinus Infection
Sinus congestion may be alleviated with warm moist air. Inhaling steam or vaporizer may also help relieving the symptoms of sinus infection. Some people use warm compresses to relieve the pain in sinuses and nose. For home use, saline nose drops are also helpful or your doctor may prescribe decongestant nasal drops or sprays that might be effective in relieving the symptoms.
However, these treatments should not be continued for a longer period of time. sometimes doctor prescribe oral steroids or antibiotics to treat chronic sinus. There are some home remedies as well that might help you relieving symptoms such as inhaling steam from a pan of boiling water and drinking warm water.