What Is Sinusitis? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Do you feel pressure around your cheeks, eyes, and forehead? Or perhaps is your head throbbing? Could it be that you have nasal congestion and there is foul breath? Have you visited our ENT in Juno Beach, Dr. Mark T. Agrama? Most likely, you have sinus problems or sinusitis.
is nothing new. It is a common infection that plagues nearly 30 million Americans and lands nearly 15 million people in the hospital each year seeking sinusitis treatment. Let’s not even think about the amount of money people spend buying drugs in their local stores to deal with this infection.
If by any chance, you have a weak immune system, allergies, or even asthma, you can be at an increased risk of contracting the infection.
Sinusitis, In a Nutshell
You have four paired cavities or spaces that are linked by narrow passages below your eyes, between your eyes, above your eyes, and behind your eyes. These spaces are known as sinuses. So, when the lining of these cavities swell or become inflamed, we say you have a sinus infection.
The sinuses play various roles such as:
- Increasing voice resonance
- Insulating the surrounding structures (nerves and eyes)
- Acting as buffers against trauma
- Warming and humidifying inspired air
Sinuses also aid in cleaning the nose since they are responsible for making mucus thin, which drains out of the nose to keep it bacteria-free.
Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But, when they are blocked, or there is fluid build-up, they provide the perfect breeding ground for microbes to grow.
What Causes Sinusitis?
Sinus problems can be caused by essentially anything that interferes with mucus drainage and obstructs adequate airflow. However, some of the causes of sinus infections are:
- Polyps (growths)
- A weakened immune system
- Seasonal and nasal allergies, even allergies to mold
- Common colds
Also, if you have infants who spend copious amounts of time with pacifiers and bottles while lying downs, they will have a higher chance of developing sinus problems.
If you are a smoker or asthmatic, you may develop sinusitis.
Is Sinusitis Contagious?
The discharge and coughing may make you think that sinusitis can be spread from one person to the next. Well, it all depends on the cause. If a virus causes a sinus issue, then it is contagious. It will spread the same way as the flu or a cold.
To protect yourself against the infection, you will need to wash your hands more often and don’t touch your nose, eyes, or mouth. If you have a sinus infection, cover your nose and mouth whenever you sneeze or cough to avoid spreading the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Sinusitis?
You might find it challenging to differentiate between sinus infection, nasal allergies, and the common cold. However, here are some distinct signs that you should peel your eyes for that sets them apart from the other infections:
- Bad breath
- Yellow mucus that drains from your nose
- Low-grade fever
- Facial pressure around the nose, eyes, and forehead
- Nasal discharge
- Frontal headache or pain in your ears or teeth
How Is Sinusitis Treated?
For the best results, our ENT near you uses a combination of various modes of treatment. In other words, you will need a combination of prescription medication and self-care.
When you have mild sinusitis, our ENT in Juno Beach
may recommend antihistamines and decongestants, especially if the allergies caused the infection
Inhaled steroids are also an excellent treatment for reducing the swelling in the sinus membranes. You may also be given antibiotics if bacteria caused the infection. You will have to take the medication for 14 days to ensure that the infection has cleared.
Our doctor will also prescribe painkillers to help ease the toothaches and headaches. You will use them for almost ten days.
Some self-care tips are:
- Saline nasal drops
- Drink warm beverages which help loosen the mucus
- Use warm compresses to help alleviate the pain in the nose and sinuses
- Take a lot of water to help loosen the mucus
- Breathe in steam vapors
If you notice that the symptoms last longer than four days after trying the home remedies, you will need to come and see our ENT in Juno Beach. Contact our ENT today at South Florida ENT Associates to avoid getting complications.