A sinus is an important part of the skull and nose and plays a variety of roles to keep the respiratory system working normally. Four pairs of sinuses are located inside your head and nose, and they help keep the respiratory tract clean and protected from germs or any other pollutants that may affect a healthy person. When affected by external or internal factors, these sinuses may be swollen, and inflammation happens, which causes a lot of distress.
What is a sinus infection?
Under normal circumstances, sinuses are hollow spaces that are filled with air. They produce mucus that protects the inner lining of the nose and skull. In the case of a sinus infection, which is also known as sinusitis, these empty spaces are filled with fluid; hence a blockage happens, which disturbs the normal working. The germs start to grow in the fluid accumulated in the sinuses, and they cause an infection.
Causes of a sinus infection
There different factors that may be the cause of sinus infection, and they are listed below.
- Respiratory tract infections may be the cause of sinusitis.
- Allergies caused by different allergens, as in the case of allergic rhinitis, which is characterized as swollen nose lining.
- Nasal polyps, which are the small growths in the nose, may cause a sinus infection.
- Common cold
- A deviated septum may also cause sinusitis.
Symptoms of sinusitis
The most commonly occurring symptoms of sinusitis are as follows.
- Facial pressure
- Pressure in eyes and head
- Blocked or stuffed-up nose causing loss of smell and taste
- Runny nose
Depending upon the severity and duration you have had it, you may have varying signs and symptoms such as:
- pus in the nasal cavity.
- Pain in teeth,
- fatigue, and bad breath.
Types of sinusitis
There are four types of sinus infections which are based on its severity and period.
Acute sinusitis: if the symptoms such as the runny nose, facial pressure persist for 2-4 weeks, then it is called as acute sinusitis.
Subacute sinusitis: the symptoms last for 4-12 weeks.
Chronic sinusitis: symptoms lasting for more than 12 weeks indicate chronic sinusitis.
Recurring sinusitis: susceptible individuals may get affected multiple times a year
Treatment for sinusitis
Depending on the cause and severity of the symptoms, different types of medications and remedies are used to treat sinusitis.
blend capsules for sinus wash to treat sinusitis or any sinus pressure
In the following context, we will take a look at all the treatment options for sinus infection.
Seeing as how the nasal area is exposed to germs, the fluid accumulated in the sinuses may act as a medium to grow these germs. In that case, a bacterial infection might happen. Under such circumstances, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic along with other medicines.
Nasal, oral, and injectable corticosteroids are given to the patient to decrease the inflammation. Sometimes, in addition to corticosteroids, the doctor may also advise you to nasal irrigation solution such as saline solution.
Sinusitis that happens due to allergies may be due to an innate immune response, which will happen every time you are exposed to an allergen. So, to avoid recurrent sinusitis, allergy shots specific to that allergic are given.
- Sinus blend
Sinus blend is another alternative that might be useful. It is composed of different essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, cedarwood, and others. When applied to the affected area, it will reduce inflammation as well as help remove the obstruction. It will also help with the pain associated with the infection.
Under such circumstances where all else fails, the doctor might perform surgery using an endoscope and different instruments to remove the obstruction.
Treatment for sinus pressure
The sinus pressure caused by the sinus infection may pose threats such as facial pain, runny nose, headaches, sore throat, and pressure in the eyes and head. To treat the sinus pressure, the following strategies are used.
- By putting a warm compress over the affected areas will reduce swelling and will open the passages.
- Nasal irrigation can help in removing the germs hence eradicating the infection.
- Steam produced from a hot water bowl help reduce swelling, hence the sinus pressure.
- Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen will also help reduce inflammation and reduce the pain and the pressure.
Immunotherapy is the long term therapy as these infections are caused by an innate immune response.