The sinus cavities are located at different locations in our head region. They are present beneath the cheek bones (the maxillaries), behind forehead and eyebrows (the frontals), on the sides of nose (the ethmoid), and behind the nose and in front of the brain (sphenoid). All of these cavities are joined together and open into another opening known as nasal passage. The nasal passage is used for breathing, letting the air in and out and for getting rid of the mucous too. Sometimes when the nasal opening is blocked due to any reason like cold, rhinitis etc. and nasal passage gets inflamed, bacteria inside the body make use of the favorable condition to grow (as there is no ventilation) and cause infection.
Sinusitis is the term for the inflammation of sinus cavities. Inflammation can be caused by either some infection, or an allergy or both of them. There are two types of sinusitis. Acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis, acute being short lived while chronic is long term. Acute sinusitis is often seen accompanied with the cold. It usually lives for a few weeks and ends on its own without requiring any medical treatment. On the other hand, if sinusitis remains more than 3 months, it is termed as chronic sinusitis. It is more complicated and much difficult to treat. It occurs to those who have history of allergic rhinitis, improper nasal structure or asthma. A rare case of chronic sinusitis is also seen occurring because of fungus.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis involves
• Pressure on sinuses
• Facial pain
• Stuffed nose
• Post nasal dripping
• Yellow-green nasal discharge
• Sometimes fever
The symptoms of chronic sinusitis are less frequent but may involve facial pain and colored discharge from the nose. Moreover chronic sinusitis patients may also notice loss of smelling and tasting senses, bad breath, rough throatiness, and frequent sore throats. It is important to have your tests done for determining the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis. The tests include sinus x-ray, CT scan and sometimes endoscopic examination.
Usually the acute sinusitis heals on its own without having any medication. However its treatment may also involve the use of antibiotics for removing bacteria, anti-congestants, corticosteroid sprays, saline sprays or salt water gargles. Chronic sinusitis may involve nasal surgery too.