Sinusitis

Sinusitis:  Inflammation of the sinus.  " I have sinus" is an expression many people use to indicate they have an infection of the sinuses.  The sinuses are located close to the nasal cavities, and in one case near the ear.  Infection may easily travel into these sinuses from the mouth, the nose and the throat along the mucous membrane lining, and the resulting inflammation is called sinusitis.

The sinuses are opening in the bones around the nose.  There are four paranasal sinuses, only two , the frontal and maxillary sinuses, can be assessed. ( In children under age 8, the frontal sinuses are usually too small to examine.)  The other two, the ethmoidal and sphenoidal sinuses, are inaccessible for general examination.

Normally, air passes in and out of the sinuses and mucus and fluid drain from the sinuses into the nose.  Sinusitis usually follows when one gets a cold and or other respiratory infection, or disease and disorder such as Cystic Fibrosis.

Sinusitis occurs when there is a undrained collection of pus in one or more of the sinuses.  Swelling occurs and prevents fluids from draining out of the sinus.  Fluids trapped in the sinus may then become infected with bacteria, viruses or fungi.

Disorders such as a deviated septum, obstruction of the nose, allergic rhinitis are susceptible to sinusitis.  Dental infection such as a tooth abscess may spread into the sinus and become infected.
Pressure and inflammation results in mild to severe pain.

Long - standing, or chronic, sinus infection may cause changes in the epithelial cells, resulting in tumor formation.  Some of these growths have a grape - like appearance and cause obstruction of the air pathway.  These tumors are called polyps.

Symptoms:

Facial pain - pressure around the eyes, cheeks and or forehead
Facial swelling - common around the eyes
Headache - especially around the eyes and front of head
Nasal drainage
May have pain in the roof of the mouth or teeth
May have fever
May experience chills
Possible sore throat
Possible nosebleed
Bad breath and or foul smell in the nose

Treatment:

Antibiotic therapy
Nasal decongesting
Your doctor may prescribed a mild analgesic for moderate to extreme pain
If it is due to a deviated septum, repair may be needed which may require surgery

 * Call your doctor if treatment does not help within 48 hours after antibiotic therapy

 * Take all of the prescribed antibiotic, stoppage of antibiotic therapy may result in reinfection and or other complications.

 * Call your doctor promptly if you experience an adverse reaction to any medication.

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