A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses which can be caused by allergies, viral or bacterial infection, or an autoimmune disease. Sinus infections are classified as being either acute or chronic. Acute sinus infections are generally caused by a virus and they often occur following an upper respiratory tract infection. A chronic sinus infection lasts 3 months or longer and can be the result of many different types of disease. Sinus infections are common and most cases generally resolve themselves in about 10 days.
Despite the fact that they are a common condition a sinus type infection should be treated as a serious medical condition. Although most cases are viral and resolve by themselves, the close proximity of the sinuses to the brain poses the potential risk of an infection spreading to the brain. With the possibility of serious, and potentially life threatening complications that a sinus infection can cause, anyone who is suffering from one for more than 10 days should seek medical attention.
Symptoms of a sinusitis infection include
- nasal discharge that is often thick and may have puss in it
- pressure in the face or sinuses
- even a localized toothache.
- There are many different methods to treat a sinus infection with the treatments used being related to the severity of the infection.
Usual Causes Of A Sinus-type Infection
Sinus infections are generally caused by either a virus or bacteria. They are very common, however certain people are more likely to get them than others. People who suffer from allergies, have a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or have had several previous sinus infections are at a much higher risk than others. A deviated septum or the presence of nasal polyps can create blockages in the sinuses which makes the likelihood of infection developing much higher. Chronic allergies and previous sinus infections cause the tissues in the nose to be more likely to become easily inflamed leading to a higher incidence of infection. People who are predisposed to getting sinus infections should take care to try and avoid them whenever possible. For allergy sufferers this might mean using antihistamines to control their allergies, and for those with structural abnormalities surgery is an option that should be carefully considered. Those with a higher risk of sinus infection should also use saline sprays at the fist signs of infection to help keep the sinuses clear and hopefully reduce the length and severity of the infection.
The majority of sinus infections are viral and have symptoms that are easily recognizable. Headaches with pain and pressure that vary depending on the position of the head are a very clear sign that a sinus infection is present. In addition to fever and headaches the color and consistency of the discharge from the nose of a person is a good way to check for signs of infection. If the discharge is clear then it is likely that the cause is a common cold or even allergies. However if the discharge is thick, green, and has blood or pus in it then this is a clear sign of infection.
If the infection spreads into the brain then a patient may experience difficulties with his or her vision, seizures, coma, an altered personality, and even death. Due to the high level of risk that an infection in the brain poses it is very important that a patient with a sinus infection that lasts for more than 10 days seek medical attention and be monitored. Although the likelihood of a severe infection spreading is rare, the great risk that it poses should it spread warrants caution.
Treatment for an infection in the sinus areas
Treatment for a sinusitis infection depends upon it’s cause, it’s duration, and it’s severity. Since most sinus infections are the result of a virus the most common course of treatment is similar to that of someone suffering from the common cold. By resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and using saline sprays to irrigate the sinuses a patient can help to speed up their recovery time and reduce the severity of their symptoms. In the event that the infection persists for more than 10 days then it is possible that the infection is due to bacteria. In this case antibiotics are prescribed and rest, proper hydration, and sinus irrigation is still highly recommended. In more severe cases surgery is an option that a doctor may present to a patient. If the patient has a deviated septum, or nasal polyps, then correcting these problems surgically will likely lead to the patient have less frequent infections. By removing these abnormal blockages the sinuses are less likely to become inflamed resulting in a much lower risk of infection. Although the possible complications from surgery may seem prohibitive, the resulting improvement in the quality of life for the patient makes the risks involved more acceptable.
Consequences Of Sinus Area Infection
A infection of the sinuses is an irritating problem that can greatly impact the quality of a person’s life. In addition it has the possibility of becoming a much more serious condition should the infection spread beyond the sinuses into the brain. With the obvious problems that a sinus infection can cause preventing them when possible, and treating them when necessary needs to be a priority. By controlling your allergies, keeping hydrated, and using saline nasal sprays you can help to reduce the likelihood of an infection. If you have structural issues such as polyps or a deviated septum then you should definitely contact a doctor to look at possible surgical options.
Although the prospect of surgery is not a pleasant one, the great improvement that it may cause in your life makes it an option that you should at the very least consider. When treating a sinus infection seek medical help if the infection lasts more than 10 days. This is often an indicator of the presence of bacteria, and a bacterial infection usually won’t clear up without the use of antibiotics. By taking preventive action, monitoring yourself for symptoms, and considering all of the medical options available a patient can help to reduce the severity and duration of a sinus infection, and thus reduce the impact that it has on their life.
i like the herbal things - they have eased my sinisitis a lot. thankx
— Sherry Simpson, NYC Dec 9, 2011
Nice variety of topics been covered - haven't seen this much on other sites.
— Norman Hunt, Oklahoma City,OK Jan 9, 2012
The range of possible causes and treatments for sinus problems is enormous, and your site does the subject justice.
— Carlos Weaver Mar 12, 2012
gotta say its a lot of stuff on this site - and most of it is real usfeul stuff too. thankyou
— Benbo Apr 9, 2012
i appreciate the effort puit into this site - keep it coming
— Louis G. Wood Jan 29, 2012