Sinusitis involves swelling or inflammation of the tissues that line the sinuses. Depending on the type of sinusitis the individual is diagnosed with, it is best to consult a doctor to ensure that the condition is properly managed.
Acute bacterial sinusitis
This type of sinusitis involves abrupt onset of cold symptoms such as stuffed nose, runny nose and facial pain that does not vanish after 10 days or the symptoms seem to improve but return worse than the initial symptoms. This type responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.
This type is characterized by drainage, nasal congestion, diminished sense of smell and facial pain or pressure.
Who are at risk for sinusitis?
Almost every year, millions of individuals all over the globe suffer at least one episode of viral sinusitis. Most cases are typically triggered by bacteria. Individuals who have the following conditions face a higher risk for sinusitis:
- Presence of polyps
- Inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes due to allergies or common cold
- Conditions that increases the risk for infection
- Structural variances that constrict the drainage ducts
- Clogged up drainage ducts that leads to accumulation of mucus
Among children, the common factors present in the environment that contributes to the condition include allergies, smoke or pollution and health issues acquired from other children at school.
Signs and symptoms of acute sinusitis
The initial symptoms include the following:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Facial pain or pressure
- Loss of taste or smell
- Cough or congestion
- Nasal discharge
Other symptoms that can manifest include headache, fever of 102 degrees or higher, ear pain, fatigue, bad breath and ache in the upper jaw and teeth.
When diagnosing sinusitis, the doctor will ask about the symptoms and assess the nose for drainage or swelling. The history of the individual is vital in diagnosing the condition.
In most cases, physical examination of the nose, ears and throat is carried out to check for any indications of obstruction or infection. An endoscope might be utilized to inspect the interior of the nose.
Some individuals might have other health issues that should be assessed by a specialist. Other diagnostic tests might be required in such circumstances. The tests for other complicated conditions might include CT scan of the sinuses, cultures, allergy testing or nasal endoscopy.
Treatment for sinusitis
For acute cases of sinusitis, the doctor might recommend treatment using decongestants along with over-the-counter medications for allergy and cold, increased fluid intake and nasal saline irrigation.
In case the symptoms do not seem to improve after at least 10 days, becomes worse or medications for allergy and cold do not help, it might be a bacterial infection responsible for the condition. If this is the case, antibiotics are given 7 days in adults and 10 days for children. The antibiotics should improve the symptoms within 48 hours.
Decongestants in oral or topical form can be given to relieve the symptoms. In addition, prescription intranasal steroid sprays can be used to manage the symptoms.