It’s time to clear the air. Sinus infections or sinusitis are usually caused by viruses, just like the flu or common cold. The virus can be passed on to other people but sinusitis or sinus infection is not contagious itself. Understanding the ins and outs of sinuses is key to better improve your health and manage your symptoms during sinus problems.
What Are Sinuses?
Sinuses are cavities within the skull that connect to the nose. They provide a natural drainage channel for mucus and act as a reserved area for air.
Every human being has four major sinuses occurring on either side of the face. These are Maxillary, Sphenoid, Ethmoid, and Frontal. Each of them has a single nasal passage communication that works efficiently in tandem.
Healthy sinuses will constantly exchange the air and simultaneous mucous flow out. Its development starts in the early stages of life, beginning as a small pocket-like membrane in the skull.
A series of tubes or channels connect the sinuses to the nasal passages creating the osteomeatal complex. The complex allows air to flow from the nose into these sinuses and mucus to drain from the sinus into the nose.
Health Concerns for Clogged Sinuses
Sinusitis is one of the most common and severe diseases of the sinuses. It occurs when the tissues in the sinus get swollen. The sinuses’ clogging will lead to various symptoms, such as sore throat, runny nose, and headaches.
Since a sinus only has a single connection to the nasal passages, a blockage on the pathway will lead to devastating conditions, making breathing hard or even impossible. If the sinus stays clogged for long, you will develop other symptoms, like sinus pain, headaches, and loss of taste and smell.
Failure to treat the condition sooner can cause bacteria or viruses to develop, leading to sinus infection.
Types of Sinusitis
Different types of sinusitis involve inflammation in the sinuses, while others occur without sinus involvement. The most common are:
- Acute: It is the most basic form of the sinus. The symptoms resemble a cold, and symptoms can last 2-4 weeks.
- Subacute: It occurs between acute and chronic with similar symptoms to acute but typically lasts longer, anywhere from 4-12 weeks.
- Chronic: This is where it gets severe and uncomfortable. The sinus symptoms will last about 12 weeks.
If you experience sinusitis multiple times throughout the year, you may be experiencing recurrent sinusitis.
How to Treat Sinusitis
Doctors treat sinusitis differently depending on their severity.
Treating acute sinusitis is possible with OTC medications. An allergy pill can reduce the effects of the allergens that cause inflammation in the sinuses, and a decongestant can drain the sinuses to open the airflow. Always consult a doctor to determine the best OTC for your relief.
For subacute sinusitis, OTC medication is applicable as long as the doctor agrees. You may also want to reduce your time outside and check your symptoms regularly to check the treatment progress.
Chronic sinusitis will require the doctor to test and determine whether you have developed a bacterial or viral infection. Individuals who experience sinus symptoms throughout the year may undergo balloon sinuplasty. It is a minimally invasive procedure that opens the sinus pathways permanently to avoid year-round sinusitis.
Sinuses are essential to your daily life, and when they suffer, they will significantly impact your life. As much as our sinus pathways aid our breathing, tasting, and living comfortably, they can also make things quite uncomfortable when swollen or congested.
You can avoid suffering from all-year-round sinusitis by getting permanent treatment. At Advanced Sinus Relief Centers, we want to leave you with the fact that you do not have to live a poor life due to sinusitis. We offer reliable, minimally invasive, and insurance-covered balloon sinuplasty treatment to keep your sinuses healthy. Schedule an appointment today for more information.