Sinus infections (or sinusitis) occur when your nasal cavities become infected and inflamed from fluids blocking the nasal passageway. Normal sinuses trap particles that enter the nose with a thin layer of mucus. The tiny hairs within the nose sweep the trapped particles to the back of the throat to dispose of the intrusion. With a sinus infection, the normal flow of mucus is stopped and the tiny hairs swell, preventing the trapped particles from moving along. This allows germs to grow and results in some major discomfort for you.
Signs of sinusitis depend on the severity, a general overview includes:
- Tenderness, discomfort of the face around the eyes, nose, cheeks or forehead
- Postnasal drip (draining down the back of the throat)
- A fullness/ congested feeling in the face
- Loss of smell
Sinus infections are incredibly common. They are more likely to occur due to:
- Respiratory infections
- Deviated symptoms
- Nasal polyps
There is no guaranteed way to prevent sinusitis, but some ways to help lessen your symptoms are: avoid smoking or being around smoke, keeping your hands away from your face (critical during flu season) and making sure to wash your hands frequently, knowing what triggers your allergies so you can stay away or minimize exposure to them. There are many ways to help treat sinus infections on your own, which you can read more here about helpful at-home remedies. But how do you know when it’s time to see a doctor about your sinus issues?
If your symptoms are accompanied with a fever (while not common, it does happen), nasal discharge, or occur multiple times a year, it’s time to pay your doctor a visit. There are various solutions, depending on the nature of your sinusitis, that can help provide you with long-lasting relief, and make your pain a thing of the past!