What is sinusitis?
Your sinuses are hollow spaces behind your cheeks and forehead. Each sinus opens into your nose. Sinusitis is inflammation or an infection in one or more of your sinuses.
You can have a stuffy nose, runny nose, and pain in your face or head
Sinusitis that lasts for more than 3 months is called chronic sinusitis
Doctors give you medicine to help your sinuses drain, and they may prescribe antibiotics
Locating the Sinuses
What causes sinusitis?
Sinusitis is usually caused by a:
Viral upper respiratory infection (such as a cold)
The viral infection makes the tissue inside your nose swell. That's why your nose is stuffy when you get a cold. The swelling in your nose blocks the openings to your sinuses, which causes fluid to build up in the sinuses. Allergies Seasonal Allergy An allergy is when your body's immune system reacts to something harmless, such as food, plants, or medicine. Seasonal allergies are allergies that happen only during the time of year when a... read more also make the inside of your nose swell and can cause sinusitis.
Sometimes, bacteria get into the sinus fluid and cause:
Chronic sinusitis is more common if you have:
Exposure to air pollution or tobacco smoke
Family members who often get sinusitis
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Yellow or green pus (thick fluid) from your nose
Pressure and pain in your face
Coughing up mucus, especially at night
Sometimes, feeling ill all over, fever, and chills
Go to a doctor right away if you have these symptoms and also a severe headache and are confused because the infection could have spread to your brain (meningitis).
How can doctors tell if I have sinusitis?
Doctors can tell based on your symptoms and an exam. Sometimes, doctors do:
CT scan to see if the infection is spreading or if you have chronic sinusitis
Endoscopy (putting a thin tube with a microscope in your nose to look at your sinuses)
How do doctors treat sinusitis?
Doctors treat sinusitis by helping your sinuses drain. Doctors will tell you to:
Breathe in steam from a hot shower
Put hot, wet towels on your face (over your sinuses)
Drink hot fluids
Flush a saltwater solution through your nose or use a salt-water spray
Use a nasal decongestant spray, such as phenylephrine
If you have a fever, severe pain, or sinusitis that lasts for more than 10 days, doctors usually prescribe antibiotics.
If you have chronic sinusitis (sinusitis that lasts more than 90 days), doctors may:
Have you take antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks
Do surgery to wash out your sinuses and help them drain