Sinusitis is an infection of the mucous membrane of one or more of the sinuses which may develop after an upper respiratory infection.
Symptoms may include nasal obstruction; thick yellow/green mucous discharge; pain in the cheeks, forehead or between the eyes that worsens with either coughing, lying down or bending over; headache; toothache in the upper jaw; fever; or loss of sense of smell.
The cause of sinusitis can include either viral, bacterial, or fungal infections; trauma; dental infections; foreign bodies or an allergy reaction.
Types of Sinusitis
- Acute Sinusitis: Often occurs as a result of an upper respiratory infection (cold). Sinusitis generally lasts 10-14 days. The most common complication is progression to the chronic form.
- Chronic Sinusitis: This condition can last for months with continual discomfort or it can recur periodically. It can be caused by a cold or allergy. Chronic sinusitis is characterized by persistent nasal discharge that does not resolve with medical treatment. If it is not responsive to antibiotic therapy, it may require operative intervention.
The objective is to improve drainage and control the infection. This can be accomplished by the use of antibiotics if judged bacterial, humidifier, steam inhalations, warm moist compresses to nose and cheeks, Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain and fever, increased fluids, short-term topical vasoconstrictors (nasal spray or drops) and rest.
When suffering cold symptoms, avoid swimming and/or flying. Use good dental care.