What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) can grow and cause an infection.
The symptoms of sinusitis in adults usually follow a cold that does not get better or gets worse after 5 - 7 days. Symptoms include:
- Bad breath or loss of smell
- Cough, often worse at night
- Fatigue and general feeling of being ill
- Headache -- pressure-like pain, pain behind the eyes, toothache, or tenderness of the face
- Nasal stuffiness and discharge
- Sore throat and postnasal drip
Symptoms of sinusitis in children include:
- Cold or respiratory illness that has been getting better and then begins to get worse
- High fever, along with a darkened nasal discharge, that lasts for at least 3 days
- Nasal discharge, with or without a cough, that has been present for more than 10 days and is not improving
When the sinus openings become blocked or too much mucus builds up, bacteria and other germs can grow more easily. Sinusitis can occur from one of these conditions:
- Small hairs (cilia) in the sinuses fail to properly to move mucus out. This may be due to some medical conditions.
- Colds and allergies may cause too much mucus to be made or block the opening of the sinuses.
- A deviated nasal septum, nasal bone spur, or nasal polyps may block the opening of the sinuses.
- For sinusitis caused by virus infection, no antibiotic treatment is required. Frequently recommended treatments include pain and fever medications (Paracetamol), decongestants and mucolytics
- For sinusitis caused by bacterial infection, antibiotics are required