Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses caused by an infection or allergy. Symptoms of sinusitis include runny nose, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath.
Sinusitis can affect anyone. In children, sinusitis generally can occur due to allergies, child-to-child transmission, or cigarette smoke. Meanwhile, adult smokers are more likely to develop sinusitis. Sinusitis can resolve on its own within two to three weeks.
There are several types of sinusitis based on the recovery time. Symptoms of sinusitis generally occur suddenly.
- Acute sinusitis is the most common sinusitis and usually lasts up to 4 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis occurs within 4 to 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeks, or even years
- Recurrent sinusitis is an acute sinusitis that occurs more than 3 times a year
Causes of Sinusitis
There are numerous factors that can trigger sinusitis. Sinusitis can affect adults if there is:
- Nasal inflammation due to colds
- Nasal congestion
- Problems affecting structure of the nasal passages
- Nasal polyps
- Decreased stamina
Meanwhile, in children, sinusitis is usually caused by:
- Child-to-child transmission
- Feeding bottle
- Drinking from baby bottle while lying down
- Cigarette smoke
However, the primary causes of sinusitis in adult patients are infection and smoking habits.
When to See a Doctor for Sinusitis?
When a person is diagnosed with sinusitis, the patient can consult an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist doctor. The doctor will be able to determine symptoms of sinusitis by performing tests such as:
- Medical Imaging tests
Taking images via CT Scan or MRI to see the structure and details of the sinuses in the nasal area. The doctor will be able to identify inflammation from the pictures.
- Allergy test
Allergies can trigger sinusitis. The doctor will advise a series of allergy tests if sinusitis is suspected to be the result of an allergy.
- Nasal endoscopy
Endoscopy is a medical procedure to examine the digestive tract. Endoscopy is performed using a flexible tube called an endoscope with fiber optic light. The endoscope will be inserted through the nose for the doctor to see inside your sinuses.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
Sinusitis symptoms may vary depending on the type of sinusitis you have. Generally, sinusitis symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling in the eyes, cheeks, or forehead.
- Nasal congestion
- Decreased sense of smell
- Yellow or green mucus
- High fever
- Bad breath
Chronic sinusitis usually causes the following symptoms:
- Pressure around your face
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal abscess
- Runny nose
Treatment for Sinusitis
For people with acute sinusitis, doctors will usually prescribe decongestants or medications for the respiratory tract. Another treatment is immunotherapy – a treatment by activating or suppressing the immune system. This is for treating sinusitis caused by allergies.
However, there are also self-care habits that you can practice to treat sinusitis, such as:
- Drink lots of water. Mineral water can help prevent dry nose . A dry nose will make sinusitis even more difficult to treat.
- Consume pain relievers such as paracetamol. This medicine can help relieve pain in parts of your face due to sinusitis. However, this is not recommended for children under 18 — as it can have more dangerous side effects
- Using saline nasal irrigation to clean the nasal passages by reducing fluid buildup. This is a spray kit consisting of a mixture of several ingredients, such as 400 ml boiled water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Take antibiotics. Antibiotics can prevent or treat bacterial infections. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics if your sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
- Avoid smoky environments or anywhere that can potentially cause allergies
Treatment Cost for Sinusitis
The cost for Sinusitis treatment varies – depending on the type of sinusitis, treatment method chosen, and location of the hospital. Consult your doctor first regarding the treatment options.
For more information regarding the estimated costs of Sinusitis treatment, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Sinusitis
You cannot completely avoid sinusitis. However, symptoms of sinusitis can be reduced by:
- Quit smoking or avoid smoky environments
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, especially during flu season.
- Avoid potential allergy triggers.
- Increase consumption of mineral water every day to prevent dry nose.
- Get annual flu vaccine
- Avoid stress to maintain your antibody and avoid sinus inflammation.
- Maintain oral health by brushing your teeth regularly
- Eat healthy and nutritious food.
Home Remedies for Patients Diagnosed with Sinusitis
You do not always have to rely on a specialist doctor to treat sinusitis. Some home remedies you can practice to ease sinusitis symptoms include:
- Clear out your nasal passages. You can do this by pouring salt water into one nostril, then let the water drain out of the other hole. Make sure to tilt your head for the salt water to flow smoothly.
- Use warm water compress. Soak a towel in warm water and place it around your nose and forehead. Breathe in the moisture from the warm compress by breathing normally.
- Steam inhalation. Prepare a large bowl filled with hot water and inhale the steam from the hot water.
- Sleep with an extra pillow to lift your head. This can help reduce pressure around the sinuses as well as the sinus pain.
- Consume decongestants reduce swelling. Decongestants can be taken in tablet form or used as sprays. This spray is used to relieve sinus symptoms. Be sure to not use it too much as it can increase sinus congestion.
- Eat fruits. Fruits like pineapple contain the enzyme bromelain to reduce various inflammation, including sinus inflammation.