Acute Sinusitis: A Treatable Condition

Have you ever had pain radiating in your cheekbones, nose, head, and behind the eyes along with severe congestion, a sore throat, fatigue, post-nasal drip (a feeling of dripping in the back of your throat), along with colored discharge (green or yellow)? If so you may have Acute Sinusitis. Other symptoms of Acute Sinusitis may consist of: dental pain, headaches, bad breath, a fever, and coughing especially at night. Sinusitis is caused by the inability of your nasal passages to clear mucus. As a result, mucus builds up, and the Sinuses become inflamed. Sinusitis can be very painful as the Sinuses become inflamed and bacteria clog the nasal passages leading to the build-up of pus and colored discharge.

Sinusitis can be classified as Acute, Subacute, Chronic, and Recurrent. The majority of Sinusitis cases are Acute. They last up to four weeks and in Subacute cases, Sinusitis lasts from four to eight weeks. In Chronic Sinusitis, inflammation of the Sinuses can last more than twelve weeks. Recurrent Sinusitis is defined as more than three episodes of Acute Sinusitis within a year. Acute Sinusitis is contributed to bacterial infections, fungal infections, or a virus such as a cold. People with Allergies are also more prone to Acute Sinusitis. It is crucial to be diagnosed by your Doctor if you have any symptoms of Sinusitis. Some alarming symptoms that should trigger someone to go to the Hospital and may indicate a more complicated condition are: vision changes (such as double vision), a stiff neck, swelling of the eyes or head, difficulty breathing, an intense headache, or disorientation.

Lowered immunity, Allergies, Nasal Polyps and other abnormal growths, Dental infections, a deformity in the nasal structure, exposure to smoke, pregnancy, and inflamed Adenoid Glands can put someone at a higher risk for Acute Sinusitis. Other conditions such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Cystic Fibrosis sufferers are also more prone to Acute Sinusitis. Acute Sinusitis can cause other threatening complications such as: Meningitis, permanent or partial vision blindness, Chronic and or Recurrent Sinusitis, an Asthmatic Attack, and/or Ear Infections. Acute Sinusitis is diagnosed through an examination and diagnostic tests. Some diagnostic tests used for diagnosis are: Nasal Endoscopy, CT Scans, MRI Scans, or X-Rays of the Sinuses, Allergy Tests, blood work, and Bacterial Cultures from the Sinuses. Your Physician may recommend you go to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist or an Allergist for severe cases of Sinusitis, or for Recurrent Sinusitis.

Many cases of Acute Sinusitis caused by a Viral Infection disappear on their own. Over -The-Counter medications such as Antihistamines and Decongestants assist in alleviating symptoms of Sinusitis. Other ways to alleviate symptoms may include Steam Treatment, resting, drinking a large amount of fluids such as water to help thin mucus, warm compresses to the face to reduce pain, and head elevation when lying down to assist the drainage of mucus. For Bacterial Sinus Infections, Antibiotics are needed to completely clear the Infection, and for Fungal Sinus Infections, Anti-fungal medications are necessary to clear up the Infection.

For people with Allergies, treatment of Allergies or Allergy maintenance is needed to prevent Sinus Infections. Some people with Allergies, may receive Allergy Shots which builds Immunity to Allergens. Ways to prevent Acute Sinusitis are by: using Antibacterial soap to regularly wash your hands throughout the day, starting Allergy Treatment for Seasonal Allergies before the Season begins, receiving vaccinations against Viruses, and avoiding exposure to smoke.

Sources:
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/sinusitis/print.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acute-sinusitis/DS00170