Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus cavities usually associated with infection. The sinus cavities are air-filled spaces in the skull.
Acute sinusitis lasts for less than three weeks. Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms last for at least three months. You may have recurrent sinusitis if you have repeated bouts of acute sinusitis.
You have acute sinusitis when the following occur:
History of 10 or more days of colored mucus
Tenderness over the sinuses
Visible mucus in the nose
Moisturizing—Drinking lots of fluids
may keep your nasal secretions thin. This will avoid plugging up your nasal passages and sinuses. Salt water nose sprays or irrigation may also loosen nasal secretions.
Using steam treatments—Keep a humidifier running in your bedroom. Fill a bowl with steaming water every couple of hours, and make a steam tent with a towel over your head. This will let you breathe in the steam.
Decongestants—Use either decongestant pills or nasal sprays to shrink nasal passages. Do not use nasal sprays for longer than 3-4 days in a row.
Intranasal corticosteroids—These are inhaled directly into your nose through a nasal spray. Corticosteroids may help relieve congestion by decreasing swelling in the lining of the nose.
Antihistamines—Allergy medicines called antihistamines may help sinusitis symptoms if they are caused by allergies. But they may also dry out the nasal mucosa.
Guaifenesin—This medicine can help you cough up secretions.
Antibiotics—Your doctor may decide to give you antibiotics if the infection seems to be caused by bacteria.
Although, studies have shown that antibiotics are not effective in treating acute sinusitis.
Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or
recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of
. Ask your doctor which other medicines are safe for your child.
Surgery is a last resort for people with very troublesome, serious chronic sinusitis. It includes:
Repair of a deviated septum
Removal of nasal polyps
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery—A lighted scope is used to enlarge the sinuses to improve drainage.
Balloon sinuplasty—A catheter with a balloon attached is inserted into the sinuses. The balloon is inflated to open the sinuses passages.
If you are diagnosed with sinusitis, follow your doctor's
If you have a tendency to get sinusitis following a
or allergy attack, try these preventive measures:
Have allergy testing to find out what things you are allergic to and to learn how to treat your allergies.
Avoid substances you know you are allergic to.
If you have allergies, consider using cortisone nasal spray or antihistamines to decrease inflammation.
If you get a cold, drink lots of fluids and use a decongestant (either pills or nasal spray).
Blow your nose gently, while pressing one nostril closed.
Try not to fly in an airplane when you are congested. If you must fly, use a nasal spray decongestant to decrease inflammation prior to take-off and landing.
Use a humidifier when you have a cold, allergic symptoms, or sinusitis.
Use HEPA filters for your furnace and vacuum cleaner to remove allergens from the air.
Stewart AE, Vaughan WC. Balloon sinuplasty versus surgical management of chronic rhinosinusitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2010;10(3):181-187.
1/10/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Williamson IG, Rumsby K, Benge S, et al. Antibiotics and topical nasal steroid for treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis: a randomized controlled trial.
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Zalmanovici A, Yaphe J. Intranasal steroids for acute sinusitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD005149.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a