If you or your doctor think you might have sinusitis, here are some suggested questions to get the discussion rolling:
- What are the sinuses? Sinuses are the air chambers in the bone behind your cheeks, eyebrows and jaw. They make mucus to help work as a filter for the air you breathe before it goes to your lungs.
- What is sinusitis? The lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed, also known as rhinosinusitis.
- What causes sinusitis? Swelling in the sinuses impedes the cilia from moving mucus. Typically caused by a virus or bacterial infection, it sometimes occurs following a cold. People suffering from allergies often may be predisposed to sinusitis. Structural problems with the sinuses can also be a contributing factor.
- What are symptoms of sinusitis? Symptoms can include:
- Pain or pressure in the forehead, cheeks, nose and between the eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Cough which may worsen at night
- Bad breath
- Teeth ache
- How is sinusitis treated? Depending on what type and the cause, it can sometimes be remedied with a saline nasal rinse to clear nasal passages and help clear congestion (also may be prescribed). Decongestants should not be used for more than a couple days as it dries up the mucus and can create the perfect breeding ground for further infection. Pain relievers can help reduce headache and sinus pain. Antibiotics also may be prescribed depending on the type of sinusitis.
- What can I do at home to improve my condition? Several home remedies have been proven helpful in the treatment and relief from sinusitis. Apply moist heat by warming a wet towel and holding it against your face so you can breathe in the steam to help open sinus passages. Prophylactic use of a sinus rinse product also can help.
- What preventative measures can I use to help me from getting it again?
- Avoid contact with viruses
- Wash hands frequently
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid smoke and pollutants
- Use a humidifier
- Is it sinusitis or a migraine? Migraines can often be mistaken for sinusitis since the location of the sinuses is so close to the area affected by migraine.
- Is my condition chronic? A condition lasting longer than 8 weeks can be considered chronic and may need further treatment to remedy. Some doctors may perform a nasal endoscopy, a flexible fiber-optic tube with a light and camera inserted into the nose, to examine nasal passages and sinuses. Chronic conditions caused by structural problems in the sinuses may be remedied with surgery.
- What if my symptoms worsen or come back? If a fever of over 101 is experienced following treatment, experience a severe headache, or symptoms persist and/or seem to worsen after seven days, call your doctor, or visit the nearest urgent care facility.
Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.