Understanding Sinusitis, What Causes It and How to Treat It?

Suara.com – For some sufferers, sinusitis can be very painful because it causes severe headaches and can’t breathe.

Sinusitis or rhinosinusitis is inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses and nose. One of the functions of the sinuses is to produce mucus.

The mucus should be able to flow to the back of the throat, where it can be swallowed, reports Health.

But when these defense mechanisms fail, foreign bodies, such as allergens, irritants, or germs, can trigger swelling that blocks normal sinus drainage.

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This condition can cause the sinuses to produce mucus, causing pain and pressure in the sinuses, explains the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Illustration of a sneeze. [Joseph Mucira/Pixabay]
Sinusitis illustration [Joseph Mucira/Pixabay]

“A very common source of sinus inflammation is infection. It’s often caused by rhinoviruses, the type of virus that causes the common cold,” says otolaryngologist Timothy R. Boyle, MD, of the Marshfield Clinical Health System in Wisconsin.

The type of inflammation that occurs in the lining of the sinuses is very similar to that which occurs in the lungs.

How to treat sinuses?

Most cases of acute sinusitis will resolve on its own within 10 days. In fact, the sufferer may not need treatment.

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However, according to the page Cleveland Clinicthe doctor will likely suggest medications:

  • Decongestants
  • Pain relief
  • Warm compresses are placed over the nose and forehead to relieve painful sinus pressure
  • Saline nasal spray to remove excess mucus
  • Medicinal nasal spray, but limit use to no more than three days unless prescribed
  • Cleans with liquid to help thin mucus
  • Rest

As for chronic sinusitis, treatment may include:

  • Corticosteroid nasal spray
  • Oral steroids
  • other medications to treat the underlying condition (such as antihistamines for allergies or antifungal treatments)
  • Surgery (to remove obstruction)

If sinusitis symptoms persist for more than 10 days or suddenly worsen, then consult a doctor immediately.