Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include:
You may hear your doctor use these terms:
Who Gets It?
Lots of people. About 35 million Americans have sinusitis at least once each year. It’s more likely if you have:
For children, things that can cause sinusitis include:
The main things that make sinusitis more likely for adults are infections and smoking.Acute Sinusitis Symptoms
The main signs include:
You may also have:
It may be acute sinusitis if you have two or more symptoms, or thick, green, or yellow nasal discharge.Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
You may have these symptoms for 12 weeks or more:
If you have a simple sinus infection, your doctor may recommend you use a decongestant and saline nasal washes. You shouldn’t use an over-the-counter decongestant more than 3 days, though, because it can make you more congested.
If your doctor gives you antibiotics, you’ll probably take them for 10 to 14 days. The symptoms usually disappear with treatment.
Warm, moist air may help if you have chronic sinusitis. You can use a vaporizer, or you can inhale steam from a pan of warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot.
There are some other things you can do yourself to help with chronic sinusitis:
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe steroids along with antibiotics.Other Options
You also need to avoid any triggers linked to your sinusitis.
If you have allergies,your doctor may recommend an antihistamine.
If a fungus is to blame, you’ll get a prescription for an antifungal medicine.
If you have certain immune deficiencies, your doctor may give you immunoglobulin, which helps fight the things your body reacts to.
There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.
You’ll have pain and discomfort until it starts to clear up. In rare cases, untreated sinusitis can lead to meningitis, a brain abscess, or an infection of the bone. Talk to your doctor about your concerns.