Sinus Infection - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Sinus infection is the infection of paranasal sinuses, which results in inflammation- a condition known as sinusitis.


What are paranasal sinuses?


The paranasal sinuses, commonly known as sinuses- are empty spaces in the skull that are filled with air. They are connected to the nasal cavity and are practically the extensions of it. There are a total of four pairs of paranasal sinuses located around the nose. 



What causes sinus infection:

A sinus infection can be caused by different organisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi- viruses being the most common cause.



Risk factors for getting sinus infection:


The risk factors for getting a sinus infection are;


  • Allergies

  • Previous Colds

  • Nasal polyps

  • Smoking


Lowered immunity: Any condition that causes immune system suppression lets different bacteria infect an individual as the immune system is responsible for fighting off those infections. Conditions like AIDS, cancer chemotherapy, diabetes, etc can predispose a person to catch different infections like sinus infections.


Symptoms of sinus infections:


  • The main symptoms of sinus infection are:

  • Facial pain and tenderness

  • Nasal discharge

  • Nasal congestion


FACIAL PAIN: There may be pain and tenderness around your eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead, with a feeling of pressure in these areas, which worsens upon bending over.


NASAL DISCHARGE: There may be a discolored nasal discharge yellowish or greenish from the nose or the back of the nose. Sometimes, this discharge may irritate the back of your throat, resulting in irritation and cough- a condition known as post-nasal drip.


NASAL CONGESTION: There may be a feeling of blockage and difficulty breathing through your nose.


The other signs and symptoms of sinusitis include:


  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Ear pain or pressure

  • Bad breath

  • Teeth pain

  • Cough

  • Tiredness or fatigue

  • Fever


Complications of sinusitis:


Although complications of sinusitis are rare, the infection may spread to the surrounding organs, thereby complicating the infection that may spread to the following organs:


Eyes: The sinuses and eyes are closely located and the infection may spread to the eyes causing vision problems or even permanent loss of vision. 

Brain: The infection may spread to the brain causing meningitis.

Bones: The infection may spread to the nearby bone causing osteomyelitis.

Skin: Rarely, the infection may spread to the skin, causing cellulitis.


Treatment


The treatment of sinus infection usually involves the following, either singly or in combination:


  • Antibiotics

  • Nasal decongestant sprays

  • Antihistamines

  • Nasal corticosteroids

  • Pain killers


Prevention


Sinus infection can be prevented by:


Avoiding close contact with infected people: try to maintain a physical distance from people who have upper respiratory tract infections. 


Maintaining good hygiene: Washing hands frequently and maintaining good hygiene can help reduce the chances of catching a sinus infection by clearing up the germs on your hand.


Avoiding smoking: As smoking increases the risk of sinus infections, it is advisable to stay away from it and secondary exposure to smoke to prevent sinusitis.


Managing allergies: If you have allergies, or are asthmatic, it is advisable to see a doctor so they can keep it in check and help prevent exacerbations as it may worsen sinusitis.


Conclusion


Sinusitis or sinus infection can be painful and bothersome. But with proper prevention and timely treatment, the condition can be prevented and cured. Due to the limited blood supply of the paranasal sinuses, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics for the long-term. For pain relief, you can use over-the-counter painkillers. If you have any upper respiratory tract infection, you should maintain distance from others to prevent the spread of infection to others. It is advisable to see a doctor if the symptoms bother you to get the infection cured on time, thereby preventing complications from arising.


Doctors For Sinus Infection

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Prof. Dr. Farrukh Mehmood

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Dr. Athar Adnan Uppal

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Dr. Wajahat Bangash

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Dr. Tahir Rashid

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Dr. Arif Tarar

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Dr. M Amjad

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