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Key Points About Sinus Infections

Do you know that Sinus infections affect 31 million people every year?

Also known as rhinosinusitis, a sinus infection is caused by an infection in the sinus cavities. Sinus cavities are moist air passages within the bones of the face around the nose and forehead. Swelling and inflammation of the sinuses is termed sinusitis or sinus infection.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sinus Infection

Simply put, sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses surrounding the nose.

It usually happens after a cold or after an allergic infection.

The common symptoms of a sinus infection are headache/pressure, a runny nose, post-nasal drip, and a cough.


What are the Types of Sinusitis?

There are four types of sinusitis: 

  • Acute:  last less than four weeks and goes away with initial treatment.
  • Subacute: symptoms last four to eight weeks and require advanced treatment.
  • Chronic: The symptoms last eight weeks or longer.
  • Recurrent: Symptoms are likely to occur three or more times a year.

What are the Symptoms of Sinus Infections?

  • Runny Nose
  • Thick Green or Yellow purulent Discharge from the Nose
  • Nighttime Cough
  • Occasional Daytime Cough
  • Swelling Around The Eyes
  • Headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Bad Breath
  • Facial Discomfort
  • Fever
  • Sore Throat

Causes of Sinusitis:

Virus related infections are common causes of sinusitis. It can also be caused by bacterial infections, allergies, asthma, and other health conditions. You could be prone to a secondary infection if the sinuses remain blocked for a long time. This secondary infection can be caused by bacteria residing in the respiratory tract.

You could have Sinusitis If:

  • A Cold Lasts for More than 7-10 Days without Improvement
  • If a Cold Gets Worse after 7 Days of Signs
  • Your over the counter medication is Unable to Treat the Signs of Allergies
  • You have Purulent nasal drainage (this sign has the highest likelihood for sinusitis)
  • plus You Feel Pain and Pressure in the Cheeks or Around the Eyes
  • Fever

How is a Sinus Infection Diagnosed?

  • History and physical exam
  • Sinus X Rays
  • CT Scan
  • Examination of a Swab of nasal Discharge

How is a Sinus Infection generally Treated?

  • Viral sinusitis is usually self-limiting and rarely produces serious after-effects
  • Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial sinuses. A physician may try different antibiotics if there is no improvement.
  • Allergy medicines like antihistamines can be prescribed for allergens that can cause sinusitis.
  • For chronic (prolonged> 8weeks or recurrent) sinusitis an ENT visit maybe recommended .
  • Inhaled corticosteroids like nasal sprays or drops with steroids.
  • Allergy shots or immunotherapy.

How do you Prevent  a Sinus Infection?

  • Wash Your Hands
  • Use Nasal Saline Sprays to Keep the Nose Moist and irrigate your sinuses
  • Avoid getting in Contact with Allergens or viruses
  • Avoid Pollution or Smoke
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle and Immune System as well.

Sinusitis is a common health problem in older children. It is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle and practice personal hygiene. Seek medical care if the symptoms do not resolve in  4-7 days. We can help with your child’s diagnosis: Click here to Talk to a physician.

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