Ever had that bad cough & cold with stuffy nose causing you headache and pressure to your eyes and cheekbones? You would think it is just that common cold that could be treated with rest, fluids and over the counter decongestants. Symptoms may clear, but more often than not may reoccur and persist and become a bothersome, unpleasantly affecting your activities in daily life.
The sinuses are hollow spaces found in the air-filled cavity of the skull. We have four sinuses:
- Maxillary sinus found in the cheekbone
- Frontal sinus on the lower part of the forehead
- Ethmoid sinus in the area between the nasal bridge and the eyes
- Sphenoid sinus located on the upper region of the nose, behind the eyes
The sinuses like the nasal cavity have layers of mucous lining that can trap foreign particles and tiny hair (cilia) on the surface of the lining that functions as propellers that sweeps out the trapped particles. When these cilia stop functioning well due to infections and other factors like inhalation of cigarette smoke, cold air temperatures or excessive dryness and some medications, sinus inflammation can occur.
Sinusitis symptoms are very common to a cold but may be more distinctive with the presence of facial pain or pressure on the sinuses. Other symptoms include:
- Heavy yellow to greenish discharge from the nose
- Nasal congestion causing difficulty of breathing
- Pressure around the cheekbones, temple or eyes (depending on the affected sinus)
- Reduced sense of smell
- Bad breath
- fever in some cases
- cough that can be worse at night
Screening for Sinusitis includes:
- Physical exam
- Nasal endoscopy
- In some cases, additional imagery includes CT scan, Sinus X-ray, and MRI.
Treatment would depend on the severity of the symptom and if you have an acute or a chronic type of sinusitis. Consulting your healthcare provider may provide you with the appropriate treatment. These include: Home treatment with saline irrigation and humidifier, Medication for reducing inflammation, pain & congestion, antibiotics or antifungal medications, nasal sprays and Surgery using FESS ( Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery)