Sinusitis Symptoms And Causes
Has your nose been stuffy lately and do you have difficulty breathing? Are your sinuses inflamed and swollen? Do you have headaches that worsen when you bend over or lie down? These are just a few of the sinusitis symptoms.
Before you start thinking that sinusitis is only a trivial disease, consider the fact that millions of Americans spend over a billion dollars annually on non-prescription medications for the treatment of sinusitis symptoms. It is a major health problem, with more than 30 million adults in the United States being diagnosed with sinusitis.
What Are Sinuses?
Sinuses are air-pockets in the bones of the skull and face. Small channels connect them to the nasal packages. Air flows from the nose to the sinuses through the channels. These channels also allow mucus to drain from the sinuses into the nose. Sinuses are located within the bones of the cheeks, forehead and eyebrows, sides of the nose, and behind the nose.
What Causes Sinusitis?
Sinusitis happens when your sinuses become swollen and infected. The infection is often caused by bacteria, although it can also be caused by viruses or fungi. Sinusitis can develop in people with weakened immune systems. Sinusitis symptoms can also be triggered by allergies.
Sinusitis can be classified as chronic or acute. Acute sinusitis is temporary, with the infection lasting 3 to 8 weeks. The disease is considered chronic if it lasts more than eight weeks.
Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis
- Fever, which may be caused by infection
- Headache, which becomes worse when you bend over or lie down
- Pain in the upper jaw
- Pain or pressure in or around the eyes. This usually worsens when you bend over or lie down.
- Nasal congestion due to inflamed sinuses
- Cloudy nasal discharge which may be green or yellow
- Diminished sense of smell
- Swelling around the nose and eye
If you have a bad cold you may think you have sinusitis. The symptoms are the same, including headache, runny nose, and stuffy nose. Symptoms of sinusitis, however, are often caused by bacterial rather than viral infection. Antibiotics are often used in the treatment of sinusitis.
It can take a while before a sinus infection is diagnosed because sinusitis symptoms are very similar to those of a cold. Also, sinusitis often starts with a cold or allergic reaction. A doctor will begin to suspect a sinus infection if the symptoms do not go away after about 10 days.
The most common form of the infection is acute sinusitis, which usually persists for around four weeks. If there is no improvement in the sinusitis symptoms after 5 days, an antibiotic is often prescribed to fight a potential bacterial infection.
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms last more than 8 weeks. Chronic sinusitis symptoms are often accompanied by bad breath and fatigue.