If an individual suffers from a cold that will not go away, he or she might be suffering from sinusitis. Sinusitis is a condition where the paranasal sinuses, the cavities within the bones that surround the nose, get inflamed. It is a very common condition that, according to recent research, annually affects over 30 million people in the United States.
During sinusitis, a thin mucus-producing membrane lines the sinuses. The mucus is usually swept away by hair cells and in the nasal cavity drains through minute openings. Sinusitis occurs when this drainage system is blocked.
Structure of the Paranasal Sinuses
Four pairs of sinuses surround your nose. They drain into the nasal through narrow channels called ostia. After the mucus leaves the frontal and maxillary sinuses, it drains through the ethmoid sinuses. Therefore, a backup in the ethmoids can probably clog the other two types of sinuses. The sphenoid sinuses, on the other hand, are located deep inside the skull, right behind the eyes.
Types of Sinuses
Acute Sinusitis – This is a viral infection that has the shortest duration. Seasonal allergies can also cause acute sinusitis. It is brought on by the common cold and can cause symptoms generally lasting between 1 to 2 weeks. Acute sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection can last up to 4 weeks.
Subacute sinusitis – This usually lasts between 1 to 3 months.
Chronic sinusitis – This is usually more severe and occurs because of bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Moreover, chronic sinusitis also commonly occurs due to nasal structural problems, nasal polyps, blocked airways caused by asthma, poor immunity, or persistent allergies.
Steps for Nasal Irrigation
Sinus irrigation or sinus flush is a self-care practice that allows you to rinse your nasal passages gently with a saline solution. This helps to open the nasal passages and clears out the mucus.
- Start with 2 cups of lukewarm distilled or previously boiled water, add ½ teaspoon of non-iodized salt, and a ½ teaspoon of baking soda.
- While using a neti pot, lean forward over your bathroom or kitchen sink. You can try this with a bulb syringe as well. Slightly tilt your head so that one nostril points down towards the sink.
- Place the spout of the neti pot just inside the nose and tilt it to pour the water into the nostril. Remember to breathe through the mouth. For a syringe, insert the syringe tip inside one nostril and pinch the bulb gently.
- The saltwater will drain out of the nostril or the opposite one while running through the nasal passages. Try not to swallow it (no danger if you do). Use less salt if the solution stings your nose.
- Clean your nose and repeat.
- Rinse the syringe or the neti pot after use.
Treatment for Different Types of Sinusitis
- For a simple sinus infection, doctors generally recommend using a decongestant and saline nasal wash. A course of antibiotics might also be prescribed.
- You can use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of warm water.
- Antihistamines, if used when prescribed, can help reduce nasal and sinus symptoms from allergic rhinitis.
- Warm compresses can help ease the pain in the nose and sinuses.
- For anatomical issues like a deviated septum, a minimally invasive surgery can reduce the quantity and severity of sinus infections.
- Clean your nasal passages daily
- Inhale steam whenever possible
- Drink lots of water regularly
- Sleep with your head elevated
If you are suffering from sinusitis, please visit 8-2-8 Urgent Care Clinic, a well-known walk-in clinic based in Oceanside, CA, for the best medical services and treatment options.