Sinusitis, also known as the Sinus Disease, is a general condition with over 37 million people in the United States of America suffering from it.
This disease is responsible for over 17 million visits to doctors and over $1 billion spent on over the counter drugs to treat or alleviate the conditions of this disease. It also costs America over $160 million on prescription drugs to help sufferers live a better life.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is the swelling of the lining tissues of the sinuses. The sinus is located around the cheekbones, behind the forehead, the bridge of the nose and behind the nose; which is directly in front of the brain.
This disease is caused bacterial infections, but sometimes, fungi and virus infections can be culprits.
There are different types of Sinusitis and are differentiated by the length of infection.
Acute Sinusitis, for instance, comes with flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose and facial pain that stays on for about 10 days to two weeks. Acute Sinusitis, lasts typically for about 4 weeks or less. The Subacute sinusitis comes with sinus symptoms that last for about 4 to 8 weeks.
Chronic Sinusitis affects a sufferer for over 8 weeks, while Recurrent Sinusitis comes recurrently, several times a year.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
Sinusitis presents symptoms like the common cold, and if not well diagnosed, patients might get treated wrongly. The symptoms of Sinusitis include; facial pain and pressure accompanied by headaches, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, cough, loss of smell. Other symptoms are; fatigue, bad breath, dental pain and in rare cases, fever.
If a patient has two or more of these symptoms, he is most likely suffering from Sinusitis
Who can be exposed to sinusitis?
People with allergies, blocked sinus and weak immune systems are susceptible to getting Sinusitis. Conditions that could lead to Sinusitis include;
- Swelling of the nasal mucous membrane brought about by the common cold
- Different structural orientation of the nasal drainage ducts
- Blocked nasal drainage ducts
- Nasal polyps
- Taking medications that weaken the immune system
How is sinusitis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Sinusitis depends wholly on the symptoms experienced. An Ear, nose and throat examination will take pace with the doctor looking for greenish nasal discharge, face pain and tenderness, bad breath, swollen nasal tissues and redness.
A CT scan can be undergone as a first course of diagnosis when patients are not responsive to conventional sinusitis medications. This is carried out by an allergist and otolaryngologist (an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor).
Another course of action for diagnosis of this infection includes:
Mucus cultures: helps chronic sinusitis sufferers to determine what causes the disease. The procedure involves taking a mucus culture and confirming pathogens causing the condition.
Biopsies: another dangerous trend of Sinusitis is fungus causing the disease getting into the bone. A bone biopsy is the only means of finding this out.
Treatment of sinusitis
The course of action for treatment for sinusitis includes:
Antibiotics, Nasal Spray, Antihistamines, Nasal Corticosteroids, Nasal Saline washes
Surgery: this is the last course of action. Anatomical defects are the targets of surgery in most cases.