What are sinuses?
Sinuses are air-filled spaces in the skull which is lines by membranes. These membranes will produce a thin secretion to trap dirt particles and keep the nasal passages moist.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a condition where infection or inflammation of the membranes that line the sinuses occurs. Sinusitis is common and happens even in young children. It is divided into 2 types :
- Acute sinusitis
- Chronic sinusitis
What agents cause sinusitis?
Infections are due to :
Other agents of inflammation are :
- Chemical irritants
- Nasal polyp
How does sinusitis present?
Signs and symptoms are varied and include :
- Blocked nose
- Head or face ache
- Soreness in the face
- Persistent cold with yellow or green runny nose
- A constant foul smell in the nose
- Mild to high grade fever
- Cough which is worse at night with coloured mucous
How can sinusitis become dangerous?
Acute sinusitis may lead to :
- Chronic sinusitis
- Chronic headache
- Abscess (pus formation and destruction)
- Maxillary sinus abscess
- Frontal sinus abscess
- Ethmoidal sinus abscess
- Brain abscess .
- Eye – Subperiosteal abscess
How can sinusitis be treated?
Consult your doctor. He may recommend or prescribe :
- Breathing-in steam from a bowl of hot water (where menthol may be added)
- Pain killer to reduce pain (paracetamol or ibuprofen)
- Decongestants to reduce the swelling in the nose and allow the sinuses to drain
- Antibiotics if bacteria is the likely cause
If you have chronic sinusitis, besides above treatment, other measures may be necessary. They are :
- Steroid nasal spray (to help reduce swelling and inflammation)
- Long term use of antihistamine
- Endoscopic nasal surgery to wash and widen the drainage hole.
How does one prevent sinusitis?
The following measures may be helpful :
- Remove pets if there is associated allergy to animal dander, hair etc
- Keep the air humid at home
- Use an air-filtering vacuum cleaner
- Stop smoking
- Avoid alcohol
- Use a decongestant spray or tablets before diving or swimming
|Last reviewed||:||26 September 2008|
|Content Writer||:||Dr. Nor Mahani Harun|
|Dr. Norrashidah Hj. Abd Wahab|