Inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses or chambers in the head, is known as sinusitis. The sinuses which are linked by small channels, produce a mucus that seeps through the nasal cavity. The sinuses are usually filled with air but become clogged and fill with fluid. The drainage helps keep the nose clean, but germs might flourish due to the fluid build-up. The condition results in the onset of bacteria, leading to bacterial sinusitis disease. If the sinus tissue is inflamed, the nasal tissue is usually always swollen.
What causes sinus infections?
Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, but certain sinusitis diseases can also be caused by bacteria.
Sinus infection types
Sinus infections come in four categories. The following categories are determined by the duration and infection behaviour:
Acute sinusitis: A sinus infection that lasts for less than four weeks. There is an onset of symptoms like a runny and stuffy nose, with facial pain that does not ease up after 10 days. Also, the symptoms disappear for a brief period, but come back stronger. A transient infection frequently coexists with a cold or another respiratory condition. A bacterial infection can also trigger acute bacterial sinusitis.
Subacute sinusitis: A subacute sinus infection can linger for four to twelve weeks.
Recurrent sinusitis: An acute sinus infection becomes recurrent if the inflammation returns four or more times within a year and lasts for seven days or more each time.
Chronic sinusitis: The condition lasts for at least 12 weeks, and the symptoms include nasal congestion, discharge, facial pain/pressure, and diminished smell, among others. Both acute and chronic sinus infections have many symptoms. The best approach to determining whether you have an infection is to identify the cause and seek treatment from a doctor.
Conditions that can trigger sinus difficulties
Blockages: Sinuses have a small opening known as the transition space where drainage occurs, and the transitional area becomes smaller. Mucus backs up whenever there is a bottleneck and are one of the causes of nose blockage.
Deviated nasal septum: The slender bone and cartilage wall inside your nasal cavity that divides your two nasal passages is called a nasal septum. The septum evenly divides the two nasal passages. However, sometimes the septum is deviated from genetics or an injury, where one nasal passage is consequently smaller than the other. The deviated septum can worsen snoring and sinus problems which can recur for many years.
Restricted sinuses: Some individual’s anatomical variances result in a longer, narrower path for the transition gaps to drain, leading to sinus issues.
Allergies: You can be particularly sensitive to specific foods or elements in your environment, which can trigger sinus problems.
The most prevalent symptom of sinusitis is facial pain across the sinus areas above, below, and behind your nose. You can experience pain in the sinus chambers and feel pressured due to swelling and the inflammation’s movement from the nose to the back of the throat. Your forehead, either side of your nose, the upper jaw and teeth, and the space between your eyes can be painful, which leads to a headache. Sinus infections are the cause of sinus headaches where the sinuses are, or you may experience pain in nearby areas.
Sensitivity on the face
The pressure accumulated by the clogged sinuses can also make your face sensitive to touch. The sensitivity can extend from under the eyes to the bridge of your nose and your forehead and cheeks.
Runny or stuffy nose
When you have a sinus infection, nasal discharge, which can be murky, green, or yellow, must be extracted by blowing your nose frequently. Your diseased sinuses are the source of this discharge, which enters your nasal passages. Additionally, the drainage or postnasal drip may skip your nose and go straight down and tickle or irritate your throat. The postnasal drip can make you cough both in the morning when you wake up and at night when you are lying down to sleep and make your voice seem hoarse.
The quality of your nasal breathing may also be hampered by your irritated sinuses. Your sinuses and nasal passages enlarge due to the illness, which may cause you to feel “blocked.” You will not be able to smell or taste as well as usual due to nasal congestion. Your voice could also come off as stuffy.
You may get headache symptoms if your sinuses are swollen and under constant pressure. Earaches, tooth, jaw, and cheek discomfort are other symptoms of sinus pain in addition to earaches. Since the fluids have accumulated through the night, sinus headaches can worsen in the morning. Also, when you move your head, the pressure on the sinus areas changes and worsens your headache.
Cough and throat irritation
The inflammation can irritate your throat, especially if it happens frequently. The symptom might trigger a persistent cough, which may be worse while lying down to sleep or right after you get out of bed in the morning. It may also be difficult to fall asleep. You can decrease the frequency and severity of your coughing if you sleep on your side or with your head up.
Throat pain and hoarseness
Having a postnasal drip can cause a sore and scratchy throat. Even while it could begin as an irritating tickle, which could worsen. The mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, and if your infection persists for a few weeks or more, it leads to a painful sore throat and raspy voice. Frequently gargling with warm salt water can help provide relief and exacerbate hoarseness.
Fever is a common side effect of many illnesses, including sinusitis, but it is not always present. Fever indicates that the body is battling a virus, bacterial illness, or fungal infection. A sinus-related fever can range from 100.4 – 103°F (38 to 39.4°C).
You can also experience dental pain, foul breath, and headaches. You can find yourself becoming exhausted frequently. There are numerous types of sinus issues. It is essential to consult your doctor to determine whether you have sinusitis. Also, many home remedies and medications can be used independently, or in conjunction to treat sinus issues.