Pathogenic micro-organisms such as virus, bacteria or fungus cause infection in sinus cavities. Most common type of infection is viral infection. Fungus or bacteria rarely causes an infection. Sinus infection is also caused by deviated nasal septum, allergy, tooth infection or nasal polyp.
Sinus infection is not contagious. If your sinus infection lasts for a short period of time then it is an acute infection. But if your sinus infection lasts for more than 8 weeks, or it reoccur continuously then it is chronic infection.
Symptoms of Sinusitis:
• Pain: pain is the most unpleasant and common symptom of sinusitis. Infection in the sinus causes inflammation which results in pain with dull pressure. Patient may experience pain in forehead, between eyes, either sides of nose, in upper jaws and teeth.
• Nasal discharge: There is greenish yellow discharge from nose. Patient often needs to blow nose. Discharge may often flow back to throat; this is called post nasal drip. Patient feels tickle at the back of the throat.
• Congestion: Infection causes inflammation of sinus and nasal passage causing congestion that result in restriction of easy breathing. Due to congestion patient experiences reduced sense of smell and taste.
• Headache: Swelling and pressure in the sinus causes headache. Patient may experience pain in the ear, tooth, jaws and cheeks. Headache due to sinus is worst in the morning because fluid have collecting all night long. Headache may get worse by sudden change in environment.
• Cough: Sinus infection results in nasal discharge. When discharge from sinus drains down at back of throat over a long period of time, it causes irritation and results in persistent and annoying cough. Cough due to infection becomes worse at night. Sitting upright reduces the intensity and frequency of coughing.
• Sore throat: Irritation in throat starts with a tickle because of dropping of discharge back in the throat and it gets worse with time. If dropping of discharge remains for a long period of time, it irritates and inflames the throat and results in painful sore throat.
Here is a list of few things you can do to relieve your discomfort. If you are prone to recurrent sinusitis, following things will also help you to prevent it.
• Apply warmth: Put warm wet towel on face. It will help in relieving pressure.
• Steam: Breathe in steam vapors. It will help in reducing congestion and inflammation of sinus.
• Humidify: Use humidifier in room and clean it regularly.
• Nasal saline solution: It helps in keeping nasal passage moist.
• Fluid: Drinking lot of fluid helps in thinning the mucus and reducing the blockage in sinuses.
• Avoid alcohol: Alcohol worsens the swelling.
• Rest: Get plenty of sleep and let your body recover on its own.
• Avoid certain medicines: Frequent use of painkillers and decongestants makes the symptoms worse.
• Avoid irritants: irritants such as cigarette smoke, cleaning products aggravate your sinusitis.
• Ventilation: ensure good ventilation in your house.