Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection or sinusitis facts
- Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
- Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
- Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
- Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
- Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
- sinus headache,
- facial tenderness,
- pressure or pain in the sinuses, in the ears and teeth,
- cloudy discolored nasal or postnasal drainage,
- feeling of nasal stuffiness,
- sore throat,
- cough, and
- occasionally facial swelling.
- Symptoms of a bacterial sinus infection include
- facial pain,
- pus-like nasal discharge, and
- symptoms that persist for longer than a week and that are not responding to over-the-counter (OTC) nasal medications.
- Sinus infection is generally diagnosed based on the patient history and physical examination.
- Bacterial sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotics.
- Early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections.
- Ear Nose Throat ( ENT), pulmonary, allergy, infectious disease specialists, and maxillofacial surgeons may need to be consulted for various treatments of sinusitis or sinus infections.
- Home remedies for sinus infections include over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), decongestants, and mucolytics. Nasal irrigation can be accomplished with a Neti-pot or rinse kit (nasal bidet).
- Rare fungal infections of the sinuses (for example, zygomycosis) are medical emergencies.
- Complications of a sinus infection that may develop are meningitis, brain abscess, osteomyelitis, and orbital cellulitis.
- There are no fungal vaccines available to prevent fungal sinus infections.
Reviewed on 10/28/2015