Sinus Infection

Is it Just a Cold or Are You Suffering From Sinusitis?

A man rubs his sinuses in discomfortAre you dealing with cold symptoms that persist for longer than the normal duration of a cold? If so you may want to see your family doctor. The reality is that you may be facing sinusitis, a condition which could become serious enough to damage the sinuses and cheekbones requiring surgery to repair.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed and infected by bacteria. Usually preceded by irritation from pollutants, allergy attack, or a cold, the virus needs a doctor to diagnose and treat and usually requires antibiotics to remedy.

When you are well, the mucus in your sinuses drains into the nasal passages. When you are sick the sinuses become inflamed and cannot drain as they normally would. This is how congestion and infection occur. Your doctor can diagnose sinusitis by doing a physical exam and asking you about symptoms but he may also need to do an x-ray or take a sample to determine the bacteria levels in your sinuses.

What are the Symptoms of Sinusitis?

If you face more than one of these symptoms there’s a very good chance that you are being affected by sinusitis.

Clear runny mucus from the nasal passages. It may also be green or yellow and sometimes tinged with blood.

  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing that may or may not be accompanied by coughing
  • Bad breath
  • Fever with chills
  • Pain that runs over the bridge of your nose
  • Itchy nose and eyes
  • A sense of taste and/or smell that seems diminished
  • Headache which is worst in the morning, while riding an elevator or bending forward
  • Pain in the teeth or the roof of the mouth
  • Eye and facial pain

Preventing Sinusitis

One of the best ways to avoid developing the condition is to simply keep your sinuses clear. Using the following methods will help considerably:

  • Blow your nose properly. Lightly blowing your nose while holding the other nostril shut works best.
  • Drinking fluids is very important; it helps keep mucus from becoming thick.
  • Use oral or nasal spray decongestants
  • If you have allergies stay away from the things that cause allergic reaction. If you have no way to do this use prescription or over the counter antihistamines to control the attack.