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Tue Aug 27 2019

What is Sinusitis infection?


Sinuses are the hollow cavities present in the skull which helps in humidifying the air we breathe in and enhance our voice quality. There are a total of four sinuses present on our face- Frontal Sinus, Sphenoid Sinus, Ethmoid Sinus, Maxillary Sinus. Healthy sinuses are normally empty and filled with air.


When the tissues lining the sinuses become inflamed or swollen because of blockage and filled with germs and bacterias, we call it as sinusitis. It causes difficulty in breathing, nasal problems, headaches, facial discomfort, pain around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead.


  1. Acute: When membranes surrounding sinuses are acutely inflamed due to viral infection, it is known as acute sinusitis. The condition lasts for 2-3 weeks. It has common-cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, facial pain, stuffy nose.

  2. Sub-acute: When the inflammation lasts for 4 to 12 weeks.

  3. Chronic: When the inflammation persists for over 12 weeks despite serial treatments. The inflammation can be because of infection, a build-up of the nasal septum.

  4. Recurrent: When sinusitis occurs several times in a year, we call it recurrent sinusitis.


  1. A constant headache

  2. Facial pain especially around the cheeks, eyes, nose, and temples.

  3. Difficulty in breathing

  4. Loss of Smell

  5. A continuous cough or congestion.

  6. Fever

  7. A Runny Nose

  8. Continuous sneezes.


  • Blockage: When the nasal ducts are blocked with mucus due to narrowing of transition space, mucus gets infected.

  • Extra Sinus: Due to the narrowing of sinus space, there is a formation of an extra sinus. There are five sinuses instead of four.

  • Deviated Nasal Septum: Nasal Septum is the cartilage and bone that sit between two nasal passages. It is located at the centre of the nose. Due to injury or genetics, it gets deviated from the centre causing one of the nasal passages to be narrower than the other one. A deviated nasal septum is also responsible for causing.

  • Sensitive to the environment or certain foods: Sinusitis can occur due to exposure to certain environmental conditions such as pollen, dust, season change and pollution. It can also be due to sensitivity to certain foods such as dairy products and cold food. It causes swelling in the nose which aggravates sinus infection.

Sinusitis in children can be due to the following reasons :

  • Drinking from the bottle while lying on the back.

  • Allergies

  • Passive Smoking


1. Nasal Endoscopy: When a thin, flexible tube with a fibre-optic light is inserted in the nasal passages to examine sinuses. It is done to identify nasal polyps formation in nasal ducts.

2. Imaging: Images taken during MRI or CT scans help in examining the nasal areas, which help in the diagnosis of deviated or enlarged nasal septum. It is not possible with the endoscope.

3. Allergy test: When the doctor suspects the condition might be triggered by allergies, he/she might recommend an allergy skin test. It is safe and quick to identify the allergen responsible for sinusitis.


1. Nasal Saline Irrigation: Nasal sprays and solutions humidifies nasal passages and washes away irritants and allergens.

2. Nasal Corticosteroids: These nasal sprays treat inflammation. Examples include fluticasone (Flonase, Veramyst), triamcinolone (Nasacort 24), budesonide (Rhinocort), mometasone (Nasonex) and beclomethasone (Beconase AQ, Qnasl, others).

3. Oral Corticosteroids: These medications are used to relieve severe sinusitis, mainly sinusitis due to nasal polyps. There are severe side effects of oral steroids when used for long-term; to be used in case of a severe case.

4. Immunotherapy: When allergens handle sinusitis, the doctor gives allergy shots to patients which reduces the div’s reaction to sinusitis causing allergens.

5. Surgery: In the case of treatment-resistant cases, doctors go for surgical removal of nasal polyps, but there are high chances of recurrence of nasal polyps. Doctors also try to diminish the size of nasal polyps with the help of nasal sprays and solutions.


  1. Foods with high sugar content.

  2. Caffeinated beverages worsen sinus infection.

  3. Fermented food products like cheese and yoghurt.

  4. Foods with additives.

  5. Milk worsens nasal congestion as it thickens the mucus and aggravates the infection.


  1. Take rest: Rest enhances our immunity against diseases, which will lead to a speedy recovery.

  2. Intake of fluids: Drinking fluids such as water and juice dilutes mucus secretions and aids in proper drainage.

  3. Moisturize your sinuses: Inhale steam as it provides instant relief from nasal congestion. Hold your head over a pot of boiling water and slowly breathe through your nose. You should keep a towel over the head covering the pot to prevent the steam from escaping. It is one of the oldest methods of relieving sinusitis infection with no harmful steroids.
  4. Use of Neti Pot and Saline Canister: You can use saline solution spray to rinse out irritants and allergens from the nasal passages.

  5. Keep your head elevated: Keep your head elevated with the help of a pillow while sleeping. Elevated head prevents acid reflux which causes a cough- related problems. When chin drops towards the div, it results in the restricted air passage.

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