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Chronic Sinusitis and Sinus Infections

chronic sinusitis can take a toll on your health

Chronic Sinusitis is a more severe form of sinusitis that affects millions of people each year.

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. The sinuses consist of air pockets located in the skull, surrounding your nose. Each passage of your sinuses allows air to flow to and from your nose. And just like your nose, the sinuses have mucus membranes which protect them by keeping them moist and capturing germs and dirt.

Chronic Sinusitis Causes

Sometimes, when the nasal passages become infected due to an illness or allergic reaction, they swell and block the sinus passages and trap air and mucus in the sinuses. Since the sinuses cannot drain, bacteria can develop in the passages. This leads to a painful pressure felt in the nose, cheeks and forehead area. This condition is known as sinusitis.

The causes of sinusitis can vary. Bacterial, viral, fungal allergic or an autoimmune reaction are reasons for your sinuses to swell and become irritated. And once swollen, your sinuses form a buildup of mucus that creates a blockage in the air pockets.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

Chronic Sinusitis is established when prior treatment to sinusitis is unsuccessful, and you have experienced the condition for longer than 8 weeks.

By the time Chronic Sinusitis sets in, you will most likely be sick of the pain and pressure you have been feeling in your face and head. Fatigue, congestion and headaches are also common with this type if infection. You may also experience a thick, yellow discharge from your nose. In addition, pains in your mouth and gums may occur.

Chronic Sinusitis Treatment

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Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis really depends on the cause. It is important to seek a doctor's care so that you are properly diagnosed. Testing could include an examination of your nasal passages, allergy testing, x-rays or even a CT scan.

If your Chronic Sinusitis was caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to treat it. Steroids are commonly used as an anti-inflammatory. Prescription nasal sprays are also an effective way to reduce swelling. In addition to prescription medication, over-the-counter pain relievers can help with the pain. Expectorants and decongestants can also help to drain the sinuses. A warm, salt water nasal wash will help to clear away built up mucus in the nasal passages.

a humidifier can help sinus irritation

Steam is another method used to treat sinus congestion. Humidifiers can be used to bring moisture into the air and help you breathe easier. Many of them can be used with a combination of aromatherapy, such as Vicks Vapor Rub. The mentholated formula, when mixed with the steam produced by the humidifier, enhances decongestion. If you do not have a humidifier, you can use a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head to breathe in the steam. It is suggested to use one of these remedies 3-4 times daily.