The skull has many cavities. These cavities are called sinuses. At the upper jaws, above the ethmoid, sphenoid, and at the forehead are the sinuses of the skull. These sinuses can become infected. When these cavities become infected it is called a sinusitis. This article describes the causes, symptoms, and treatment of sinusitis. A sinusitis can be causes by a common cold. A sinusitis heals itself within a week.
What are causes of a sinusitis?
The sinuses in the skull are covered with mucous membranes. As the name already says, they produce mucus. Channels are running through the mucus into the nasal cavity. When these channels are blocked, the mucus can not leave the mucous membranes and the sinuses may become infected. The channels to the nasal cavity can become blocked, for example, by a common cold. The nasal mucosa are infected, and blocks the passage of mucus from the nose. The mucus accumulates in the frontal sinuses and the facial sinuses, and due to the impaired immune response the mucosa can get infected by a bacteria, and/or a virus. People who are in good health have less chance of getting a sinusitis. People with a nasal anatomic abnormality have a greater chance of getting sinusitis.
What are symptoms/complaints of sinusitis?
Usually, the patient with a sinusitis has a cold or had a cold. There may still be a blocked nose, which produces yellow-green mucus. People with a sinusitis mainly complain about pain around the forehead and the eyes and the upper jaw. Also, there may be blood in the mucus and an oppressive feeling of fullness in the head. People with a sinusits often have pain in the morning pain and when bending over. In some cases there may be fever. Besides pain, often the taste and smell is impaired and chewing can be painful. Finally, there is pain in the molars.
What is the treatment of sinusitis?
A sinusitis is self limiting, and thus cures itself, and the patient does not have to visit a GP. Within a week to ten days a sinusitis cures. If there is fever and the fever lasts more than three days, it is advisable to consult the GP. Some allergies cause symptoms similar to a sinusitis, or actually cause sinusitis. The allergy symptoms such as itching, and therefore the complaints are seasonal. Even with a suspicion of an allergy, it is advisable to consult your GP. When a sinusitis frequently recurs, it is also wise to consult your GP. For the pain a painkiller such as paracetamol may be used. Do not smoke when there is a sinusitis. Smoke irritate the mucous membranes. Smoking impairs the healing of a sinusitis. A salt solution can be dripped into the nose can open the channels of the nose, which makes the mucus escape. Also twice daily steaming with hot water, the channels of the nose can open. A powerful remedy for sinusitis is Xylomethazaline. Xylomethazaline can only used one week. In a very severe sinusitis it may be necessary that a doctor empties the sinuses.