What is Acute sinusitis
Acute sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining to the sinuses caused by a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. If you have acute sinusitis, it may be hard to breathe through your nose.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of acute sinusitis are the followings:
- drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat;
- nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose;
- pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead;
- aching in your upper jaw and teeth;
- reduced sense of smell and taste;
- cough, which may be worse at night;
- ear pain;
- sore throat;
- bad breath (halitosis);
Complications of acute sinusitis involve:
- periorbital cellulitis;
- cellulitis of the face;
- brain abscess;
- osteomyelitis - infection of the bone above the eyes.
Acute sinusitis may be caused by:
- viral infection (the common cold);
- bacterial infection;
- fungal infection.
Also some health conditions may increase your risk of getting sinusitis. They are:
- allergies such as hay fever;
- nasal polyps or tumors;
- deviated nasal septum;
- tooth infection;
- enlarged or infected adenoids in children;
- the complications of cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or immune system disorders.
If you want to prevent acute sinusitis it is recommended to follow these tips:
- eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and other chemicals that could boost your immune system and help your body resist infection;
- get an influenza vaccine each year;
- reduce stress;
- wash your hands often, particularly after shaking hands with others;
- avoid smoke and pollutants;
- drink plenty of fluids to increase moisture in your body;
- take decongestants during an upper respiratory infection;
- treat allergies quickly and appropriately;
- use a humidifier to increase moisture in your nose and sinuses.
In most cases acute sinusitis does not need treatment because it disappears on its own. The treatment methods include saline nasal spray, antihistamine medications, decongestant medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain or fever control. Antibiotics are prescribed if acute sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection.