Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus tissue behind the upper cheeks on both sides of the nose, between and above the eyes. It is characterized by congestion and a feeling of pressure, sometimes in response to up and down movement. Sinus pressure can also cause watery eyes.
Nearly everyone has made the trip down the cough and cold aisle at the supermarket to see an arsenal of sinus symptom relief. Dealing with the symptoms of sinusitis can be confusing and often many people might not even know they have the condition, but rather they assume the symptoms are all part of a nasty cold.
Symptoms & Causes
It’s good to recognize the common symptoms of sinusitis which include cough, sore throat, headache, fever, loss of smell and stuffy nose. These symptoms can occur when the mucus lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed due to bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Often time home remedy is the best option because a virus must run its course. However, there are times when a trip to the doctor’s office is prudent. These times include when your symptoms don’t improve or they worsen within a few days, if you have a history of chronic sinusitis or a high fever.
Diagnosis & Treatment
When you see your doctor he or she may perform a physical exam, nasal endoscopy, CT or MRI scan. The doctor might also take a sinus culture or perform allergy skin tests. Depending on the root cause of your symptoms your doctor could offer nasal spray, over-the-counter pain killer and in some cases antibiotics. If your sinusitis was brought on by allergies then allergy immunotherapy shots or drops may be another option.
Preventing sinusitis can be the best way to avoid the misery of the symptoms and treatments. Because sinusitis can be triggered by the common cold, do your best to wash your hands, blow your nose properly and sneeze into your shoulder rather than your hands. Avoiding cigarette smoke and polluted air also helps to keep your sinuses clean and infection free. Using a humidifier is also a good idea.