It is estimated that nearly 37 million Americans are affected by sinus infection each year. Sinus infection occurs when bacteria infect the sinus cavities. This causes an inflammation of the sinuses, thereby hampering proper drainage. It is seen that nearly 1 of every 7 Americans is afflicted with chronic sinus infection. Home treatment for sinus infections can provide some relief while antibiotics may be needed for clearing sinusitis caused by virus or bacteria.
Sinuses are hollow air cavities that are located at different places on the head and face.
Frontal sinus: On the brow area
Maxillary sinuses: Inside each cheekbone
Ethmoid sinuses: Behind the nose bridge and between the eyes
Sphenoid sinuses: Behind the ethmoids in the upper region of the nose
Any infection or allergy can cause a blockage in the sinus cavities. The air that is trapped within the cavity lays pressure and causes pain. Sinus infections typically follow respiratory ailments. Inflammation of the nasal passage leads to increased mucous production and fungal and bacterial growth. Many a time, sinus infection is caused by weakened immune system or structural problems in the nasal cavity.
Acute sinus infection lasts for about a fortnight whereas chronic sinus infection festers longer, for months or years. Damp weather, environmental pollutants and asthma often lead to sinus attacks. This inflammation is usually the result of a viral infection, an allergy (pollen, dust, pet dander, molds, and food), or an environmental irritant such as air pollution, perfume or cigarette smoke.
Chronic sinus infection
Chronic Sinus infection is a condition where the symptoms of sinus lasts for 3 months or more. This type of sinus infection is most commonly noticed among those suffering from sinusitis. Most often, chronic sinus infection is caused by allergens or nasal polyps. Chronic Sinus infection is treated by reestablishing drainage of the nasal passages, controlling or eliminating the source of the irritation, and relieving the pain. Decongestants are prescribed to reduce the congestion; pain relievers to reduce the pain while antibiotics are used to control a bacterial infection.
Symptoms of sinus infection
One of the most typical symptoms of a sinus infection is pain on the forehead over the frontal sinuses. A sinus infection in the maxillary area can result in symptoms such as aching jaws and tender cheeks. Some of the other symptoms of sinus infection are earache, pain in the neck and a throbbing headache.
- Nasal congestion
- A post nasal drip can lead to a sore throat
- Pain or pressure in the face
- Facial tenderness
- Pain in the roof of the mouth
- Bad breath
Sinus headache that originates the center of the forehead or temples or cheekbones. Those suffering from Ethmoid sinusitis may experience pain or pressure around the inner corner of the eye or down one side of the nose. There is discomfort below and around the eye. For relief from symptoms of sinus infection, you can keep in mind the following tips:
- Keep the air moist.
- Drink plenty of fluids in order to thin mucus.
- Use saline spray or drops.
- Rest with your head elevated to help drain your sinuses
- Apply warm compresses to the painful areas
Sinus infection treatment
Treatment for sinus infection can range from decongestants to relieve congestion to antibiotics to control the bacterial sinus infection. Sinus infection treatment involves reducing the inflammation and draining the sinuses and keeping them open. Decongestants and nasal drops and sprays can be used occasionally to reduce congestion and swelling of the nasal passages. Intranasal steroid sprays affect the blocked nasal passages and provide relief.
But prolonged use of steroid nasal sprays is not recommended. Antihistamines are prescribed for those suffering from allergic causes of sinus infection. Antihistamines such as Allegra, Claritin or Clarinex are used to treat allergic sinus conditions. Avoid chemical and environmental pollutants as well as extreme temperatures.
The antibiotic for sinus infection must be specific to those that cause blocked sinuses. Chronic sinus infection is usually treated with oral steroids like Prednisone, especially if the condition is severe. Sinus infections are usually treated with Amoxicillin, Polymox or Trimox - penicillin range. Newer penicillin antibiotics or sulfur-based drugs are also used to treat sinus infection.
Some adults who have been affected with allergic conditions develop nasal polyps that restrict the passageways. Surgery is resorted to facilitate drainage of the sinuses. Adenoids are removed in children suffering from chronic nasal-sinus infections.
Home remedy for sinus infection
Various home remedies for sinus infection can help relieve some of the symptoms of this condition but they may not be able to treat the underlying infection. Drinking plenty of water and warm fluids is said to provide some relief from sinus infection. Take a warm steam inhalation over a bowl of hot water.
Drop a hint of any mentholated preparation to aid the opening of the clogged passageways. A peppermint steam inhalation gives considerable relief from a sinus headache. Some people treat their sinus infection by lying down in a darkened room. Saline nasal sprays can give some relief from clogged sinuses.
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