Sinuses are air-containing cavities in certain bones of the skull. When these valves are inflamed by allergens it is called ‘sinusitis’. It may result from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or autoimmune issues, however other causes may also be involved. It is now also generally known as rhinosinusitis.
Signs and symptoms:
- Headache and /or pain over the upper jaw aggravated on coughing or chewing.
- Nasal discharge
- Feeling of heaviness all over the face
- Purulent discharge trickling into the throat leading to cough
Sinusitis with respect to its location is classified into frontal, ethmoid, maxillary and sphenoid sinuses. The ethmoid sinuses can also be further classified into anterior and posterior, the division of which is defined as the basal lamella of the middle turbinate. It is also located and identified by the specific cavity it affects.
Maxillary sinusitis can cause pain or pressure in the maxillary (cheek) area (e.g., toothache, headache).
Frontal sinusitis can cause pain or pressure in the frontal sinus cavity (located behind/above eyes), headache.
Ethmoid sinusitis can cause pain or pressure pain between/behind eyes, headache.
Sphenoid sinusitis can cause pain or pressure behind the eyes, but often refers to the vertex of the head.
Recent theories of sinusitis indicate that it often occurs as part of a spectrum of diseases that affect the respiratory tract (i.e., the “one airway” theory) and is often linked to asthma. All forms of sinusitis may either result in, or be a part of, a generalized inflammation of the airway so other airway symptoms such as cough may be associated with it.
What causes sinusitis?
Common causes leading to sinusitis are nasal infection, Swimming in infected water can enter the sinuses through their opening.
Dental infections(molar or premolar tooth infection or dental extraction)
People who have a deviated nasal septum are predisposed to developing sinusitis.
Pollution dust smoke and overcrowding also predispose to sinus infection.
Treatment: is directed at relieving the congestion and treating the infection.
Steam inhalation and hot fomentation are quite useful in providing symptomatic relief.