An estimated 37 million people in the United States are affected by the sinusitis every year. This widespread of sinusitis makes American people to miss their at least four work days every year. In American more than 500,000 sinus surgeries are conducted every year. Above statistics will make you understands the severity of sinus infections.
What is Sinusitis?
Chronic or acute inflammation of nasal sinuses (hollow cavities between cheek bones and eyes) is called as sinusitis. Inflammation of these hollow cavities (nasal sinuses) can be triggered by insufficient draining owing to allergies, nose structural problems (deviated septum or narrow drainage passages) or nose infections.
A stage when the sinus inflammation lasts for more than four months period is called as chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is normally related with the allergies. Individuals suffering from asthma have frequent episodes of chronic sinusitis. Allergic reactions are set off by the inhaled airborne allergens and other substances responsible for provocation of allergic reactions. Dust, pollen and mold are examples of such allergens. People with chronic sinusitis may suffer more due to the air pollutants and damp weather in their surroundings.
Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis
There are no known confirmed remedies for successful treatment of chronic sinusitis. Symptoms may persist even after prolonged use of antibiotics. Normally, antibiotics and decongestants are used in treatment of chronic sinusitis.
In some cases, nasal sprays are used as a remedy for treating chronic sinusitis. This is a long-term treatment. There are some risks involved in this method as long-term safety of nasal sprays is not understood fully. Your physician will guide you on the steps you should adhere to reduce such risks.
A physician may recommend use of oral steroids like prednisone for treating patients with severe chronic sinusitis. However, this method is used rarely as steroids can develop side effects. Normally, this option is exercised when chronic sinusitis does not respond to other types of treatments.
Possible Side Effects of Chronic Sinusitis Treatment
Antihistamines are used as medication for chronic sinusitis. These anti-histamines are known for their proprietary of decreased mental alertness and drowsiness. Decongestants may cause increase in blood pressure, difficulty in sleeping and enhanced heart rate. Nasal crusts and nosebleeds can be caused due to use of nasal steroids. Prolonged use of steroids may lead to other health complications like diabetes, bone thinning, cataracts and predisposition to infection.
Home Remedies for Chronic Sinusitis
In fact it is difficulty to obtain desired success in treatment of sinus infections with the help of home remedies. However, home remedies can help you in reducing severity and gaining comfort. Following are some of the common home remedies.
- Inhaling steam from hot cup of water or vaporizer with an aim of soothing inflamed sinus cavities
- Use of saline nasal spray
- Hot wet compresses, application of electric heating pad or hot water bottle on the inflamed area may provide some comfort.
Prevention of Chronic Sinus Infections
You can lower your risk of chronic sinusitis by making simple alterations to your life style and environment. Following tips will help you in reducing your risk of developing sinusitis infections.
- Use humidified during winter months as heating system of your home makes the air abnormally dry. Humidity level of 45% to 50% must be maintained. However, you must be careful while using humidifier as unclean humidifier may trigger growth of mold – which is another cause of sinus infection.
- If you want to enjoy swims during summer months ensure that your head is kept above water level. Avoid under water somersaults and deep dives.
- Quit smoking, if you smoke.
You must understand that both, chronic and acute, sinusitis are not contagious. However, normally sinusitis is preceded by the cold and spread of such cold among family members can not be ruled out.
Importance of Sinuses
Sinuses are important body part of the human body. Sinuses help moisten, warm and filter the air. Sinuses also add resonance to some sounds.
Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis or Sinus Infections
Following are the main three signs of sinusitis or sinus infections.
- Prolonged cold (more than seven days) accompanied with fever, cough, toothache, headache, postnasal drip, facial pain or gray or green nasal drainage.
- Loss of sense of smell or taste, bad breath accompanied with chronic congestion
- Prolonged cough, enhanced irritability and vomiting, specifically in children.
Tips for relief from Sinusitis
Following tips will help you in obtaining relief from sinusitis .
- Lying on left side helps you in breathing best. Take plenty of rest.
- Take plenty of fluids specifically hot liquids
- Breath steam through cloth, apply moist heat with wet towel
- Always consult your doctor before using medicines as some medicines can worsen your sinusitis condition
- Never use decongestant nasal spray for more than 3 days otherwise you may have to face the withdrawal effects.