Triggered by an infection or an allergic reaction to the toxic substances present in the air, sinusitis is a condition marked by inflammation or swelling of the paranasal sinuses. These are the four pairs of cavities responsible for the production of mucus that keep the nasal passage lubricated. The condition can be acute or chronic depending upon its cause and how long it lasts. Usually, the problem goes away on its own without any need of medical intervention, however, the same may be required if the symptoms last for more than a week. As per the top allergy disorder doctors in Mumbai, chronic sinusitis can last for more than 12 weeks.
What is sinus?
Sinus refers to the hollow spaces present throughout the body. These are of various different types. Sinusitis affects the paranasal sinuses i.e. those present behind the face. These are lined by a mucous secreting membrane and are responsible for producing mucus.
What are the various types of sinusitis?
Depending upon how long the symptoms last, sinusitis is broadly classified into three types – acute sinusitis, subacute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
- Acute sinusitis: The symptoms last for about 3 to 4 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: The symptoms last for around 4 to 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: Symptoms persist for a very long period of time i.e. more than 12 weeks.
Treatment for all the types of sinusitis is offered at the best hospital in Mumbai.
What are the common symptoms associated with sinusitis?
Sinusitis triggers symptoms somewhat similar to that of the common cold. Some of the common symptoms as suggested by the best pulmonologists in India include:
- Facial pain and pressure
- Nasal blockage
- Mucus discharge from nose
- Chest congestion
- Persistent sneezing and coughing
- Reduces sense of smell
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Tooth and headache
What causes sinusitis?
Sinusitis can be triggered by a number of factors all of which can lead to excessive mucus build up in the sinus. Acute and subacute sinusitis may be a result of:
- Viruses – Responsible for nearly 90 percent of the cases
- Bacteria –responsible for 1 out of 10 cases
- Atmospheric pollutants – These are present in the air
Chronic sinusitis may be caused by:
- Nasal polyps which can block the nasal passage and sinus
- Crooked septum
- Underlying medical condition like cystic fibrosis and HIV
- Chronic infections of the respiratory tract that can lead to the inflammation of the sinus membrane.
- Severe allergies such as hay fever
What are the major risk factors?
Although sinusitis can affect anyone irrespective of age or gender, there are certain factors that can increase your vulnerability to developing it. Some of the major risk factors are as under:
- Previous history of chronic respiratory tract infection
- Nasal polyps
- Decreased immunity due to some other medical condition
- Allergic reaction to dust particles, pollen and other substances suspended in the air
- Structural abnormalities of the nose.
How is the condition diagnosed?
Doctors specialising in Chest & Respiratory Diseases in India usually diagnose the problem by physical examination and evaluating the symptoms. However, in certain cases, the doctor might examine the nasal cavity using an otoscope. In the case of chronic sinusitis, a more detailed examination may be required.
What are the various treatment options available?
Acute and subacute sinusitis usually resolve on their own without any medical intervention, however over the counter medication may be prescribed to help with the symptoms. In the case of chronic sinusitis, proper assessment and treatment are required. In case of structural nasal defects, doctors might even recommendsurgery to repair the same.
How can we prevent sinusitis?
Inculcating certain healthy lifestyle practices in your daily routine can help to alleviate your risks of developing sinusitis. These are as under:
- Practice good hygiene
- Avoid smoking, both active and passive
- Make sure you get yourself and your children vaccinated
- Avoid crowded places
- Avoid allergens. If you develop allergies easily, cover your nose and mouth while going out.