Manage Your Sinus Attack This Winter
A sinus stack usually involves pain in the forehead or between the eyes, pain in the upper teeth, a heavy face feeling, a stuffy and stuffy nose. Additionally, you may have a common complaint that sends many people to a doctor’s office.
Sinuses are air spaces in your skull lined with mucous membranes. Most people have four sets of nasal sinuses. They are like fingerprints. Everyone is different. Some people don’t have frontal sinuses or just one.
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Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses. Tiny, hair-like structures called cilia move mucus through sinus membranes and out to an outlet. All of your sinus cavities connect to your nose to allow free exchange of air and mucus. Infections or allergies make sinus tissue inflamed, red, and swollen.
Sinusitis usually begins with inflammation triggered by a cold, allergy attack, or an irritant. But it may not end there. Colds, allergies, and irritants cause sinus tissue to swell.
Most people have a stuffy nose and pain or pressure in several areas around the face or teeth. There is usually a runny nose which can be yellow, green, or clear. You may also have fatigue, smell or taste disturbances, cough, sore throat, bad breath, headache, pain when bending forward, and fever.
Inflammation of the sinuses that lasts for more than three months is chronic sinusitis. Bacteria can get into blocked sinuses, but they’re not the only cause. Anatomy, allergies, polyps, immune system issues, and dental disease can also be to blame.
If your sinuses remain inflamed, the sinus membranes can thicken and swell. The swelling may be enough to cause grape-like masses called polyps. They can exit the sinus into the nasal passage and block your nasal airways.
Nasal decongestant spray opens up swollen nasal passages and allows your sinuses to drain. But you should only use these drugs for a few days. After that, there is a rebound effect, which makes your nasal passages swell again. Nasal steroid sprays, saline sprays or washes, perhaps other options.
Now the question is, do you need antibiotics? The common cold is a viral infection. The common cold can lead to symptoms of sinusitis, but these are usually clear on their own. Antibiotics don’t treat viruses so they don’t help sinus symptoms of a common cold. Your cold should be over in a week or two. Usually, cold-related sinusitis also goes away.
Have you tried irrigation with saline solution with a squeeze bottle? Nasal steroid sprays can also help if your sinus symptoms are due to allergies. Antihistamines can also help, especially if you sneeze and have a runny nose.
Yellow or green mucus can signify a bacterial infection. Even then, it usually goes away in 7 to 14 days without antibiotics. But if you continue to feel worse, your symptoms persist and are severe, or if you have a fever, it’s time to see a doctor.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), a type of operation, can provide some relief if nothing else works. But start with the easiest solution, avoid things that irritate your sinuses, then work with your doctor to see if the medications are helping. Surgery is the last resort.
Unfortunately, you cannot prevent sinusitis. But you can do these three things that help:
â¢ Keep your sinuses moist. Often use saline sprays, nasal lubricant sprays, or nasal irrigation.
â¢ Avoid arid indoor environments.
â¢ Avoid exposure to irritants, such as cigarette smoke or strong chemical odors.
â¢ Stay healthy and stay away from risk factors that trigger sinus attacks.