Sinuses are cavities near the nasal passage that is filled with air and can get infected in the event of upper respiratory infections or allergies. Sinuses are usually lined with a thin layer of mucus that function to trap dust and particles in the air. The presence of tiny hair-like projections in the sinuses carries the trapped substances towards openings towards the throat allowing it to be digested and killed when it mixes up with the acid in the stomach. The infection of these cavities are called sinusitis. An infection or an allergy will stir up an inflammation in the sinuses that causes blockage in the normal flow of nasal secretions. This stagnant flow allows bacteria to grow causing an infection.
It is often caused by viruses and usually after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. Occasionally, it can also be caused by bacteria. There are two types of sinusitis mainly acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis occurs for less than four weeks and is usually part of another respiratory illness. Chronic sinusitis lasts for more than 12 weeks. Those who allergies, asthma and blockages in the nasal passage including the sinuses or those with weakened immune system are at a greater risk to acquire this infection. Symptoms of sinusitis differs from one person to another. The following are the symptoms of sinusitis that you should definitely know about:
1) Nasal discharge
This causes a constant need to blow the nose. The nasal discharge may vary from clear, green or yellow. This is because the discharge from the infected sinuses drain into the nasal passage.
2) Difficulty in breathing through the nose
The nasal congestion due to inflammation in sinusitis causes difficulty in breathing through the mouth. Studies have shown that breathing via nose is better than breathing through the mouth as air is humidified and dried by the hair in the nasal passage. Long term difficulty in breathing will give rise to bad breath, dental diseases and obstructive sleep apnea.
3) Loss of smell
The inflamed sinuses in sinusitis will affect the breathing and cause a nasal congestion. Due to this, a person may not be able to smell or taste well.
4) Post-nasal dribbling
Sometimes, the discharge in the sinuses may bypass the nose and drain at the back of the throat causing a ticklish sensation or even sore throat. This is called post-nasal drip.
The post-nasal drip may trigger a cough reflex especially at night when a person is lying down and in the morning after getting up from sleep. The voice may also become hoarse.
As there is a build-up of pressure in the sinuses, there may be pain around the forehead, sides of the nose, upper jaws and teeth or between the eyes. This will eventually lead to a headache. Sinus headaches are worse in the morning as the nasal discharge has been collected all night.
7) Facial pain
There are several sinuses above and below the eyes as well as behind …