Q: How can sinusitis be managed?
A: Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (air cavities) that line the nose. When these air cavities (which are supposed to be filled by air) become filled with fluid as a result of blockage, bacteria, fungi and viruses can thrive in this environment and cause infection. The blockage interferes with mucous drainage and leads to stuffy nose with patients typically breathing through their mouths. The symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are almost the same with the key difference that in the former symptoms are temporary and usually associated with a cold while the latter lasts at least 12 weeks. Several episodes of acute sinusitis may ultimately lead to chronic sinusitis. Pus-like nasal discharge, facial pain and persistence of these and other symptoms like ear pain, cough, sore throat, bad breath, reduced sense of smell and taste etc. for up to 12 weeks is suggestive of chronic sinusitis.
Self-help options include:
Ø Drinking a lot of water
Ø Using saline sprays instead of the nasal decongestants, if you’ve been indulging in this
Ø Using a humidifier which loosens the mucous. Turning on the hot water shower and inhaling the steam is another great idea.
Ø Avoiding irritants of the nose like smoke
Your doctor could also recommend:
- Nasal corticosteroids to prevent and treat inflammation. In severe cases, oral or injected corticosteroids would be recommended.
- Antibiotics in cases with secondary bacterial infection
- A desensitization treatment if this condition is triggered by the use of aspirin. This involves the use of higher doses of the medicine to increase the patient’s tolerance
- Use of immunotherapy in patients with allergy
- Surgery, if all else fails
I hope this helps 🙂