Sinusitis Symptoms – Causes, Treatment

Symptoms of sinusitis

Is it still a cold or is it already sinusitis: the symptoms of sinusitis. The difference between a cold and sinusitis is fluid. The symptoms initially resemble those of a cold. Acute sinusitis that requires treatment is triggered by viruses or bacteria. Many adults suffer from a sinus infection at least once a year. It can be recognized by certain signs.

How does sinusitis occur?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which leads to a build-up of secretions. The paranasal sinuses are cavities in the skull connected to the nasal cavities and lined with mucous membrane. There are a total of four paired paranasal sinuses: frontal, maxillary, sphenoid and ethmoidal sinuses – this is where the inflammation usually develops. If sinusitis occurs, germs have settled and the mucous membranes in the paranasal sinuses become inflamed.

Normally, tiny cilia in the paranasal sinuses transport the secretion containing dirt, pathogens or dust particles from the sinuses towards the nose and throat – it then gets out of the body by swallowing or blowing your nose.

If the fine connecting channels between the nasal cavity itself and the sinuses are blocked and the mucous membranes are inflamed and swollen, the evacuation no longer works properly. It is therefore important to recognize the first signs of sinusitis and to treat the sinus infection .

Do I have sinusitis? Identify sinus infections

In contrast to a classic cold, acute sinusitis causes facial pain and headaches that are behind the forehead and are particularly noticeable when bending over. Typical signs of sinusitis are also pain in the jaw, similar to a toothache. In addition, there is a limited sense of smell, sticky secretion in the throat, fever and sometimes even swollen parts of the face. In addition, one’s own voice is perceived as if through a fog and sounds compressed.

Sinusitis symptoms: acute or already chronic?

Acute sinusitis can occur several times a year.i If the symptoms last longer than three months, specialists speak of chronic sinusitis. The symptoms are similar in both variants – in the chronic form usually only weaker.

Acute sinusitis: signs

In Germany alone, around nine million patients are affected by acute sinusitis every year, usually adults. The mucous membranes are swollen and the secretion cannot drain off.

Acute sinusitis can be recognized primarily by the following symptoms: nasal congestion , difficult nasal breathing, accumulation of pus in the sinuses as well as oppressive pain in the face, fever and headache . Physicians can use a PCR swab to detect a sinus infection and treat it accordingly.

Identify chronic sinus infections

Causes of chronic sinusitis are, for example: allergies , asthma , an allergic cold or a crooked nasal septum. Smoking (passive or active) can also increase the risk of developing the disease.

The symptoms of chronic sinusitis are similar to those of the acute form. Typical signs are smell and taste disorders, swollen eyes, purulent runny nose , bad breath and toothache or earache . It is a permanent condition in which the mucous membrane is constantly swollen, irritated and inflamed.

Treat sinusitis symptoms

Acute sinusitis usually subsides after one to two weeks, even without treatment. Those affected can nevertheless react at the first sign of sinusitis. Nasal sprays containing cortisone can provide relief for both acute and chronic sinusitis. Moist nasal mucous membranes, no smoking, a lot of exercise in the fresh air and as much sleep as possible can promote recovery. Antibiotics are mostly useless.

A nasal rinse with sea salt solution can soothe the mucous membrane and help to clear the clogged mucus. As with a cold, the same applies to the treatment of sinusitis symptoms: Drinking a lot can help to increase the immune system. Water or unsweetened herbal teas are best suited, as are lots of fruit and vegetables, which also boost the immune system .

If the symptoms of sinusitis cause pain, painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help. Rapid use of antibiotics is essential to avoid serious complications in the event of a severe course of the disease.

Chronic sinusitis can be very stressful and reduce quality of life. Cortisone nasal sprays can also provide symptom relief here, as can decongestant nasal sprays and drops, inhalation, nasal irrigation, pain relievers, and biologics.

If the pain is severe and cannot be controlled with medication, surgery may be an option. However, those affected should talk to their doctor about the advantages and disadvantages.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.