Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sinus Infection - Cause Symptoms and Treatment - Diseases Treatment - Symptoms, Causes and Cure for Diseases on A to Z

What do doctors call this condition?


What is this condition?

Sinus infection refers to infection of the paranasal sinuses - the four pairs of air pockets that drain into the nose. Sinus infection may be acute, subacute, chronic, allergic, or hyperplastic. In this last, the number of sinus cells is abnormally increased.

What causes it?

Sinus infection usually is caused by viral or bacterial infection. Acute sinus infection is primarily caused by the common cold; it lingers in the subacute form in only about 10% of cases. Chronic sinus infection follows persistent bacterial infection.

Predisposing factors for sinus infection include any condition that interferes with sinus drainage and ventilation, such as:

  chronic nasal swelling

  a deviated septum

  thickened mucus

  nasal polyps

allergic inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes (allergic rhinitis)

a weakened state from chemotherapy, malnutrition, diabetes, a blood disease, chronic steroid use, or a depressed immune system.

Bacterial sinus invasion commonly is caused by the conditions listed above or after a viral infection. It may also result from swimming in polluted water.

Allergic sinus infection accompanies allergic rhinitis. Hyperplastic sinus infection is a combination of pus-producing acute sinus infection and allergic sinus infection or allergic rhinitis.

What are its symptoms?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of sinus infection.

Acute sinus infection

The main symptom of this type of sinus infection is a stuffy nose, followed by gradually increasing pressure in the affected sinus. For 24 to 48 hours after symptoms first appear, the person may have a runny nose. Later, the nasal discharge contains pus. Other symptoms include an overall ill feeling, sore throat, headache, and slight feye (temperature of 99° to 99.5° F [37.2° to 37.5° C]). Pain location depends on the affected sinus, but may occur over the cheeks and upper teeth, over the eyes, over the eyebrows, or behind the eyes.

Subacute sinus infection

In this type of sinus infection, pus-filled nasal drainage lasts longer than 3 weeks after an acute infection subsides. Other symptoms include stuffy nose, vague facial discomfort, fatigue, and a nonproductive cough.

Chronic sinus infection

Symptoms of chronic sinus infection resemble those of acute sinus infection, except that the chronic form causes continuous mucusand pus-filled discharge.

Allergic sinus infection

The major symptoms of this type of infection are sneezing, a headache in the front of the head, watery nasal discharge, and a stuffy, burning, itchy nose.

Hyperplastic sinus infection

This type of infection causes a chronically stuffy nose and headache.

How is it diagnosed?

To diagnose sinus infection, the doctor examines the inside of the persons nose. The doctor may also take sinus X-rays, perform a sinus puncture (rare), or order ultrasound or a computed tomography scan (commonly called a CAT scan).

How is it Treated?

The doctor may try a variety of treatments, depending on the type of sinus infection.

Acute sinus infection

Usually, the doctor prescribes local decongestants before trying oral decongestants and may also recommend inhaling steam. To combat pus­producing or persistent infection, [he doctor will prescribe antibiotics, usually for 2 to 3 weeks, because sinus infection is deep seated. Applying heat to the sinus area may also help relieve pain and congestion.

Subacute sinus infection

In subacute sinus infection, antibiotics and decongestants may be helpful.

Allergic sinus infection

To treat allergic sinus infection, the doctor must also treat allergic rhinitis. Typically, the doctor prescribes antihistamines, orders skin testing to identify the cause of allergy, and may prescribe immunotherapy, which desensitizes the person to the offending allergens bv administering them in increasingly large doses. Severe allergic symptoms may call for steroids and epinephrine.

Chronic and hyperplastic sinus infection

In both these types of infection, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines, antibiotics, and a steroid nasal spray to relieve pain and congestion. If irrigation fails to relieve symptoms, sinus surgery may be necessary.


Post a Comment