What It Is
The condition known as sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the sinuses. Humans have 4 pairs of these air-filled cavities. Under normal circumstances, mucus produced within these cavities drain out of the nose through openings called sinus ostia. However, because of inflammation and/or infection, the linings of the sinus cavities swell, constricting the sinus passages and blocking the ostia. These events bring about some of these sinusitis symptoms:
- postnasal drip,
- bad breath,
- facial pain and
- sinus headaches.
While some of these sinusitis manifestations result only to a slight discomfort, some experience signs and symptoms bad enough to interfere with their activities of daily living.
Infectious agents that can bring about sinusitis could be bacteria, viruses or fungi. A mix infection, in which more than one causative agent brings about the infection at the same time, may also happen. Sometimes, the infective organisms directly invade the sinus cavities. However, because the sinuses are located distally from the external environment, sinus infection more often results from the spread of infection of nearby structures such as the teeth, ears and most especially, the nasal passages.
Caught in the Act
Aside from thorough history taking and doing physical examination, a doctor can establish his/er diagnosis of sinusitis after performing some imaging procedures including x-ray or CT scan. If a bacterial infection is suspected, sometimes, the doctor can also order for a test called "culture and sensitivity" in which the agent that causes the infection is grown in a petri dish and then subjected to various kinds of antibiotics. The particular antibiotic which effectively kills the organism is what the doctor will prescribe for the patient.
Most cases of sinusitis treatment are symptomatic. This means that the treatment will focus on alleviating the symptoms related to sinusitis which the patient particularly manifests. For congestion, doctors may prescribe decongestants and/or nasal corticosteroids to counter the inflammation. Antibiotics are of course, needed to kill the bacteria that cause the infection.
On the other hand, for home treatment, you may try steam inhalation and sinus irrigation with saline solution. Steam inhalation can be made even more effective by adding a few drops of mint or eucalyptus oil; or even crushed garlic. All these common ingredients are known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
You may also be interested about ActiveSinus, by Sinus Dynamics. ActiveSinus is a breakthrough medical irrigator. A medical irrigator works by squirting into the nasal and sinus cavities a solution containing the prescribed medication. Because the medication immediately comes in contact with the sinuses, the effect is more rapid. It has revolutionary features that allow precise directional control of the solution to ensure less patient irritation. It was also designed to allow thorough cleaning of the apparatus after use.
Success rate for sinusitis treatment increases with patient compliance. Moreover, with the wide variety of available treatment options, it is wise to consult your health care professional about the treatment approach that would most probably work best for you.