Sinusitis or rhinosinusitis is a disease of the spaces within the bones of the face. All these spaces, four in number in each side of the face are connected to the nose and do produce some fluids. When the openings to the nose are blocked due to running nostrils or something else, infection of any or all of them could follow.
The four spaces are maxillary sinus, ethmoid sinus, frontal sinus and sphenoid sinus. The maxillary sinus is the one mostly affected.
This infection is different from allergies affecting the nostrils or viral infection of the nostrils. Sinusitis is a bacterial or fungal infection.
Sinusitis could be acute-lasting less than four weeks, sub-acute—lasting between four and twelve weeks or chronic when it last beyond twelve weeks.
Viral rhinitis does not last more than ten days.
1. What Causes Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is caused by several types of bacteria depending on the location of the person affected. It could also be due to fungi.
2. How Does Sinusitis Spread?
The infection of the sinuses usually starts with viral infection of the nasal passages or allergic reaction resulting in running nostrils. This is could rhinitis. Viral rhinitis spreads by close contact and/or by air borne droplets during sneezing or coughing. Direct contact with items such as handkerchief used by the affected person also aids spread. But not all cases of viral rhinitis progress to acute bacterial sinusitis.
3. What Can Put You at Risk?
Persons are more at risk if they are prone to allergies; have tumor in the nose; the nose is not properly partitioned. Tooth infection is also implicated.
4. When Do You Suspect You May Have Sinusitis?
See a doctor if you or any member of your family has headache, fever, facial pain, pain in the “roof” of the head, nasal obstruction, and yellowish-green nasal discharge; it may be acute sinusitis.
5. What to do if you suspect you have Sinusitis.
If the nasal discharge is clear, this use of nasal decongestants may help; otherwise see a doctor.
6. Possible Complications of Sinusitis
Possible complications include infection around the eyes, infection of nearby bones, meningitis, brain abscess (collection of pus).
Adequate treatment of allergies; identify allergens and avoid them, prompt treatment of viral rhinitis, avoid contact with persons with viral rhinitis.
To prevent complications, see a doctor if you feel you have acute sinusitis.