Bacterial Sinus Infection
Bacterial sinus infection is inflammation of sinuses caused by bacteria. It most commonly occurs after the initial inflammation of sinuses by viruses during common cold or flu. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading bacterium responsible for the secondary inflammation of sinuses. The disease can be annoying and accompanied with numerous symptoms which finally exhaust the patient and make him/ her nervous. Some believe that this infection develops due to weakened immune system. Apart from developing after viral infections, bacterial sinusitis can also occur due to persistent nasal congestion. Bacterial sinusitis can be classified as acute, subacute, chronic, and reccurent.
Bacterial snusistis is not contagious. On the other hand, common cold and flu which precedes bacterial sinusitis are highly contagious so these viral infections can be easily transmitted.
Symptoms of Bacterial Sinus Infection
Symptoms of viral and bacterial sinus infection are rather similar. This is why they can be mixed up. If a person suffered from a viral sinusitis and the infection lasted too long it is possible that bacterial superinfection has occurs.
The leading symptom of bacterial sinusitis is nasal congestion accompanied by discharge. Some patients may develop increased body temperature and chills. Constant cough is a consequence of sinus drainage into the throat which irritates the mucous membrane of the throat. The throat itself can be sore. Patients also complain about severe headaches and constant pressure inside particular sinuses. Even cheekbones may be tender depending of which sinus has been affected by the inflammation. Additionally, pain can affect facial muscles and eyes may become red. Sneezing is another symptom of bacterial sinus infection. And finally, in case that maxillary sinus is inflamed patients may complain about pain in upper teeth. Most of the patients also suffer from bad breath caused by the presence of the discharge.
The symptoms of bacterial sinusitis need to be recognized as soon as possible and a patient needs to be prescribed proper antibiotics since if left untreated bacterial sinusitis can lead to serious complications. They include meningitis, osteomyelitis or asthma. In children sinusitis can cause improper functioning of Eustachian tube and result in inflammation of the inner ear.
Treatment for Bacterial Sinus Infection
None of the symptoms should be ignored especially if they are persistent. If the person is suffering from some of the previously mentioned symptom he/ she should visit a doctor. ENT specialist, who deals with this sort of illness will examine the patient, perform X ray or CT scan and sinusitis can be easily diagnosed. The most important thing is to eliminate decongestion. It will help in better drainage of the affected sinuses. Drainage can be also enhanced by putting hot compresses to the face, particularly to the affected sinuses. A course of antibiotics usually helps with the infection. Painkillers can help with the pain.
In chronic form of the disease the surgery may help. Still not all the patients are suitable candidates for the surgery.