Sinusitis is the inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which are air-filled spaces inside of the nasal cavity. The inflammation of sinuses usually occurs because of an infection, allergy or some kind of autoimmune disease. Sinuses normally produce the mucus, but when the inflammation occurs, the delicate linings of sinuses become swollen blocking the airway and causing the pain, distress and infection. In most of the cases, the infection resolves in a course of 10 days, but sometimes it can last for a couple of weeks or even months. Sinusitis is therefore, classified by the duration of the infection.
Basic classification of sinusitis is acute for infections that last less than four weeks, subacute for infections lasting between 4 and 8 weeks, and chronic for infections lasting more than 8 weeks. The symptoms and their severity are similar in all three classes.
Acute sinusitis typically results from a respiratory tract infection, usually caused by viruses. Chronic sinusitis may result from nasal polyps or tumors, allergic reactions, trauma to the face, respiratory tract infections, allergies, immune system cells, or other immune system-related medical conditions. The infection is typically characterized by nasal congestion, facial pain, and headaches, green or yellow thick discharge. In more severe cases, patients can experience a reduction in the sense of smell.
Dealing with sinus infection
Acute sinusitis typically does not require any treatment. The condition may resolve on its own in a course of 10 days. Doctors may recommend taking lots of fluids, having a rest, and avoid dehydrating beverages such as caffeine and alcohol. Some simple home remedies may also help in all kinds of sinus infection. Patient will certainly get some relief by draping a towel over the head and breathing vapor from a bowl of hot water. This simple procedure will warm up and moisturize the sinus cavities, providing a lot of relief from pain. This also helps to drain the mucus, and eases breathing. For the additional benefit, a patient may put a couple of drops of aromatic oil in the water. Eucalyptus or mint would be a perfect choice for a homemade sinus remedy.
One can also apply a warm compress to the face by placing a warm damp cloth around the nose and eyes, or wherever it feels uncomfortable. Another great way to deal with the sinus infection is to rinse out the nasal passages by using a bulb syringe or neti pot. The device is filled with a saline solution that is used to clear the passages. This device flushes out the nasal cavities by using gravity to draw the flow of saline.