In What Way Exactly Does Sinusitis Affect the Nose?

Sinusitis is a common medical condition caused by inflammation of the nasal passages, and affects up to 15 million people a year. The most common symptoms are pus discharge in nasal congestion, pain and tenderness in the nose and sinus region and prolonged headaches. Sinusitis nose can be caused by allergies, viral infection or bacterial invasion. Various treatments are used depending on the root cause of the condition.

Because there are a number of sinus cavities in the face, the symptoms differ depending on which one is affected. If there is pain located just behind the eyebrows, the frontal sinus probably need to be addressed. However, if there is pressure under the eyes and along the cheekbones, the maxillary sinuses are the first place to check. When the nose itself is sore, the group of ethmoid sinuses around the nasal cavity are most likely harboring an infection or blockage. X-rays or a computed tomography (CT) scan can help determine which area is experiencing distress.

Acute Sinusitis is characterized by symptoms that can be resolved within 30 days of effective treatment. This level of infection can be the result of having nasal passages temporarily blocked during a cold or flu episode. When the mucous membranes swell, they can trap infections in the sinus cavities where they cause the bloodstream to directly absorb the air caught in the sinus cavities. While this decreases the pressure inside the sinuses, it also causes fluid to be drawn into the nose, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. As the influx increases, so does the pain and pressure. Antibiotic treatment is usually prescribed, and devices such as a Nettie Pot can be used to help dislodge the blockage and stop the cycle.

Patients who have a deviated septum are also candidates for acute sinusitis because of the restriction caused by the cartilage displacement, which can create the same level of blockage that leads to chronic infections. Often corrective surgery is required to restore the normal air flow through the nasal passages.

Chronic Sinusitis involves a condition that has persisted for more than 2 months and is harder to diagnose than acute cases that are a direct result of a problem with proper air circulation. Some of the cases are found to be linked to an ongoing viral infection that has taken root in the sinus cavities. Occasionally it is determined to be a genetic factor since it can run in families. If the patient suspects that environmental factors are causing chronic sinus conditions, doctors often have to run a series of tests to identify the irritant and determine the best course of treatment.

Some cases of sinus pain actually stem from oral problems. Impacted wisdom teeth, gum disease, an abscessed tooth or a cold sore infection can spread through sinus cavities and cause the pain to seem to generate from the sinus area. Usually having proper dental work performed in conjunction with the specific antibiotic treatments can clear up sinus conditions that stem from oral roots.