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How to diagnose and treat sinus infection?

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Sinusitis is a condition that causes inflammation and swelling in the tissue lining. Sinuses are hollow areas in the bones of your forehead, cheekbones, and area between your eyes. They produce mucus, which maintains the moisture level inside your nose. This in turn helps provide defense against pollutants, allergies, and dust.

Commonly healthy sinuses are filled with air. However at times blockage and filling of fluid leads to growth of germs, thereby causing an infection. 

There can be numerous reasons for sinus blockage, some of these are:

  • The typical cold.
  • Allergens can induce allergic rhinitis, which results in swelling of the nose’s lining.
  • The tiny polyps in the lining of the nose are popular as Nasal polyps.
  • Deviated septum, which is mainly a shift in the nasal cavity.

Within the medical field, the sinusitis classify into four types, mainly:

  • Face pain, runny and stuffy nose are typical cold-like symptoms of acute sinusitis. It can begin suddenly and last for two to four weeks.
  • The typical duration of subacute sinusitis is 4 to 12 weeks.
  • Chronic sinusitis symptoms persist for at least a year.
  • Numerous times a year, sinusitis returns.

Diagnosis of Acute Sinusitis:

Usually, diagnosis of sinusitis is possible with physical examination. When you visit your doctor, he or she will enquire about your symptoms. Furthemore, they will feel tenderness in your face and nose. By merely looking inside your nose, your doctor can identify whether you are suffering from acute sinusitis or not.

Having said that, there are also other methods of identifying the condition. These are:

  • Nasal Endoscopy – In this method your doctor can see within your sinuses by inserting an endoscope via your nose. It is mainly a small, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light.
  • Imaging studies – Your sinuses and nasal area are visible in detail on a CT scan. Imaging tests can be useful in detecting anomalies or potential problems. Having said that, they are typically not advisable for uncomplicated acute sinusitis.
  • Nasal and sinus samples – For the most part, lab testing is not essential to diagnose acute sinusitis. Nevertheless, tissue samples (cultures) from your nose or sinuses may be useful to assist in identifying the reason, such as a bacterial infection. If the illness is not improving after therapy or is getting worse.
  • Allergy testing – Your doctor will advise an allergy skin test if they think allergies are to blame for your severe sinusitis. A quick and safe skin test can help identify the allergen causing your nasal flare-ups.

Treatment for Sinus Infection:

So far you are well aware of what sinusitis is, its symptoms, and the process to diagnose the same. What is important to learn now is the treatment for sinus infection. 

Acute sinusitis does not essentially require any treatment. They cure with time and self-care techniques. Many times, the symptoms of sinus can cause discomfort. In order to help with the discomfort, doctors recommend the following treatments:

  • Saline nasal spray – These are sprays that patients use several times a day. They help in rinsing the nasal passage. Nose blockage can be extremely troublesome in breathing. With the help of saline nasal sprays, the patients can get temporary relief from nose blockage.
  • Nasal corticosteroids – Nose inflammation can be a painful condition. Treating the same at the earliest is important to prevent long lasting sinusitis. Nasal corticosteroids are sprays that not just prevent but also treat inflammation. Some common examples include budesonide, mometasone, fluticasone, etc. 
  • Decongestants – These are mainly prescription liquids, tablets,  and nasal sprays available over-the-counter. The decongestants provide short term reliefs to people suffering from sinus infection. Be cautious with the usage of decongestants. These nasal decongestants should be used only for a few days. Consistent use of decongestants may lead to the return of more severe congestion.
  • Allergy medications – Sometimes allergies can be the cause for sinusitis. But in this scenario the aim should be to lessen the allergy symptoms. As a result allergy medications can be a treatment for sinus infection.
  • OTC pain relievers – Sinusitis can be disturbing for a while. So, treating the symptoms may require you to use over the counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. Having said that, one must cautiously use aspirin in case of children and teenagers. 


In the end, sinusitis is not an uncommon condition. Millions of people face this issue on an annual basis. People with swelling in the nose, blocked drainage ducts, nasal polyps or weak immune system are more prone to having sinus infection. 

There are some self-care methods for treating chronic sinusitis. Warm compresses help in easing pain and discomfort. Furthermore, hydration is the way to keep mucus thin. As a result, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. And like mentioned above, nasal sprays and decongestants for a short while can also provide relief. 

But people tend to ignore the symptoms during the onset of sinus infection. Not taking the right precautions and timely medications is what leads to chronic sinusitis. Hence if you are suffering from the pain and discomfort of sinus infection, then visiting a good otolaryngologist can be helpful. So without wasting a minute, make sure you book an appointment with the best otolaryngologist at the earliest.


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