ENT specialists explain that sinusitis is the inflammatory response of the mucosa or soft tissue of the nose or the bony cavities of the face, the paranasal sinuses. This inflammation may be due to a bacterial, viral or fungal infection, or an allergic crisis or both.
What is sinusitis?
The sinuses are cavities found on both sides of the nose and cheekbones, behind and between the eyes, in the forehead and behind the nasal cavity. As in the nose, they are lined with a thin tissue or mucous membrane. And their function is to clean and filter the air when breathing. In these cavities there are mucous membranes, called cilia. But sometimes this mucous membrane becomes inflamed. This is when sinusitis, rhinosinusitis, or both occur.
Inflammation of the membranes in these cavities of the face occurs when too much mucus accumulates, and they become blocked. The cause can be bacteria and other types of microorganisms.
These are the situations that cause sinusitis:
- The cilia (hairs that filter the air in these cavities or sinuses) do not work properly and do not remove the mucus.
- Colds and allergies can cause the production of too much mucus or block the sinus opening.
- A deviated nasal septum or nasal polyps can block the sinus opening.
How do I know I have sinusitis?
Symptoms of sinusitis very often follow a cold that does not improve or worsens after a few days or a week. One of the main symptoms are
- Headaches or foreheadaches
- Heavy mucus discharge, usually greenish in color.
- Cough that is usually worse at night
- Feeling of tiredness
- Bad breath
- Loss of smell
If you observe any of these symptoms and with a period of duration of about a week, you should go to your ENT specialist to be evaluated, to diagnose sinusitis and to treat it before any more severe complication occurs.
The otolaryngologist is the specialist indicated in this case, he will explore you and determine if you need to undergo other tests to make a correct diagnosis. If he deems it appropriate, he will prescribe a CT (computed tomography) of the paranasal sinuses. Once this pathology has been confirmed, he will prescribe the treatment he deems necessary.
The doctor will prescribe medications that probably include specific antibiotics, abundant nasal washes with saline or sea water, drinking plenty of fluids, and sprays to relieve symptoms. In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended after not finding relief after medical treatments.
It is important to remind you that only the ENT specialist is indicated to treat this disease, ask for an appointment if you have doubts about your pathology.