Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chronic Sinus Infection

Sinuses or cavities are present near the bones of the nose. The nostrils are connected to the nose through four pairs of sinuses. Air and mucus drain out of the sinuses. An inflammation of these sinuses is known as sinusitis. And an inflammation that lasts for a long duration, say more than a month or so, and is recurrent is referred to as a chronic sinus infection.

Allergies and infections cause sinusitis. Chronic sinus infection, though less common than an acute sinus infection, causes damage to the tissues that are there in the sinuses. The symptoms of such an infection can last anywhere between three months to even an year, at recurring intervals.

The symptoms of chronic sinus infection, as mentioned earlier, are more or less the same as of acute sinusitis, the only difference being that they last for a longer duration. These include pain around the eyes and the nose, severe headache, pain in the jaws, a thick yellowish discharge from the nose, cough and, in some cases, fever.

The diagnosis of a severe sinus infection may begin with the technique most commonly used by physicians, known as percussion. It involves light tapping on the face over the area covered by the sinuses. Trans-illumination may also be used. The core principle behind this technique is the fact that a normal sinuses glows under light. So, if it does not glow when light is put on it, it isan indication of a sinus infection. In addition to these,x-rays, CT Scans and MRIs of the skull may also be done to view the existence and extent of the infection.

The treatment of chronic sinus infections is aimed at curing the symptoms and, thereby, the infection. The treatment can vary depending on the type of infection. For instance, for a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be given. Decongestants, nasal sprays, pain killers may also be given. And, in case none of the above symptoms prove effective, a surgery can be resorted to.

Thus, it can be concluded that though it takes a longer time, chronic sinus infections can be cured. However, one thing needs to be kept in mind – if not treated properly, it can relapse!

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