Sinuses are small cavities in the bones near the nose that protect the brain against impacts. They are also instrumental in reducing the weight of the skull. A sinus infection is an infection that effects the nasal membrane.
Pollutants and dry air affect the nasal membrane and cause sinus infection. The movement of cilia is slowed down. There is massive secretion of mucus to remove the accumulated bacteria. Due to the slow functioning of cilia, the mucus gets trapped in the sinuses and leads to sinusitis.
The types of sinusitis vary in accordance with the duration. For instance, the sinusitis that lasts for a months' duration is known as acute sinusitis. Similarly, the sinusitis lasting between one to three months is known as sub-acute sinusitis and the one that lasts more than three months is known as chronic sinusitis. A sinusitis that recurs frequently within the span of one year is called a recurring sinusitis.
Sinus infections can also occur due to occupational reasons. The people who are in constant contact with irritants like smoke and petrol, perfumes etc. are prone to sinusitis. Health care personnel are also at a risk. Those who smoke a lot have a major threat of developing sinusitis as smoking causes irritation and reduces resistance to infection.
The symptoms of sinusitis include fever, severe headache, pain in the upper jaw and colored nasal discharge. Any of these occurring for more than ten days demands immediate medical attention. If not treated in time, sinus infection can lead to other chronic diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections.
The treatment of sinusitis aims at opening the blockages, curing the infection and reducing chances of recurrence. Home remedies are beneficial in healing the pain. Intake of hot fluids and inhalation of steam are popular home remedies for sinusitis. Antibiotics, mucus thinning agents, decongestants are all recommended to eliminate the infection.
If not benefited by the home remedies, the last resort is a surgery that lasts 2-3 hours that includes opening the sinuses to remove blockage. However, a surgery does not warrant a permanent cure, it only makes the treatment easier in case the sinus infection recurs. The best remedy, thus, still remains prevention.