Sinusitis – Symptoms
Signs and symptoms for Sinusitis that you need to look out for include:
- Pain and tenderness in the face
- Pain and tenderness in the teeth
- Nasal stuffiness
- Yellow/Green nasal discharge
- Bad breath
- Elevated body temperature
- Pressure in the ears
- Loss of smell and taste
A sinus infection can be of two kinds – Acute and Chronic. An Acute Sinusitis surfaces due to common cold or flu, develops quickly, and lasts for about 12 weeks. On the other hand, a Chronic Sinusitis takes time to develop and stays for a longer period of time.
Sinusitis – Causes
- Tooth infection
- Viral infection like common cold/flu
- Allergies like Rhinitis, Asthma, Hay Fever, etc
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Structural problem in the nose
If a sinus infection is left untreated, the pain and discomfort will persist until the sinus starts clearing up. In rare cases, untreated sinusitis can lead to meningitis, a brain abscess, or a bone infection.
Sinusitis – Diagnosis
When the patient experiences any of the warnings signs or symptoms, an appointment must be made with a doctor specialised in the field. Usually, an ENT doctor is consulted.
The doctor will provide a complete diagnosis based on:
- Physical Examination
- Nasal Endoscopy
- CT Scan
- Nasal & Sinus samples
- Allergy Testing
Sinusitis – Treatment
Sinusitis treatment is possible by both surgical as well as non-surgical means, depending on the specifics of the case.
At home care for Sinusitis is possible and quite effective in some cases.
- Intake of fluids for thinning of the mucus and prevent blockages
- Steam inhalation 2-4 times a day
- Use of nasal spray/drops
- Take antibiotics or medication prescribed by the doctor
If the condition deteriorates or persists for a longer period of time a Sinusitis treatment surgery may end up being the best option for a favourable outcome.
- Balloon Sinuplasty – A catheter with a tiny balloon is inserted into the nose to reach the blocked sinuses. The balloon is then inflated to enlarge the sinus openings and drain it.
- Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) – By using special telescopes and surgical instruments, the doctor clears the blockage by removing the swollen linings.
Both these types of surgery are minimally invasive and are usually performed under general anaesthesia.
Sinusitis – Risks & Complications
Although Sinusitis is a minimally invasive and low risk surgery, the possible complications in a rare case scenario include:
- Facial pain
- Altered sense of smell/taste
- Recurrence of sinusitis
- Spinal fluid leak; this can cause injury to brain or even lead to meningitis
- Vision loss
Sinusitis – Pre Op Care
- Inform your doctor about ongoing medication and supplements.
- Take the prescribed pre-surgery medication.
- Stop smoking 3-4 weeks before the scheduled day of surgery.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the day before surgery.
- Take your medicines before the surgery with only small sips of water.
Sinusitis – Post Op Care
- Periodically change the bandage under the nose until the drainage completely stops.
- Use an ice pack over the nose and cheeks in case of nasal bleeding.
- Avoiding touching the nose until permitted by the doctor.
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent mouth dryness.
- Avoid nose blowing until complete recovery.
- Restrict strenuous activities.