What is it?:
Sinusitis a term to describe swelling or infection in the sinuses, which are located behind, above, below and between the eyes. It is more commonly known as a sinus infection.
How do you get it?:
Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses are filled with mucous that does not drain or becomes infected. Normal sinuses are sterile, but become swollen and infected when a person is congested and the mucous gets stuck there. Sinusitis can be either bacterial or viral and usually follows a cold or upper respiratory infection.
What are the symptoms?:
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Pain in the face, especially around the eyes
- Pressure around the eyes and nose
- Weakness or feeling tired
What are the treatments?:
Once you see your doctor and are diagnosed with sinusitis, he or she may recommend several treatments for you. If your doctor determines that the infection is caused by bacteria, he may tell you to take:
- Pain relievers
If your sinusitis is caused by a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. It will eventually clear up on its own, but you may be told you can relieve the symptoms with:
- Pain relievers
- Nasal sprays (for 2-3 days only)
How long will it last?:
If you have symptoms for more than 48 hours or they continue to get worse, you should see a doctor or healthcare professional. If your sinusitis is viral, it should clear up within 2 weeks. If it is bacterial, it will require antibiotic treatment.
How can I prevent sinusitis?:
There are several things you can do to help prevent sinusitis. If you have allergies, you may be more prone to sinusitis than other people. Follow these tips to minimize you risk for this illness.
- Keep your home humidified. A cool mist humidifier will help keep nasal passages moist and less likely to swell.
- Use Air conditioning. This will keep your house at an even temperature.
- Do not smoke. Smokers and those exposed to smoke are at an increased risk of developing infections.