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Sinusitis

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by Carson-DeWitt R

(Sinus Infection; Acute Sinusitis; Chronic Sinusitis)

 

Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of developing sinusitis. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
 

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Sinusitis is diagnosed based on its symptoms and tenderness of the sinuses when pressed.
Tests may include:
You have may acute sinusitis when the following occurs:
  • History of 10 or more days of colored mucus
  • Tenderness over the sinuses
  • Fever
  • Visible infected mucus in the nose
  • Difficulty smelling
 

Treatment

Home Care

  • Hydrating—Drinking lots of fluids may keep your nasal secretions thin. This will avoid plugging up your nasal passages and sinuses. Salt water nose sprays or irrigation may also loosen nasal secretions.
  • Using steam treatments—Keep a humidifier running in your bedroom. Fill a bowl with steaming water every couple of hours. Make a steam tent with a towel over your head. This will let you breathe in the steam.
  • Nasal and sinus washes

Surgery

Surgery is a last resort for people with very troublesome, serious chronic sinusitis. It includes:
  • Repair of a deviated septum
  • Removal of nasal polyps
  • Functional endoscopic sinus surgery—a lighted scope is used to enlarge the sinuses to improve drainage
  • Balloon sinuplasty—a tube with a balloon attached is inserted into the sinuses (the balloon is inflated to open the sinus passages)
If you are diagnosed with sinusitis, follow your doctor's instructions .
 

Prevention

If you have a tendency to get sinusitis following a cold or allergy attack, try these preventive measures:
  • Have allergy testing to find out what things you are allergic to and to learn how to treat your allergies.
  • Avoid substances you know you are allergic to.
  • If you have allergies, consider using cortisone nasal spray or antihistamines to decrease inflammation.
  • If you get a cold, drink lots of fluids and use a decongestant (either pills or nasal spray).
  • Sinus washes.
  • Blow your nose gently, while pressing one nostril closed.
  • Try not to fly in an airplane when you are congested. If you must fly, use a nasal spray decongestant to decrease inflammation prior to takeoff and landing.
  • Use a humidifier when you have a cold, allergic symptoms, or sinusitis.
  • Use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for your furnace and vacuum cleaner to remove allergens from the air.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke.
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
http://www.entnet.org

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Allergy Asthma Information Association
http://aaia.ca

Calgary Allergy Network
http://www.calgaryallergy.ca

 

References


Fact sheet: allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, and rhinosinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/rhinitis.cfm . Accessed June 22, 2008.


Mandell GL, Douglas RG, et al. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases . 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone, Inc; 2000.


Medical Center of McKinney. So long, sinusitis. Medical Center of McKinney website. Available at: http://medicalcenterofmckinney.com/your-health/?/11554/Sinusitis . Published May 26, 2010. Accessed June 10, 2010.


Medications for sinusitis. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary . Updated September 2009. Accessed December 11, 2009.


Okuyemi KS, Tsue TT. Radiologic imaging in the management of sinusitis. Am Fam Physician . 2002;66:1882-1886.


Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn's Current Therapy 2001 . 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.


Scheid DC, Hamm RM. Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in adults. Am Fam Physician . 2004;70:1685-1692:1697-1704.


Sinus infection (sinusitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health (NIH) website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/Pages/index.aspx . Accessed June 22, 2008.


Sinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Accessed November 10, 2007.


Stewart AE, Vaughan WC. Balloon sinuplasty versus surgical management of chronic rhinosinusitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep . 2010;10(3):181-187.


1/10/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Williamson IG, Rumsby K, Benge S, et al. Antibiotics and topical nasal steroid for treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA . 2007;298:2487-2496.


12/11/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Zalmanovici A, Yaphe J. Intranasal steroids for acute sinusitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2009;(4):CD005149.