Inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining of the sinuses is Sinusitis. The sinuses that are filled with air are considered to be Healthy sinuses. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and can cause infection.
However, there can be many causes for sinus pressure and nasal congestion like colds, the flu, and few allergies. Whatever your triggers are, the symptoms can get to you easily.
The tiny, hair-like structures called cilia (magnified here) move mucus across sinus membranes and toward an exit. Hence, to allow a free exchange of air and mucus, all your sinus cavities connect to your nose.
Additionally, the infections or allergies make sinus tissues inflamed, red, and swollen.
Conditions that can cause Clogged Sinus are
- The common cold
- Small growths in the lining of the nose called nasal polyps
- A deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity
- Allergic rhinitis, which is swelling of the lining of the nose caused by allergens
How It Feels
Most people experience a clogged nose and pain or pressure in several areas around the face or teeth.
There’s usually a nasal release that may be yellow, green, or clear. You may also have fatigue, trouble with a sense of smell or taste, cough, sore throat, bad breath, headache, pain when you bend forward, and fever.
How sinusitis is different from the common colds?
Dr. Suresh Singh Naruka, Otolaryngologist, ENT, and Head of Neck surgeon in Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi said, “Sinusitis is an inflammatory process involving one or more paranasal sinuses. It is different from the common cold as it involves URI symptoms for more than 10 days without improvement.”
However, sinusitis often requires surgical management for improvement, added Dr. Naruka.
What are the types of sinusitis?
Dr. Naruka explained the types of sinusitis:
- Acute sinusitis- In which the symptoms persists for 10 to 30 days
- Subacute- In which the symptoms persists for more than 30 days
- Chronic sinusitis- In which the symptoms persists more than 120 days
What are the effects of chronic sinusitis on daily functioning?
“Chronic sinusitis can significantly reduce the quality of life as it involves the stuffy nose, nasal discharge, headache, reduces the sense of smell or taste, facial pain, postnasal drip causing halitosis, etc,” said Dr. Naruka.
What are the homemade solutions to relieve sinusitis symptoms?
According to Dr. Naruka, you can try some of these homemade remedies that include:
- steam inhalation
- nasal washing
- using decongestant sprays
Can one use a nasal spray for a long time?
“Long-term steroid sprays can lead to dryness of nasal mucosa, irritation, and dryness of throat. However, the spray can be used for 3 months, and then you can taper for a week, then again six months,” explains Dr. Naruka.
What one can do to reduce the chance of developing sinusitis or to relieve early sinusitis symptoms?
Dr. Naruka said, “Take precautions to reduce URTIs, humidification along with steam inhalation, treatment of allergies, avoiding dust, pollution, cigarette smoke.”