A sinus infection is a common medical condition known as Sinusitis in which the cavities around the nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen.
The most common signs of a sinus infection include:
• Facial congestion/fullness (worse when bending forward)
• Fever (usually low-grade, but higher in some cases)
• Nasal discharge/postnasal drainage (yellow or greenish)
• Nasal blockage
• Headaches (worse in the morning or when bending forward)
• Bad breath
• Dental pain
There are three basic types of sinusitis:
Acute, Allergic, and Chronic.
The causes of sinus infection can be:
• Nasal polyps or tumors. These tissue growths may block the nasal passages or sinuses.
• Allergic reactions. Allergic triggers include fungal infection of the sinuses, as well as allergies such as hay fever. Inflammation that occurs with allergies may block your sinuses.
• Deviated nasal septum. A crooked septum, which is the wall between the nostrils, can cause sinus blockage.
• Trauma to the face. A fractured or broken facial bone may cause obstruction of the sinus passages.
• Other medical conditions. The complications of cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux, or HIV and other immune system related diseases may result in nasal blockage. With certain health conditions, immune cells called eosinophils can cause sinus inflammation.
• Respiratory tract infections. Infections in your respiratory tract are caused mostly by colds. The infection can inflame and thicken your sinus membranes, blocking mucus drainage and creating conditions ripe for growth of bacteria. These infections can be viral, bacterial or fungal in nature.
• But, the primary cause of a sinus infection is an immune reaction to fungus. In 1999, the Mayo Clinic proved that 93% of all Chronic Sinusitis is due to an immune/allergic reaction to fungi, either from mold or Candida or a combination of both.
Sinusitis impacts nearly 50 million people in the United States every year. The symptoms can be nearly unbearable for some people and for others they are merely an irritant.
Here are a few take-away points to remember when evaluating whether you have a sinus infection and what type of Sinusitis it is:
• All forms of Sinusitis have a variety of symptoms. The chronic form lasts longer than 8 weeks.
• The intensity of the symptoms will vary over the duration of the illness.
• The symptoms may feel a great deal like allergies, but they will last longer.
• Relief of your symptoms is possible with OTC drugs. However, symptoms will return after stopping the use of the medication.
Treatment can vary for most forms of the Sinusitis. However the best practice and first step for all forms is to wash your sinuses with a nasal wash system that includes both sodium bicarbonate and antibacterial/antifungal agent.