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How to help sinusitis: Acute sinusitis – Diagnosis and treatment

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Nasal Congestion & Pressure: Home and OTC Remedies

Nasal congestion and sinus pressure have many causes: colds, the flu, and allergies to name a few. Whatever your triggers are, the symptoms can get to you.

What’s actually causing that stuffed-up feeling? When you’ve got a cold or allergies, the membranes lining your nasal passages become inflamed and irritated. They begin to make more mucus to flush out whatever causes the irritation, such as an allergen.

Use these tips to feel better and breathe easier.

Home Treatments

When you’re stuffed up, focus on keeping your nasal passages and sinuses moist. Although people sometimes think that dry air might help clear up a runny nose, it actually has the opposite effect. Drying out the membranes will irritate them further.

To keep your nasal passages moist, you can:

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Take long showers or breathe in steam from a pot of warm (but not too hot) water.
  • Drink lots of fluids. This will thin out your mucus, which could help prevent blocked sinuses.
  • Use a nasal saline spray. It’s salt water, and it will help keep your nasal passages from drying out.
  • Try a Neti pot, nasal irrigator, or bulb syringe. Use distilled, sterile water or h3O that’s been boiled and cooled to make up the irrigation solution. Rinse the irrigation device after each use and let it air dry.
  • Place a warm, wet towel on your face. It may relieve discomfort and open your nasal passages.
  • Prop yourself up. At night, lie on a couple of pillows. Keeping your head elevated may make breathing more comfortable.
  • Avoid chlorinated pools. They can irritate your nasal passages.

Blow your nose the right way: gently, so you don’t force mucus into your ears or other parts of your sinuses, into a disposable tissue so you don’t spread germs. Wash your hands afterward.

OTC Medicines

These drugs don’t need a prescription and can help tame your symptoms:

Decongestants. These medicines help reduce the swelling in your nasal passages and ease the stuffiness and sinus pressure. They come as nasal sprays, like naphazoline (Privine), oxymetazoline (Afrin, Dristan, Nostrilla, Vicks Sinus Nasal Spray), or phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine, Sinex, Rhinall). They also come as pills, such as phenylephrine (Sudafed PE, and others) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).

Follow the directions for using them. Don’t use a decongestant you take by mouth for more than a week without checking with your doctor. You shouldn’t use a decongestant nasal spray for more than 3 days, or it could make your congestion worse. Also, they can raise your blood pressure, so check with your doctor first if you have any health issues or take other medicines. Never give decongestants or any over-the-counter cold medicine to children under age 4. 

Antihistamines. If allergies are behind your nasal congestion and sinus pressure, controlling them will ease your symptoms. Look for allergy medications that have an antihistamine to relieve sniffling and sneezing along with a decongestant for congestion and sinus pressure.

You may also find antihistamines in some multi-symptom cold medicines which can help a runny nose and sneezing. You’ll usually find them in nighttime cold medicine, because they can make you sleepy. Read and follow the label, and talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.

Steroid nasal sprays. These can also help with allergy stuffiness. Ask your doctor if you should use ones that you can buy without a prescription. They can take a couple of days to kick in, so start them before you have symptoms and use them throughout your allergy season. 

Menthol. Medicated ointments that have this or camphor in them can help you breathe better. You can rub them on your chest or upper lip. You can also buy types that you place in warm water and breathe in the vapor, which helps open up your airways.

Pain relievers. Although they won’t clear up congestion, pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen can ease the pain caused by sinus pressure. Follow the dosing instructions on the label.

When to See Your Doctor

Check in with them if you have nasal congestion and sinus pressure for more than 7 days. Make the call sooner if your symptoms are severe.

Sinusitis (for Teens) – Nemours KidsHealth

If you’ve been feeling stuffy or congested, waking up with a headache, and noticing swelling around your eyes, you may have sinusitis. Sinusitis can be a mild annoyance or become painful at times, but it’s usually not severe and is easy to treat.

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is the medical term for inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the sinuses. It’s usually caused by an infection.

Our sinuses are the moist air spaces within the bones of the face around the nose. When we’re healthy, our sinuses are filled with air, making our facial bones less dense and much lighter in weight. Sinuses also play a role in how our voices sound.

Infection with viruses or bacteria — or a combination of both — can cause sinusitis. Generally, someone with a cold also has inflammation of the sinuses. This is viral sinusitis. Allergies also can lead to sinusitis.

If nasal congestion (stuffiness) from a common cold or allergies prevents sinuses from draining as they should, bacteria can become trapped inside them, leading to bacterial sinusitis.

Bacterial sinusitis tends to make people feel sicker than viral sinusitis. Someone with bacterial sinusitis usually will have more facial pain and swelling than someone with viral sinusitis, and might also develop a fever.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Sinusitis?

Some of the signs that someone may have bacterial sinusitis are:

  • a stuffy or runny nose with a daytime cough that lasts for 10 to 14 days or longer without improvement
  • continuous thick green mucus discharge from the nose (sometimes with postnasal drip)
  • lasting dull pain or swelling around the eyes
  • tenderness or pain in or around the cheekbones
  • a feeling of pressure in your head
  • a headache when you wake up in the morning or when bending over
  • bad breath, even after brushing your teeth
  • pain in the upper teeth
  • a fever higher than 102°F (39°C)

Some people also have a nighttime dry cough and find it hard to sleep. Others have upset stomachs or feel nauseous.

Many of these symptoms are similar to those you can get from viral sinusitis or allergies. Still, it’s a good idea to see your doctor just in case. Viral sinusitis and allergic rhinitis are more common, but bacterial sinusitis often needs to be treated with antibiotics, and you can only get these with a doctor’s prescription.

How Is Sinusitis Treated?

Doctor often prescribe antibiotics for bacterial sinusitis. Your doctor may also recommend a topical nasal steroid spray, an antihistamine or decongestant to reduce congestion, runny nose, and pressure symptoms.

Fever and pain can be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Normal saline (saltwater) sprays and irrigations are available over the counter and are safe and effective at washing the nose and easing many nasal and sinus symptoms.

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Can I Prevent Sinusitis?

You can lower your risk of getting sinusitis by making some simple changes in your home environment. Try using a humidifier during cold weather to stop dry, heated air from irritating your sinuses, as that can make them more susceptible to infection. Clean the humidifier regularly because mold, which can trigger allergies in some people, forms easily in moist environments.

If you have allergies, make an extra effort to keep them under control because they can make sinus infections more likely.

Is Sinusitis Contagious?

Sinusitis itself is not contagious. But it often follows a cold, which can spread to family members and friends. The most effective way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands well and often. Steer clear of used tissues, and try to reduce close contact with anyone who is sneezing often or has signs and symptoms of sinusitis.

What Can I Do to Feel Better?

If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics or any other medicines, be sure to follow the directions. Otherwise, sinusitis can last a long time or happen again. Even if you feel better, keep taking the antibiotics until you have finished them as prescribed. This helps to kill all the bacteria causing the infection.

Also be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids so that your immune system can work along with the antibiotics to fight and cure the infection.

If you have sinusitis, chances are the type you have is not severe. But it’s important to see a doctor, especially if your symptoms last or get worse. If you have a bacterial infection, quick treatment can help prevent it from getting worse or spreading. It also will help you get and feel better faster.

Sinusitis in Children | Cedars-Sinai

Not what you’re looking for?

What is sinusitis in children?

Sinusitis is an infection of the
sinuses. These infections often happen after a cold or with allergies. There are 3
types
of sinusitis:

  • Short-term (acute).  Symptoms of
    this type of infection last less than 12 weeks and get better with the correct
    treatment.
  • Long-term (chronic). These symptoms
    last longer than 12 weeks.
  • Recurrent. This means the infection
    comes back again and again. It means 3 or more episodes of acute sinusitis in a
    year.

The sinuses are air-filled spaces
(cavities) near the nose. They are lined with mucous membranes. There are 4 different
sinuses:

  • Ethmoid sinus. Located around the
    bridge of the nose. This sinus is present at birth, and continues to grow.
  • Maxillary sinus.  Located around the
    cheeks. This sinus is also present at birth, and continues to grow.
  • Frontal sinus. Located in the area of
    the forehead. This sinus does not develop until around age 7.
  • Sphenoid sinus. Located deep behind
    the nose. This sinus does not develop until the teen years.

What causes sinusitis in a child?

When the sinuses are blocked with
discharge, bacteria may start to grow. This leads to a sinus infection or sinusitis.

The most common bacteria that cause acute sinusitis include:

  • Streptococcus pneumonia
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis 

What are the symptoms of sinusitis in a child?

These are the most common symptoms
of sinusitis:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Thick, colored drainage in the nose
  • Drainage down the back of the throat
    (postnasal drip)
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Pain or soreness over sinuses
  • Fever
  • Loss of smell

The symptoms of sinusitis can seem
like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees their healthcare provider
for a
diagnosis.

Which children are at risk for sinusitis?

A sinus infection sometimes happens
after an upper respiratory infection or common cold. The cold causes swelling that
can
block the opening of the sinuses. This can cause a sinus infection. Allergies can
also
lead to sinusitis because of swelling and increased mucus. Other possible conditions
that can lead to sinusitis include:

Immune problems or antibody deficiencies are risks for chronic sinus
conditions.

How is sinusitis diagnosed in a child?

The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He
or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have tests, such
as:

  • Sinus X-rays. An X-ray exam of the
    sinuses may help with the diagnosis.
  • CT scan
    of the sinuses. A CT scan shows detailed images of any
    part of the body. They are more detailed than X-rays.
  • Cultures from the sinuses. A swab of discharge from the nose may be taken. The sample is checked for bacteria
    or other germs.

How is sinusitis treated in a child?

Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is.

Acute sinusitis

Acute sinusitis may get better on its own. When it doesn’t, your child’s healthcare
provider may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics. If your child’s
    sinuses are infected with bacteria, antibiotics are given to kill the bacteria. If
    your child’s symptoms haven’t improved after 3 to 5 days, the provider may try a
    different antibiotic.
  • Allergy medicines. For sinusitis caused by allergies, antihistamines and other allergy medicines can
    reduce swelling.

Don’t use over-the-counter
decongestant nasal sprays without checking with your child’s healthcare provider.
These sprays may make symptoms worse.

Recurrent sinusitis is also
treated with antibiotic and allergy medicines. Your child’s provider may refer you
to
an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT or otolaryngologist) for testing and
treatment.

Chronic sinusitis

Treatment for chronic sinusitis may include:

  • ENT specialist visit. Your child
    may be referred to an ENT doctor. 
  • Antibiotics. Your child may need to take antibiotics for a longer time. If bacteria aren’t the
    cause, antibiotics won’t help.
  • Inhaled corticosteroid medicine. Nasal sprays or drops with steroids are often prescribed.
  • Other medicines.  Nasal sprays with antihistamines and decongestants, saline sprays or drops, or medicines
    to loosen and clear mucus may be prescribed.
  • Allergy shots or immunotherapy. If
    your child has nasal allergies, shots may help reduce his or her reaction to
    allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or mold.
  • Surgery. Surgery for chronic
    sinusitis is an option. But it is not done very often in children.

Care may also include:

  • Fluids. A glass of water or juice every hour or two is a good rule. Fluids help thin mucus,
    allowing it to drain more easily. Fluids also help prevent dehydration.
  • Saline wash. This helps keep the sinuses and nose moist. Ask your child’s healthcare provider
    or nurse for instructions.
  • Warm compresses. Apply a warm,
    moist towel to your child’s nose, cheeks, and eyes to help ease pain in the
    face.

What are possible complications of sinusitis in a child?

In very rare cases, acute sinusitis can result in a brain
infection.

What can I do to prevent sinusitis in my child?

There are things that can help your
child prevent sinusitis. They include:

  • Have your child use saline sprays, washes, or both. Use these often to keep the nose
    as moist as possible.
  • Use a humidifier in dry indoor environments.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette and cigar smoke.
  • Keep your child away from things that cause allergy symptoms.
  • Don’t force water into the sinuses. For example, your child should not jump into water.
  • Limit time in chlorinated pools. The chlorine can irritate the nose and sinuses.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.
  • Keep you and your child up to date with immunizations.
  • Don’t have close contact with people
    who have colds or others upper respiratory infections.

Key points about sinusitis in children

  • Sinusitis is an infection of the
    sinuses.
  • When discharge from the nose is
    blocked, bacteria may start to grow. This leads to a sinus infection or
    sinusitis.
  • Acute sinusitis may get better on its
    own. But if it doesn’t, medicine can be prescribed.
  • For chronic sinusitis, the healthcare
    provider may refer your child to an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) for testing
    and treatment.
  • To help prevent sinusitis, have your child use saline sprays or
    washes to keep the noise moist. Use a humidifier in dry inside areas.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments,
    or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child.
    Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose
    for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important
    if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.

Not what you’re looking for?

5 Best Home Remedies to Relieve Sinus Pressure

  • The best home remedies to get rid of a sinus infection include using a warm compress or humidifier.  
  • Also, try breathing in steam or using a neti pot to help clear congestion and ease stuffiness. 
  • And like with any illness, staying hydrated and getting plenty of sleep is crucial to help you heal.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Sinus infections are one of the main reasons for doctor’s visits in the US, and also one of the most common illnesses for antibiotic prescriptions. 

Related

Are sinus infections contagious? No, but an underlying virus can be

However, many sinus infections can clear up on their own, without antibiotics. If you have a sinus infection, there are various home remedies you can try for relief. 

What is a sinus infection? 

Sinusitis is the medical term for inflammation of the sinus cavities that are located in your cheeks, behind your forehead, and on either side of your nose. The inflammation traps mucus inside your sinuses, preventing the natural flow from the back of your throat to your stomach.

Yuqing Liu/Insider

When this is caused by bacteria or viruses, it is called a sinus infection. However, sinusitis can also be caused by chronic allergies or nasal polyps. 

The common symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Pain and pressure around your forehead, eyes, nose, and cheeks
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Reduced senses of smell and taste

More severe symptoms can include: 

  • A fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Eye swelling 
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you experience these severe symptoms, you should seek medical attention.  

If your symptoms are not severe, the following home remedies may be all you need to relieve the pain and pressure of a sinus infection.

1. Try a warm compress

Applying a warm, moist towel or washcloth to your nose, cheeks, and eyes may help relieve sinus pain by opening up your nasal passages and loosening mucus. You can try doing this for up to 20 minutes at a time, as needed.

Although there are no scientific studies showing the effectiveness of this method, “if somebody feels that a warm compress provides them symptomatic relief without burning their skin, by all means, go ahead and do it,” says Ralph Abi Hachem, MD, assistant professor of head and neck surgery and communication sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. 

2. Invest in a humidifier 

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which may help reduce inflammation and open up your nasal passages. For a humidifier to be the most effective, Abi Hachem says it should be placed as close as possible to you in the same room so it can deliver the humidity into your nasal cavity. 

Related

The best humidifiers

It’s also important to keep your humidifier clean to prevent bacteria and fungi from building up in the tank and being released into the air, potentially causing lung problems. To clean your humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The EPA recommends that you empty the tank and dry all surfaces of the humidifier every day.

3. Breathe in steam 

Similar to a humidifier, breathing in hot, moist steam can help open up your nasal passages and relieve pain and pressure. You can breathe in straight steam or try some herbs to thyme, basil, and eucalyptus to boost symptom relief.

You can try steam inhalation in a couple of ways: 

Steam therapy 

For steam therapy, you can simply take a hot shower and inhale the steam. Another method is to drape a towel over your head and inhale the steam from a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes, up to four times a day. 

However, a 2012 article in the British Journal of General Practice notes that this method has no proven benefit and may risk burn injuries, especially for children. 

Steam vaporizer 

Another option is to use a steam vaporizer that uses electricity to heat water and create steam. 

“If you have very thick mucus, it might help make it thinner,” Abi Hachem says. “You should place it relatively close to you, not in one room when you’re in another room.”

Steam vaporizers should not be used around children or pets, since they could be scalded by the steam or by hot water if it tips over.

Although steam vaporizers aren’t as likely as humidifiers to have a mineral buildup, they should still be cleaned each day by emptying the tank and drying all surfaces.

4. Use a neti pot 

You can also rinse and help clear your nasal passages using a neti pot. Known as nasal irrigation, this helps loosen mucus and removes dust, pollen, and other debris.

In fact, a 2016 randomized controlled trial found that nasal irrigation is more effective than steam inhalation for improving the symptoms of sinusitis. Participants who used nasal irrigation daily showed improvement after six months, while participants who used steam inhalation did not show improvement.

To safely use a neti pot, follow these steps: 

  1. Lean over a sink and tilt your head sideways so your forehead and chin are almost level. This will help prevent the solution from flowing from your nose into your mouth.
  2. Insert the spout into your highest nostril. The solution will drain out through your lower nostril. As you do this, Abi Hachem suggests you say the letter “K” to help elevate your palate and prevent the solution from dribbling down your throat.
  3. Tilt your head in the opposite direction and repeat these steps.

After each use, rinse the neti pot with distilled water and let it air dry. It’s important to be sure only to use distilled water or tap water that’s been boiled for one minute and then cooled. Tap water contains bacteria that can remain inside your nasal passages and lead to rare, possibly fatal infections. 

You can also purchase a saline solution or make your own. Adding salt to the water prevents burning or irritation when the solution passes through your nasal membranes.

5. Drink lots of water and get adequate rest 

Related

How much water are you supposed to drink a day, debunking the 8 cups-a-day myth

“I recommend drinking a lot of water because it thins the mucus,” Abi Hachem says. While there’s no evidence about the most effective quantity, he recommends drinking at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. 

You can also try drinking hot liquids like tea or soup to temporarily help relieve your symptoms. But you should avoid drinking alcohol, as it’s dehydrating and can worsen your congestion. If you’re taking an antibiotic for your sinus infection, drinking alcohol could increase side effects like upset stomach and drowsiness. 

It’s also important to get about seven to nine hours of sleep each night to help your body rest and recover. “You want to get enough sleep and follow a normal sleep cycle so that all the hormones in your body are maxing out your immune system function,” Abi Hachem says.

Because getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult due to the pain and congestion, you can do the following to help you get more rest:

  • Use a neti pot before going to bed to help clear your nasal passages.
  • Sleep with your head raised by an extra pillow to help prevent mucus from pooling in your sinuses.  

Insider’s takeaway

It’s important to note that while these home remedies may help relieve your symptoms, they won’t help your sinus infection clear up any faster. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, you should see a doctor. 

Your doctor may also recommend prescription medication, like

antibiotics

or decongestant sprays, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen).

Sinusitis: Should I Have Surgery?

Top of the pageDecision Point

You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.

Sinusitis: Should I Have Surgery?

Get the facts

Your options

  • Have surgery to treat long-term (chronic) sinusitis.
  • Don’t have surgery. Take medicines and use home treatment.

Key points to remember

  • Very few people need surgery for sinusitis. Most people can treat the problem with home care and medicines.
  • Surgery may be a good choice for people who have long-term (chronic) sinusitis. They may get one infection after another because something blocks the flow of mucus from the sinuses or because of another health problem. Surgery can remove blockages and make the sinus openings bigger. This helps the sinuses drain, preventing more infections.
  • To be sure that surgery is a good choice, you need to have a CT scan of your sinuses. This test will be done after you have followed what’s called “maximum medical treatment” for 4 to 6 weeks. This means that you take medicines and follow home treatment to reduce infection and swelling. That helps your doctor see what’s causing your infections.
  • You may need more than one surgery to fix your sinuses.
  • After surgery, you still may need to take medicines, such as antibiotics, and follow home treatment for a long time.
  • If you get chronic sinusitis because of allergies or another problem, you need to get that problem under control before you have surgery. You will have better results from surgery if you use medicine and home treatment after surgery to help to keep that problem under control.

FAQs

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is infection or inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the sinuses.

When a mucous membrane gets inflamed, it swells. This can block the normal flow of fluid from the sinuses into the nose and throat. Bacteria and fungi (plural of fungus) are more likely to grow and cause an infection in sinuses that can’t drain.

The main cause of sinusitis is a viral infection, usually a cold. Allergies or other problems also can block the nasal passages and lead to sinusitis.

There are two types of sinusitis: acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term). You may have chronic sinusitis if:

  • You have had more than three sinus infections in 1 year that needed antibiotics to clear up, OR
  • You have had a sinus infection for more than 12 weeks that antibiotics have not cleared up.

Surgery may be a good choice for some people who have chronic sinusitis.

What can surgery do for sinusitis?

Surgery helps the sinuses drain, preventing infections. The doctor usually makes the sinus openings bigger by removing:

  • Infected, swollen, or damaged tissue.
  • Bone, to make a wider opening to let mucus drain from the sinuses.
  • Growths (polyps) inside the nose or sinuses.

There are two types of sinus surgery:

  • Endoscopic surgery is the type that is done most often. The doctor puts a thin, lighted tool called an endoscope in the nose to remove small amounts of bone or tissue that block the sinus openings. The doctor also can remove polyps.
  • Traditional surgery may be done for certain serious problems—such as pus in a sinus, infection of the facial bones, or a brain abscess. The doctor makes an opening into the sinus from inside the mouth or through the skin of the face.

Sometimes another problem inside the nose (such as a deviated septum) also needs to be fixed. This may be done during the same surgery.

After surgery, the doctor may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics to help fight infection.
  • Steroid nasal spray to reduce inflammation and help you heal.
  • Pain medicine.

When is surgery needed for sinusitis?

Very few people need surgery to treat sinusitis. But you may need surgery if ALL of these are true:

  • Your doctor says that you have chronic sinusitis.
  • You’ve followed what’s called “maximum medical treatment” for 4 to 6 weeks. This means that you’ve taken medicines and followed home treatment for at least 4 to 6 weeks. This treatment includes antibiotics, a steroid nasal spray, and other prescription medicines.
  • You’ve had a CT scan of your sinuses after the 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. It is very important to have the CT scan done after this treatment. Reducing the swelling and infection as much as possible lets your doctor see what could be causing your infections.
  • The CT scan shows that something, such as nasal polyps, is keeping your sinuses from draining as they should.

You also may need surgery if:

  • You have a sinus infection caused by a fungus. Infections caused by fungi cannot be cleared up with antibiotics.
  • You have a serious problem such as an infection that spreads beyond your sinuses. This is rare.

What are the benefits of sinus surgery?

Sinus surgery can:

  • Help your sinuses drain, which can prevent sinus infections.
  • Improve your sense of smell. (But in some cases, scarring from surgery could decrease your sense of smell.)

Endoscopic surgery improves symptoms for about 90 out of 100 people. About 10 out of 100 people find that it doesn’t help them.footnote 1

Surgery has the best chance of working if you use a steroid nasal spray and do home treatment after surgery to prevent future infections. You may need to use these treatments for a long time.

What are the risks of sinus surgery?

Sinus surgery can lead to minor or serious problems.

  • A small number of people have minor problems, such as:
    • Scar tissue.
    • Bleeding.
    • Infection.
    • A hole in the tissue between the nostrils (nasal septum).
    • Bruising and swelling around the eyes.
  • Serious but rare problems can include:
    • Heavy bleeding.
    • Injury to the eye area.
    • Inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain (meningitis).
    • Leakage of the fluid around the brain.
    • Brain injury.
  • Scarring from surgery could decrease your sense of smell.
  • The surgery might not work, so you could need a second surgery.

What can you do for sinusitis other than surgery?

Most of the time, you can treat your sinus problem with home care and medicines.

Home treatment

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help keep the mucus thin.
  • Hold a warm, damp towel or a warm gel pack to your face for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day.
  • Breathe warm, moist air from a steamy shower, a hot bath, or a sink filled with hot water. Avoid very cool, dry air. A humidifier can add moisture to the air in your home.
  • Use saltwater nasal drops or washes to help keep your nasal passages open and to wash out mucus and bacteria. You can buy saline nose drops or saline nasal washes (such as a Neti Pot) at a pharmacy or grocery store, or you can make your own at home. People around age 8 and older may also find it helpful to gargle often with warm salt water.
  • If you need to blow your nose, do it gently. Blowing your nose too hard may force thick mucus back into your sinuses. Keep both nostrils open when you blow your nose.

Medicines

  • Take pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, that you can buy without a prescription.
  • Use a steroid nasal spray or decongestant nasal sprays or pills to reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes. If you use a nasal spray, do not use it longer than what the label says.
  • Take antibiotics as directed, if your doctor prescribes them. Antibiotics can treat most short-term (acute) sinusitis when it is caused by bacteria.
  • Use mucolytics (such as guaifenesin) to thin the mucus in your sinuses.

Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Some medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems. Do not give cough and cold medicines to a child younger than 6 unless your child’s doctor has told you to.

Why might your doctor recommend surgery for sinusitis?

Your doctor might advise you to have surgery if:

  • You have many sinus infections that need treatment with antibiotics.
  • Home treatment doesn’t stop your pain and other symptoms.
  • You’ve taken medicines and done home treatment for 4 to 6 weeks, and tests show that you have a sinus problem that surgery can fix.

Compare your options

Compare Option 1Have surgery for sinusitisUse home care for sinusitis

Compare Option 2Have surgery for sinusitisUse home care for sinusitis

What is usually involved?

What are the benefits?

What are the risks and side effects?

Have surgery for sinusitis Have surgery for sinusitis

  • You may be asleep. Or the doctor may numb the area (like at the dentist) and give you medicine to make you sleepy.
  • You may have some packing in your nose after surgery. Some types dissolve on their own. Gauze packing will need to be removed a few days after surgery.
  • You still need to take antibiotics and use steroid sprays after surgery to prevent infection.
  • You may have to sleep with your head raised for a few days.
  • You can’t bend forward for a few days after surgery.
  • It may clear up your sinus pain and pressure.
  • Endoscopic surgery improves symptoms in about 90 out of 100 people.footnote 1
  • You may get rid of bad breath caused by sinus infections.
  • You may have some pain and bleeding for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • You could have less sense of smell after surgery.
  • Serious but rare risks can include heavy bleeding, meningitis, and brain injury. But these happen in less than 1 out of 100 sinus surgeries. That means they don’t happen more than 99 times out of 100.footnote 2
  • Surgery might not work. About 10 out of 100 people find that it doesn’t help.footnote 1
  • You could need to have another surgery.

Use home care for sinusitis Use home care for sinusitis

  • You take antibiotics for a bacterial infection.
  • You use steroid nasal sprays, decongestants, and over-the-counter pain medicines.
  • You do other self-care, such as washing your nasal passages with saline, putting a warm cloth on your face, and blowing your nose gently.
  • Home care may get rid of your sinus infections.
  • Antibiotics are effective for bacterial infections.
  • You don’t have the risks of surgery.
  • You don’t have the pain of surgery or need to deal with follow-up care.
  • You can decide later to have surgery if home care doesn’t help you enough.
  • Home care might not get rid of your sinus problem.
  • Antibiotics don’t work for viral infections and don’t work for all types of bacterial infections.
  • It won’t fix certain serious problems, such as an infection in the bones of your face or a brain abscess.
  • Antibiotics can cause side effects, which may include allergic reaction, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Steroid nasal sprays can cause side effects, which may include a burning feeling in the nose and nosebleeds.
  • Spray decongestants can make congestion worse if you use them more times in one day or more days than the label says.

Personal stories about choosing surgery for sinusitis

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

I have had one sinus infection after another for the better part of a year. I’ve been taking antibiotics and using steroids and decongestant nasal sprays for a month now with no results. My doctor just did a CT scan and found out that one of my sinuses is blocked. He says he can fix it with surgery.

I’ve had a couple of bouts of sinusitis this year, so I asked my doctor about sinus surgery. She said there are some stronger antibiotics and other treatments I should try. I agree that it’s better to try the medicines.

My doctor fired all the medicines at this infection that she could, and I took them just the way she told me to, but nothing seemed to work. After she looked at my CT scan, my doctor thinks what I’ve got may be a fungal infection. That would explain why the antibiotics I’ve tried haven’t helped. I hate the idea of having the surgery, but I have tried everything else.

I have pretty bad sinusitis, and I’ve had it a few times over the years. The last time I got it, my doctor prescribed antibiotics and showed me how to wash out my sinuses with salt water, and that worked. I’m going to try that again, and my doctor says there are some other things we can try, too, like nasal sprays and allergy medicines.

What matters most to you?

Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.

Reasons to have sinus surgery

Reasons to use home treatment

I want to do everything I can to stop my sinus infections.

I want to avoid surgery if at all possible.

More important

Equally important

More important

I’m not afraid of the risks of surgery.

I don’t want to take any chance on problems from surgery.

More important

Equally important

More important

The pain and pressure in my sinuses is making me miserable.

I can control the pain and pressure with medicines.

More important

Equally important

More important

I’m tired of not breathing well.

I can still breathe well.

More important

Equally important

More important

My other important reasons:

My other important reasons:

More important

Equally important

More important

Where are you leaning now?

Now that you’ve thought about the facts and your feelings, you may have a general idea of where you stand on this decision. Show which way you are leaning right now.

Leaning toward

Undecided

Leaning toward

What else do you need to make your decision?

1.1, Do most people need surgery to treat sinusitis? 2.2, Do you need to try several weeks of medicines and other treatment before you and you doctor decide about surgery? 3.3, Will you probably still have to take medicines and use nasal sprays after surgery? 1.1,Do you understand the options available to you?2.2,Are you clear about which benefits and side effects matter most to you?3. 3,Do you have enough support and advice from others to make a choice?

1.
How sure do you feel right now about your decision?

Not sure at all

Somewhat sure

Very sure

2.2, Check what you need to do before you make this decision.

3.
Use the following space to list questions, concerns, and next steps.

Your Summary

Here’s a record of your answers. You can use it to talk with your doctor or loved ones about your decision.

Your decision 

Next steps

Which way you’re leaning

How sure you are

Your comments

Credits and References

Credits

Author Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Patrice Burgess MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz MD – Otolaryngology

References

Citations

  1. Suh JD, Chiu AG (2012). Acute and chronic sinusitis. In AK Lalwani, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 3rd ed., pp. 291–301. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (2005). The diagnosis and management of sinusitis: A practice parameter update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116(6 Suppl): S13–S47.

You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.

Sinusitis: Should I Have Surgery?

Here’s a record of your answers. You can use it to talk with your doctor or loved ones about your decision.

  1. Get the facts
  2. Compare your options
  3. What matters most to you?
  4. Where are you leaning now?
  5. What else do you need to make your decision?

1. Get the Facts

Your options

  • Have surgery to treat long-term (chronic) sinusitis.
  • Don’t have surgery. Take medicines and use home treatment.

Key points to remember

  • Very few people need surgery for sinusitis. Most people can treat the problem with home care and medicines.
  • Surgery may be a good choice for people who have long-term (chronic) sinusitis. They may get one infection after another because something blocks the flow of mucus from the sinuses or because of another health problem. Surgery can remove blockages and make the sinus openings bigger. This helps the sinuses drain, preventing more infections.
  • To be sure that surgery is a good choice, you need to have a CT scan of your sinuses. This test will be done after you have followed what’s called “maximum medical treatment” for 4 to 6 weeks. This means that you take medicines and follow home treatment to reduce infection and swelling. That helps your doctor see what’s causing your infections.
  • You may need more than one surgery to fix your sinuses.
  • After surgery, you still may need to take medicines, such as antibiotics, and follow home treatment for a long time.
  • If you get chronic sinusitis because of allergies or another problem, you need to get that problem under control before you have surgery. You will have better results from surgery if you use medicine and home treatment after surgery to help to keep that problem under control.

FAQs

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is infection or inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the sinuses .

When a mucous membrane gets inflamed, it swells. This can block the normal flow of fluid from the sinuses into the nose and throat. Bacteria and fungi (plural of fungus) are more likely to grow and cause an infection in sinuses that can’t drain.

The main cause of sinusitis is a viral infection, usually a cold. Allergies or other problems also can block the nasal passages and lead to sinusitis.

There are two types of sinusitis: acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term). You may have chronic sinusitis if:

  • You have had more than three sinus infections in 1 year that needed antibiotics to clear up, OR
  • You have had a sinus infection for more than 12 weeks that antibiotics have not cleared up.

Surgery may be a good choice for some people who have chronic sinusitis.

What can surgery do for sinusitis?

Surgery helps the sinuses drain, preventing infections. The doctor usually makes the sinus openings bigger by removing:

  • Infected, swollen, or damaged tissue.
  • Bone, to make a wider opening to let mucus drain from the sinuses.
  • Growths (polyps) inside the nose or sinuses.

There are two types of sinus surgery:

  • Endoscopic surgery is the type that is done most often. The doctor puts a thin, lighted tool called an endoscope in the nose to remove small amounts of bone or tissue that block the sinus openings. The doctor also can remove polyps.
  • Traditional surgery may be done for certain serious problems—such as pus in a sinus, infection of the facial bones, or a brain abscess. The doctor makes an opening into the sinus from inside the mouth or through the skin of the face.

Sometimes another problem inside the nose (such as a deviated septum ) also needs to be fixed. This may be done during the same surgery.

After surgery, the doctor may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics to help fight infection.
  • Steroid nasal spray to reduce inflammation and help you heal.
  • Pain medicine.

When is surgery needed for sinusitis?

Very few people need surgery to treat sinusitis. But you may need surgery if ALL of these are true:

  • Your doctor says that you have chronic sinusitis.
  • You’ve followed what’s called “maximum medical treatment” for 4 to 6 weeks. This means that you’ve taken medicines and followed home treatment for at least 4 to 6 weeks. This treatment includes antibiotics, a steroid nasal spray, and other prescription medicines.
  • You’ve had a CT scan of your sinuses after the 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. It is very important to have the CT scan done after this treatment. Reducing the swelling and infection as much as possible lets your doctor see what could be causing your infections.
  • The CT scan shows that something, such as nasal polyps, is keeping your sinuses from draining as they should.

You also may need surgery if:

  • You have a sinus infection caused by a fungus. Infections caused by fungi cannot be cleared up with antibiotics.
  • You have a serious problem such as an infection that spreads beyond your sinuses. This is rare.

What are the benefits of sinus surgery?

Sinus surgery can:

  • Help your sinuses drain, which can prevent sinus infections.
  • Improve your sense of smell. (But in some cases, scarring from surgery could decrease your sense of smell.)

Endoscopic surgery improves symptoms for about 90 out of 100 people. About 10 out of 100 people find that it doesn’t help them.1

Surgery has the best chance of working if you use a steroid nasal spray and do home treatment after surgery to prevent future infections. You may need to use these treatments for a long time.

What are the risks of sinus surgery?

Sinus surgery can lead to minor or serious problems.

  • A small number of people have minor problems, such as:
    • Scar tissue.
    • Bleeding.
    • Infection.
    • A hole in the tissue between the nostrils (nasal septum).
    • Bruising and swelling around the eyes.
  • Serious but rare problems can include:
    • Heavy bleeding.
    • Injury to the eye area.
    • Inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain (meningitis).
    • Leakage of the fluid around the brain.
    • Brain injury.
  • Scarring from surgery could decrease your sense of smell.
  • The surgery might not work, so you could need a second surgery.

What can you do for sinusitis other than surgery?

Most of the time, you can treat your sinus problem with home care and medicines.

Home treatment

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help keep the mucus thin.
  • Hold a warm, damp towel or a warm gel pack to your face for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day.
  • Breathe warm, moist air from a steamy shower, a hot bath, or a sink filled with hot water. Avoid very cool, dry air. A humidifier can add moisture to the air in your home.
  • Use saltwater nasal drops or washes to help keep your nasal passages open and to wash out mucus and bacteria. You can buy saline nose drops or saline nasal washes (such as a Neti Pot) at a pharmacy or grocery store, or you can make your own at home. People around age 8 and older may also find it helpful to gargle often with warm salt water.
  • If you need to blow your nose, do it gently. Blowing your nose too hard may force thick mucus back into your sinuses. Keep both nostrils open when you blow your nose.

Medicines

  • Take pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, that you can buy without a prescription.
  • Use a steroid nasal spray or decongestant nasal sprays or pills to reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes. If you use a nasal spray, do not use it longer than what the label says.
  • Take antibiotics as directed, if your doctor prescribes them. Antibiotics can treat most short-term (acute) sinusitis when it is caused by bacteria.
  • Use mucolytics (such as guaifenesin) to thin the mucus in your sinuses.

Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Some medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems. Do not give cough and cold medicines to a child younger than 6 unless your child’s doctor has told you to.

Why might your doctor recommend surgery for sinusitis?

Your doctor might advise you to have surgery if:

  • You have many sinus infections that need treatment with antibiotics.
  • Home treatment doesn’t stop your pain and other symptoms.
  • You’ve taken medicines and done home treatment for 4 to 6 weeks, and tests show that you have a sinus problem that surgery can fix.

2. Compare your options

  Have surgery for sinusitis Use home care for sinusitis
What is usually involved?
  • You may be asleep. Or the doctor may numb the area (like at the dentist) and give you medicine to make you sleepy.
  • You may have some packing in your nose after surgery. Some types dissolve on their own. Gauze packing will need to be removed a few days after surgery.
  • You still need to take antibiotics and use steroid sprays after surgery to prevent infection.
  • You may have to sleep with your head raised for a few days.
  • You can’t bend forward for a few days after surgery.
  • You take antibiotics for a bacterial infection.
  • You use steroid nasal sprays, decongestants, and over-the-counter pain medicines.
  • You do other self-care, such as washing your nasal passages with saline, putting a warm cloth on your face, and blowing your nose gently.
What are the benefits?
  • It may clear up your sinus pain and pressure.
  • Endoscopic surgery improves symptoms in about 90 out of 100 people.1
  • You may get rid of bad breath caused by sinus infections.
  • Home care may get rid of your sinus infections.
  • Antibiotics are effective for bacterial infections.
  • You don’t have the risks of surgery.
  • You don’t have the pain of surgery or need to deal with follow-up care.
  • You can decide later to have surgery if home care doesn’t help you enough.
What are the risks and side effects?
  • You may have some pain and bleeding for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • You could have less sense of smell after surgery.
  • Serious but rare risks can include heavy bleeding, meningitis, and brain injury. But these happen in less than 1 out of 100 sinus surgeries. That means they don’t happen more than 99 times out of 100.2
  • Surgery might not work. About 10 out of 100 people find that it doesn’t help.1
  • You could need to have another surgery.
  • Home care might not get rid of your sinus problem.
  • Antibiotics don’t work for viral infections and don’t work for all types of bacterial infections.
  • It won’t fix certain serious problems, such as an infection in the bones of your face or a brain abscess.
  • Antibiotics can cause side effects, which may include allergic reaction, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Steroid nasal sprays can cause side effects, which may include a burning feeling in the nose and nosebleeds.
  • Spray decongestants can make congestion worse if you use them more times in one day or more days than the label says.

Personal stories

Personal stories about choosing surgery for sinusitis

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

“I have had one sinus infection after another for the better part of a year. I’ve been taking antibiotics and using steroids and decongestant nasal sprays for a month now with no results. My doctor just did a CT scan and found out that one of my sinuses is blocked. He says he can fix it with surgery.”

“I’ve had a couple of bouts of sinusitis this year, so I asked my doctor about sinus surgery. She said there are some stronger antibiotics and other treatments I should try. I agree that it’s better to try the medicines.”

“My doctor fired all the medicines at this infection that she could, and I took them just the way she told me to, but nothing seemed to work. After she looked at my CT scan, my doctor thinks what I’ve got may be a fungal infection. That would explain why the antibiotics I’ve tried haven’t helped. I hate the idea of having the surgery, but I have tried everything else.”

“I have pretty bad sinusitis, and I’ve had it a few times over the years. The last time I got it, my doctor prescribed antibiotics and showed me how to wash out my sinuses with salt water, and that worked. I’m going to try that again, and my doctor says there are some other things we can try, too, like nasal sprays and allergy medicines.”

3. What matters most to you?

Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.

Reasons to have sinus surgery

Reasons to use home treatment

I want to do everything I can to stop my sinus infections.

I want to avoid surgery if at all possible.

More important

Equally important

More important

I’m not afraid of the risks of surgery.

I don’t want to take any chance on problems from surgery.

More important

Equally important

More important

The pain and pressure in my sinuses is making me miserable.

I can control the pain and pressure with medicines.

More important

Equally important

More important

I’m tired of not breathing well.

I can still breathe well.

More important

Equally important

More important

My other important reasons:

My other important reasons:

More important

Equally important

More important

4. Where are you leaning now?

Now that you’ve thought about the facts and your feelings, you may have a general idea of where you stand on this decision. Show which way you are leaning right now.

Leaning toward

Undecided

Leaning toward

5. What else do you need to make your decision?

Check the facts

1.
Do most people need surgery to treat sinusitis?

That’s right. Very few people need surgery. Medicines and home care usually are enough.

2.
Do you need to try several weeks of medicines and other treatment before you and you doctor decide about surgery?

That’s right. You need to follow your doctor’s plan of medicine and other treatment for 4 to 6 weeks. This treatment can reduce swelling so your doctor can see what is causing your sinus infections.

3.
Will you probably still have to take medicines and use nasal sprays after surgery?

You’re right. You may still have to take antibiotics and use steroid nasal sprays after surgery. They can help you heal and fight infection.

Decide what’s next

1.
Do you understand the options available to you?

2.
Are you clear about which benefits and side effects matter most to you?

3.
Do you have enough support and advice from others to make a choice?

Certainty

1.
How sure do you feel right now about your decision?

Not sure at all

Somewhat sure

Very sure

2.
Check what you need to do before you make this decision.

3.
Use the following space to list questions, concerns, and next steps.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Patrice Burgess MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz MD – Otolaryngology

References

Citations

  1. Suh JD, Chiu AG (2012). Acute and chronic sinusitis. In AK Lalwani, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 3rd ed., pp. 291–301. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (2005). The diagnosis and management of sinusitis: A practice parameter update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116(6 Suppl): S13–S47.

Note: The “printer friendly” document will not contain all the information available in the online document some Information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

Current as of: April 15, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:Patrice Burgess MD – Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz MD – Otolaryngology

Suh JD, Chiu AG (2012). Acute and chronic sinusitis. In AK Lalwani, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 3rd ed., pp. 291-301. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (2005). The diagnosis and management of sinusitis: A practice parameter update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116(6 Suppl): S13-S47.

Treating chronic sinusitis – InformedHealth.org

Chronic sinusitis can be very unpleasant and affect your quality of life. But some treatments have been proven to effectively relieve the symptoms. Steroid nasal sprays are the most helpful, and surgery is sometimes an option too.

Having a stuffy nose for a short time is quite normal and usually not a problem. But things become more unpleasant if it’s hard to breathe through your nose over a longer period of time and you feel pain or pressure in your face. These kinds of symptoms are often caused by chronic inflammation of the sinuses (chronic sinusitis).

There are two main types of bilateral chronic sinusitis (where both sides of the face are affected):

  • Chronic sinusitis without polyps (non-cancerous growths): The mucous membranes are swollen, but there are no polyps.

  • Chronic sinusitis with polyps: The mucous membranes are swollen and polyps have developed.

This information deals with these two main forms. Rarer forms of chronic sinusitis can occur as a result of a weak immune system or due to fungal infections. They may require special treatment.

What medications are available?

Steroids

Steroid nasal sprays reduce swelling in the sinuses and ease the symptoms. Treatment with steroid sprays can cause any polyps that might be there to shrink. It usually takes a few days for the full effects of steroid sprays to be felt. In order to relieve the symptoms permanently, you often need to take medication for several months or even over a year. There are various steroid sprays, all of which have a similar effect according to the research.

Some people are reluctant to take any medication containing steroids. Steroids can have side effects when taken in high doses and over a longer period of time. In particular, they may irritate or dry out the membranes lining the nose. People sometimes have temporary headaches too. Nosebleeds can occur, particularly when taking higher doses. But the side effects are usually mild.

Steroid nasal sprays have far fewer side effects than steroids taken in tablet form or as an infusion (drip). Steroids in tablets or infusions are carried throughout the entire body, whereas topical medications like nasal sprays or skin creams mainly affect only the area they are applied to.

Although steroid tablets are effective too, they are generally only used in exceptional cases due to their side effects. They should not be used for more than three weeks.

Antibiotics

Only few studies have looked into the benefits of antibiotics in chronic sinusitis. But they were not able to find out how effective they really are. Antibiotics only fight bacteria – but sinusitis is typically caused by viruses, not bacteria. Plus, the inflammation in chronic sinusitis is often influenced by other factors as well, such as allergies.

Severe bacterial sinusitis can lead to complications. Although this rarely happens, antibiotics need to be taken quickly in order to prevent serious complications such as meningitis.

Decongestant nose drops

Decongestant nose drops or nasal sprays aim to soothe the mucous membranes and reduce swelling. This makes it easier to breathe through the nose in the short term – which can make it easier to sleep. But decongestant drugs can quickly have the opposite effect as well. After just a few hours, the membranes lining the nose may start to swell again. The more often the medication is used, the stronger this effect is. So it’s not a good idea to use this medication continuously for more than a few days.

Nasal irrigation and inhalation

In addition to medication, you can use saline (salt water) solutions to reduce swelling in the mucous membranes and to help loosen the mucus. Saline solutions are available as ready-to-use nasal sprays. To relieve symptoms, you can also try rinsing your nose with salt water. Heating water and inhaling the steam is another option. Some people like to add chamomile or peppermint. But there is not enough scientific research on saline solutions or steam inhalation to say for sure how effective they are.

Painkillers

Some medications may not be able to make sinusitis to go away faster, but they can relieve the pain. These include pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, acetaminophen (paracetamol) or acetylsalicylic acid (the drug used in medicines like Aspirin). But some people don’t tolerate acetylsalicylic acid well. It might make their chronic sinusitis worse, or even trigger asthma attacks. Painkillers like acetaminophen (paracetamol) are more suitable in that case.

Other treatments

The medication dupilumab (trade name: Dupixent) has been approved in Germany since October 2019 for the treatment of severe chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps in adults. It is used in addition to a steroid nasal spray, and injected under the skin every two weeks. Studies have shown that dupilumab relieves the symptoms of chronic sinusitis better than a steroid nasal spray alone.

A wide variety of other treatments are available. In addition to other medications, they include herbal products, acupuncture, infrared light therapy and zinc products. There is no scientific evidence that these treatments help in the treatment of chronic sinusitis, though.

Can surgery help?

Especially if the symptoms are very severe and they don’t improve enough – or for long enough – just by taking medication, some people decide to have surgery. One common type is a procedure that expands narrow passageways in the sinuses. Non-cancerous growths (polyps) and inflamed parts of the mucous membrane are also removed. This operation is called “functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).” It aims to improve airflow through the nose and the sense of smell, and make it easier for mucus to flow out. During the procedure, the narrowed sinus passageways are expanded using small instruments inserted through a tube (endoscope).

Unfortunately, only few conclusive studies have looked into whether FESS can improve the symptoms over the long term or how effective the operation is compared with medications like steroids. But surgery is an option if steroid sprays and other treatments haven’t provided enough relief. The procedure also aims to help medications or saline solutions work better because they can reach the nasal cavities better after they have been expanded. Even after surgery, you will probably need to continue to use a steroid spray or other medication to relieve the symptoms.

Severe complications following FESS are very rare. More common complications include short-term bleeding, inflammation, bruising and an impaired sense of smell. According to various estimates, between 5 and 15 out of 100 people can expect these kinds of temporary side effects following surgery. People often have a stuffy nose for several days after the procedure, and scabs may form, but this gets better quickly. It may take several weeks until the wounds in the sinuses have completely healed, though. For this reason, it’s important to have regular doctor’s appointments for several weeks. He or she will rinse your nose with a saline solution. The ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor will also remove wound secretions from your nose at several different appointments.

Another surgical procedure is known as balloon sinus dilation. This involves inserting a catheter through the nose and slowly inflating a balloon at the sinus opening. The aim is to expand the narrowed passageways at the sinus openings, but it is not suitable for all forms of chronic sinusitis.

Sources

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie (DGHNO-KHC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemeinmedizin und Familienmedizin (DEGAM). Rhinosinusitis (S2k-Leitlinie). AWMF-Registernr.: 017-049 und 053-012. April 2019.
  • IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping
    people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health
    care services.

    Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the
    German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual
    case can be determined by talking to a doctor. We do not offer individual consultations.

    Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a
    team of
    health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can
    find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in
    our methods.

Tips for treating chronic sinus infections

The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isn’t going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

Symptoms of a sinus infection

Sinusitis (a sinus infection) happens when you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 101°F or higher
  • Green or yellow nasal discharge
  • Pain in your face or upper teeth
  • Headaches
  • Cold symptoms lasting longer than 10 days
  • Pain or congestion in your sinuses (pain on either side of your nose, in your forehead, or between your eyes)
  • A cough caused by a postnasal drip in the back of your throat

Is your sinus infection acute or chronic?

A short-term sinus infection is often referred to as acute sinusitis. Most cases of acute sinusitis last about a week, but this type of short-term sinus infection can last up to four weeks. If you suffer from a sinus infection that lasts longer than 12 weeks despite treatment from your doctor, it’s considered chronic sinusitis.

What causes a sinus infection?

In most cases, acute sinusitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, which means it usually develops after you’ve had a cold or the flu. It’s possible for an acute sinus infection to develop into a chronic infection over time. However, most chronic sinus infections are caused by:

Certain health conditions are also known to accompany chronic sinusitis. These include:

  • Asthma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Primary immune deficiency disesase

Treatment for sinus infection

Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If you’re in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, you’ll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if you’re receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.

At-home sinus infection remedies

There are many things you can do now to ease the symptoms of your sinus infection. These include:

  • Steam therapy. Start in a warm shower and sit in your bathroom to allow the steam a chance to clear out your sinuses.
  • Warm compress. Place a warm washcloth on painful sinuses. The heat will relieve pressure in your face.
  • Set up a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air will ease nasal discomfort.
  • Try nasal irrigation. Use a bulb syringe or neti pot to flush salt water through your sinuses and clear out mucus.
  • Get enough rest. When you’re sick, you need rest. Resting is one of the best ways your body can heal.
  • Drink enough water. Extra fluids allow your body to clear out toxins and thin out mucus.
  • Use a saline nasal spray. Over-the-counter saline nasal spray will keep your sinuses moist.
  • Use a nasal steroid spray. Over-the-counter sprays such as Flonase, Nasacort, or Rhinocort can settle down inflamed sinuses.

Medications

Your doctor may treat your sinus infection with antibiotics, decongestants, pain relievers, allergy medications, or steroids. The course of treatment your doctor takes will depend on the cause of your sinus infection.

Should you visit a specialist?

If your sinus infection just won’t go away or keeps coming back, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. An ENT treats conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head, face, and neck. It may be time to see an ENT if:

  • You’ve completed several courses of antibiotics without success
  • Your doctor suspects nasal polyps or another blockage of the nasal cavity
  • You have chronic sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks

Living with a sinus infection is miserable — and living with a sinus infection for weeks on end is worse. Contact your doctor or an ENT to get the treatment you need.

90,000 Sinusitis: symptoms, signs, home treatment

You are probably familiar with the term “rhinitis” – inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Did you know that the nose is surrounded by special bony cavities called sinuses (otherwise – sinuses)? Did you know that they can also become inflamed?

Today we will talk about the inflammation of one of these sinuses with the candidate of medical sciences, otolaryngologist of the LLC “Clinic Expert Kursk” Emelyanova Alexandra Nikolaevna.

– Alexandra Nikolaevna, tell me, please, what is sinusitis?

This is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the maxillary sinus, or, in other words, the maxillary sinus.

From the point of view of treatment, it is advisable to divide sinusitis into acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis lasts less than 12 weeks, chronic – more than this period.

– What are the main symptoms of sinusitis in adults and children?

Typical signs include nasal congestion and discharge.There may also be a feeling of heaviness, bloating or pain in the area of ​​the projection of the nasal sinuses, a decrease or complete absence of smell, headaches. There are also general symptoms in the form of an increase in body temperature, malaise. In addition to these symptoms, children often have a cough, both during the day and at night.

– Is it possible to treat sinusitis at home and, if so, how effective is it?

Treatment at home is possible, but only on condition when it comes to mild sinusitis.This is a situation when, for example, the general condition of the patient, whether it is an adult or a child, is not changed, there is no fever, headaches, and performance does not suffer. At the same time, the patient must understand that going to the doctor is obligatory for him even in this case. Only a doctor can determine the possibility of home treatment.

– If the patient is still allowed to stay at home, how is sinusitis treated?

When a doctor makes a decision about treating a patient at home, it is likely that antibiotics can be dispensed with.The drugs traditionally used in the treatment of sinusitis are decongestants that relieve swelling of both the nasal mucosa and in the maxillary sinus itself, thereby facilitating the outflow of inflammatory fluid from it.

Also used are hormonal drugs – glucocorticosteroids, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect; drugs that improve the splitting and removal of inflammatory mucous contents from the sinus; drugs that increase the resistance of mucosal cells to substances formed during inflammation.

– Tell me, please, when antibiotics are used in the treatment of sinusitis?

Antibiotics are prescribed for moderate to severe disease. But in some cases, antibiotics can be recommended for a patient with a mild course of sinusitis – for example, if it lasts more than 7-10 days.

– How many days are usually treated for sinusitis? What does it depend on?

If we are talking about acute sinusitis, then the duration of treatment usually ranges from 10 days to three weeks.The factors that affect the time of therapy include, for example, the individual resistance of the body, the anatomical features of the structure of the nose and paranasal sinuses, environmental factors, working conditions (for example, hazardous industries).

– Alexandra Nikolaevna, are any drops, a nebulizer used in the treatment of sinusitis?

Certainly. There are two groups of drops.

The first group – vasoconstrictor nasal drops. They relieve swelling of the mucous membrane and help to improve the outflow of contents from the sinus.

The second group includes various drops of general action taken orally. They have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory effects, have a beneficial effect on immunity, thin mucus in the sinus, making it easier to drain.

Nebulizers are also used in the treatment of sinusitis for inhalation administration of medicinal products – for example, antiseptics, antibiotics.

– The puncture of many patients is terrifying.Is this procedure really scary? And when you can’t do without a puncture?

The main indication for a puncture is a complete blockade of the removal of the contents from the maxillary sinus into the nasal cavity, if it is not possible to ensure the outflow of this contents by other means.

Another indication is the so-called odontogenic (“tooth-induced”) sinusitis. Formally, this is the area of ​​work of dental surgeons, but our task as otolaryngologists in this case is to initially empty the sinus through a puncture and ensure the subsequent constant outflow of its contents.Finally, the problem with this form of sinusitis is solved by dentists.

The puncture procedure is carried out after complete anesthesia of the nasal mucosa, so you should not be afraid of it.

– But is it possible to treat sinusitis without punctures? Or puncture and sinusitis are always synonyms?

There is no puncture treatment. Its principle is based on the creation of negative pressure in the nasal cavity so that the inflammatory fluid contained in the sinus can flow into the nasal cavity.Of course, in this case, its corresponding preparation is carried out.

After the fluid is removed from the sinus, it can be rinsed with various medicinal solutions.

The decision on which method will be used in each specific case is always taken by the attending physician.

– Alexandra Nikolaevna, what can you recommend for the prevention of sinusitis in adults and children?

First of all, try not to get sick with acute respiratory, colds.To do this, you can advise physical education and sports, an active lifestyle, walks in the fresh air, regular ventilation of premises (there are even standards: for example, in the cold season, each room is ventilated 5 times a day for 15 minutes, and in warm weather the windows should be in ventilation mode almost around the clock). In addition, hardening procedures, taking multivitamin preparations, especially in the spring – of course, in the absence of contraindications, contribute to prevention.

Prevention in the workplace is also important. For example, in hazardous industries, where there is air pollution, the use of personal protective equipment is mandatory.

Special methods of prevention may include, for example, corrective surgery on the ENT organs. Such operations can be shown in cases when a person has some anatomical features of the structure of the nasal septum (for example, in the form of its curvature), other parts of the ENT organs, creating conditions for easier occurrence of sinusitis.

For information:

Emelyanova Alexandra Nikolaevna – Candidate of Medical Sciences, otolaryngologist at Clinic Expert Kursk LLC.

Graduated from Kursk State Medical University. Passed primary specialization in residency in otorhinolaryngology. In the same educational institution she completed full-time postgraduate studies.

90,000 Treatment of sinusitis with modern methods – interview with an ENT clinic expert

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Sinusitis is not just a runny nose

Do you not attach much importance to a runny nose and let the disease take its course? In vain! If untreated, rhinitis may well take on a more serious form, turning into sinusitis.

In essence, sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the maxillary (or maxillary) sinuses, which are located on both sides of the nose and have common walls with the orbit, nasal cavity and mouth. Inflammation can begin in one of them, or in both at once.

Sinusitis can quickly develop into a purulent stage – painful and painful. And in the absence of treatment – take a chronic form and from time to time remind of yourself with new inflammations.Therefore, it is important to take appropriate measures in time!

Symptoms of sinusitis

  • Pain in and around the nose. As a rule, it increases during the day and is felt more strongly in the evening than in the morning. It intensifies when pressed on the infraorbital region. Can be on one side or symmetrically.
  • Difficulty breathing and decreased sense of smell, voice in the nose – all this is due to edema
  • Thick nasal discharge. Particular attention should be paid to purulent, yellow, green mucus.However, with severe congestion, mucus may not be released.
  • Increased body temperature. Usually makes itself felt at the initial stage of the disease. In the chronic form of sinusitis, it may not occur.
  • Insomnia, weakness, lack of appetite, headache.

Prevention of sinusitis

1. Treat runny nose on time

The most common cause of sinusitis is the active production of mucus and swelling during ARVI disease, which interferes with its outflow, which contributes to the development of bacteria and, as a result, inflammation.It is important to treat rhinitis as soon as it occurs, following your doctor’s instructions. Try not to abuse vasoconstrictor drops: their prolonged and frequent use disrupts the natural secretion of mucus and delays the infection in the body. Fight a runny nose with regular flushing with special solutions – they are not addictive. If a runny nose is caused by an allergy, it is necessary to eliminate the irritants and treat with antihistamines.

2. Watch your teeth health

Diseases of the teeth of the upper jaw can lead to inflammation of the maxillary sinuses, so it is important to undergo regular examinations by the dentist and not leave caries unattended.

3. Strengthen the immune system

This is especially important during the cold season. Eat vegetables and fruits for vitamins (or get a vitamin complex at a pharmacy), maintain a healthy sleep and diet, and exercise more.

Treatment of sinusitis

Sinusitis is a disease that cannot be left without the supervision of a doctor. When this diagnosis is established, antimicrobial, decongestant, anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as physiotherapy can be prescribed.

With an advanced stage of sinusitis, a puncture of the maxillary sinus comes to the rescue. Pus is eliminated through a puncture, the resulting cavity is washed and drugs are injected into it. In some cases, the procedure must be carried out several times.

Be healthy!

90,000 Sinusitis: what to do so that a runny nose does not become a nightmare

What is sinusitis

To understand this, you need to understand the anatomy.

In the bones of the skull there are small cavities that communicate with the nose – the sinuses, or sinuses.From the inside, they are covered with a mucous membrane. Inflammation of these sinuses is called sinusitis .

Sinusitis is a special case of sinusitis, inflammation of the maxillary sinuses, which are located in the maxillary bone (on the sides of the nose, under the eyes).

In addition to sinusitis, there are also:

  • frontal sinusitis – inflammation of the frontal sinuses;
  • ethmoiditis – inflammation of the ethmoid sinuses;
  • sphenoiditis – when the sphenoid bone cavity is affected.

In most cases, even with ordinary acute respiratory viral infections, inflammation covers many sinuses, so the term “sinusitis” is correct. However, for simplicity, both patients and even some doctors often use the definition of sinusitis.

By the way, in children under 7 years of age, most of the sinuses are not developed , therefore preschoolers suffer from sinusitis and other types of sinusitis much less often than adults.

Now reading 🔥

Where does sinusitis come from

Here are the main reasons for the development of the disease:

  • Viruses. Sinusitis caused by a viral infection, many carry in parallel with the usual ARVI. In most cases, it goes away on its own with a cold.
  • Bacteria. A bacterial sinus infection is more dangerous than a viral infection, because it accumulates a lot of pus in the sinuses. An abscess may form, and the inflammatory process spreads to other organs. For example, the brain, which is sometimes even fatal. Most often, bacteria attack the body weakened by viruses. Also, bacterial sinusitis can be a complication of certain diseases – scarlet fever, pneumonia, measles, or the same chronic rhinitis.
  • Allergens. Allergic sinusitis may not go away for months and constantly interferes with breathing normally.

Accordingly, the more often you get ARVI, the higher the risk of catching inflammation of the mucous membranes in the paranasal sinuses. And if ARVI is not treated (that is, do not help the body to recover), bacteria are activated.

In addition, sometimes they can “break through” into the nose from the nearest organs that are sick: tonsils, ears and even untreated teeth. And if you surround yourself with allergens, dust and tobacco smoke, then getting sick will also be easier.

How to recognize sinusitis

This type of sinusitis has quite obvious symptoms :

  • Prolonged runny nose.
  • Blocked nose, shortness of breath and, as a result, some nasal voice.
  • Nasal discharge – often yellow or green mucus.
  • Loss or significant impairment of the sense of smell.
  • Bursting feeling in the sinuses.
  • Pain in the front of the face (around the nose and bridge of the nose) that gets worse when you tilt your head forward.

Sometimes these symptoms are accompanied by high (more than 37.8 ° C) temperature, toothache, ear pain, bad breath, weakness.

These signs are enough to suspect sinusitis. If they are, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

How to treat sinusitis

Let’s clarify right away: self-medication is unacceptable. Even if you feel bearable, it could very well be bacterial sinusitis. The one that is capable of provoking blood poisoning and meningitis.Don’t risk it.

Only a general practitioner or an otolaryngologist can prescribe treatment , and only after an examination will he give you a referral for the necessary tests and make a diagnosis.

  • With viral sinusitis, symptomatic treatment will be prescribed. It coincides with what is recommended for ARVI – rest, rest, more fluid, control of the humidity level in the room, and so on. The doctor will describe in detail all the necessary elements of the treatment program.
  • If sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be needed.Which ones, the doctor will tell you again.
  • If the cause is an allergy, you will need to establish what causes it and try to minimize exposure to the allergen. Your doctor may also prescribe antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays or drops to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Regardless of the type of sinusitis, physiotherapy may be recommended to you, you should not skip them.

Do I need to make a puncture for sinusitis

If we are talking about alleviating the condition, then no.A puncture (puncture) of the sinus was often used before to remove pus accumulated in the sinuses. But today this painful procedure has become archaism: sinusitis is much more successfully treated with drugs correctly selected by the doctor.

Puncture is done only if the prescribed treatment does not work and you need to take an additional analysis and establish which microbe is to blame for the inflammation.

How to make your home feel better

Here are some simple ways to make you feel better at home.

Drink plenty of fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids dilutes the accumulated mucus in the sinuses and improves its drainage.

Use a humidifier

With sinusitis, it is extremely important to maintain normal moisture in the nasal passages – this relieves swelling.

Breathe in warm steam

For example, over a saucepan of water (not hot: it is important not to burn yourself) or while taking a long shower. These procedures also increase the hydration of the nasal passages.

Use a nasal saline spray

You can buy a saline spray from a pharmacy or make your own.The recipe is simple: add ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda to a glass of warm water. Spray the solution three to four times a day until the unpleasant symptoms disappear.

Apply vasoconstrictor drops

They eliminate swelling and slow down mucus formation. Please note: these products cannot be used for more than 3 days. Otherwise, unpleasant side effects are possible: from simple addiction to a specific agent (then the vessels will simply stop responding to it) to thinning of the nasal mucosa and the development of medication rhinitis.

Apply a compress

Place a warm, damp towel on your face for 5-10 minutes. This will help reduce discomfort and make breathing easier.

Take pain reliever

An over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will work. Such funds also have an anti-inflammatory effect, that is, they reduce swelling in the sinuses and nasal passages.

Rinse your nose with saline

How to do this, Lifehacker wrote in detail here.If you have no time to read, you can watch a detailed video prepared by experts from the authoritative research organization Mayo Clinic.

Daily nasal lavage is a simple and effective way to reduce sinusitis symptoms. However, the procedure has a number of contraindications. Do not do it if:

  • the nose is so stuffed up that you cannot breathe it;
  • you have a deviated nasal septum or polyps – benign growths on the nasal mucosa;
  • you often have nosebleeds;
  • you have otitis media or are aware of your predisposition to ear infections.

Read also 🌡🤧👀

Massage of the sinuses for sinusitis and sinusitis.

Publication date: 27-03-2018

Updated date: 01-10-2021

Sinusitis is undoubtedly a dangerous disease that a qualified ENT should treat, but one of the methods for relieving the symptoms caused by this disease is a sinus massage, which will help restore nasal breathing, activate metabolic processes and improve vascular circulation to get rid of discomfort. when you are left with a problem one on one.
Like any massage, the sinus massage technique has its contraindications, so before performing this technique, be sure to consult a good ENT specialist at the NATALI-MED medical center.

Sinus massage is used in the following cases:

1. At the initial stages of sinusitis development.
2. In case of acute or chronic forms.
3. When recovering in case of residual manifestations of the disease.

A beneficial therapeutic effect is provided by the performance of therapeutic massage of biologically active points with the joint conduct of physiotherapeutic procedures: electrophoresis and other methods of treating sinusitis, which can be prescribed by an experienced ENT in Strogino.

Massage of the sinuses with sinusitis has its own contraindications:

1. With purulent and bacterial form.
2. In case of acute infectious lesions and high fever.
3. During pregnancy.
4. In the presence of malignant neoplasms.
5. Mental and neurological diseases.
6. With existing inflammation on the skin of the face.

Performing therapeutic massage for sinusitis.

The first thing to do is to massage the wings of the nose with your index fingers, then you can use pressure to massage the area between the upper lip and the nose.With light movements in the form of pinching, massage the tip of the nose, and also pay attention to the outer corners of the eyes and the area between the eyebrows above the bridge of the nose.

This massage must be performed up to five times a day, the technique does not take more than 5 minutes, – thus, you can improve the effect of the treatment prescribed by a good ENT in the medical center “NATALI-MED”.

Each biologically active point is a concentrated bundle of nerve endings, when pressed, some processes in the body are activated.To carry out a more complex acupressure on biologically active points on the whole body, you need to contact specialists, because each specific zone is responsible for the tone of certain internal organs, and in order not to harm yourself, it is better to turn to specialists at the medical center “NATALI-MED”, beloved by hundreds of grateful patients »In Strogino.

90,000 What to do if sinusitis (sinusitis) during pregnancy?

Any infections of the expectant mother, of course, are an unfavorable concomitant condition during pregnancy.Among the frequent questions during this period is what to do if sinusitis or maxillary sinusitis occurs during pregnancy? After all, one should take care not only about the health of the expectant mother, but also about the fact that the unborn child is not endangered. Therefore, there is a difference in the appointment of therapy, some drugs should not be used during this period.

Sinusitis and pregnancy

Sinusitis (sinusitis) can be caused by viruses or bacteria, as well as fungi.This disease can also be a concomitant symptom of an allergy or have other non-infectious causes.

Accordingly, the treatment during this period must be adjusted. Modern methods of treatment make it possible to carry out therapy at this difficult stage in a woman’s life without prejudice to pregnancy and the well-being of the child. It is recommended not only the usual drug therapy, but also naturopathic accompaniment, the goal of avoiding complications and accelerating recovery.

Signs of sinusitis (sinusitis) during pregnancy

The risk of sinusitis is increased when the immune system is weak or when anatomical conditions are unfavorable.These include, for example, narrowing of the sinus openings (sinus fistulas) in the nasal cavity, large turbinates, or curvature of the nasal septum. Women with a history of sinusitis are especially at risk.

Symptoms sinus inflammation include:

  • Pain and sensation of “limited” pressure in the area of ​​the face;
  • Headaches;
  • Deterioration of smell;
  • Blockage of nasal breathing;
  • General feeling of weakness;
  • Fever;
  • Purulent nasal discharge.

As a rule, sinusitis is not dangerous for the unborn child. Bacterial sinus infections, which can lead to complications, are rare exceptions. These in turn lead to the risk of blood poisoning (sepsis), which can lead to miscarriage. Therefore, every sinusitis should be treated with caution and qualified treatment should be received in a timely manner.

Sinusitis in pregnancy – which treatment is appropriate?

Early therapy reduces the risk of complications.Pregnant women must inform the attending physician about the stage of pregnancy if they become ill. This will help you choose the right therapy and calculate the dosage of the drugs.

Decongestant nasal sprays may be helpful if symptoms are severe. They are only allowed during pregnancy for a short time. Sprays containing dexpanthenol are also effective, which promotes faster recovery. The use of nasal drops and sprays should be discussed in detail with a specialist.

The use of aerosols with corticosteroids is especially helpful in chronic sinusitis. Corticosteroids (in drugs such as mometasone or beclomethasone) reduce inflammation and repair the nasal mucosa. Used as a spray, a corticosteroid is considered suitable for pregnant women. The active ingredient reaches the site of inflammation and hardly enters the bloodstream. Thus, the side effects for the body are minimal.However, a corticosteroid should only be used after proper consultation with a healthcare professional during pregnancy. Tablets of corticosteroids should not be taken, especially during the first three months of pregnancy.

Symptomatic treatment for mild cases of sinusitis is often sufficient. With home remedies and self-directed measures, symptoms are improved. In case of sinusitis, inhalation of steam inhalation is recommended. Inhalation can be carried out, for example, using saline solutions, antiseptics or chamomile preparations.

Antibiotics during pregnancy. If there is a suspicion of a bacterial form of sinusitis, it is advisable to take antibiotics, which accelerate healing. The use of some antibiotics is possible and allowed for pregnant women. One of the means that expectant mothers are allowed to take without harm to the child is amoxicillin.

If analgesics are needed, paracetamol is considered an appropriate treatment during this period. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is not recommended during pregnancy.

In any case, the use of all drugs and their dosage should be discussed with a specialist in advance – within the framework of this material, only possible options are indicated, and not a course of treatment.

Sinusitis during pregnancy – what conclusions can be drawn?

Women planning to become pregnant and suffering from chronic sinusitis should consult an ear, nose and throat specialist and undergo appropriate treatment. One of the possible options may be surgery, which more effectively and in a short time eliminates the possible causes of sinusitis, and prevents the development of sinusitis during pregnancy.
It is possible and necessary to treat sinusitis during pregnancy. The main thing is to observe precautions for the use of antibiotics, analgesics and hormonal drugs.

Separately, it is recommended to pay attention to the timely diagnosis of sinusitis before pregnancy, because of the possible risk of sepsis and miscarriage – pay attention to intranasal endoscopy, which allows you to more accurately determine possible pathologies of the nasopharyngeal region.

Best regards, otorhinolaryngologist Ph.M.N. Boklin A.K.

90,000 IC opened a case due to the death of a teenager who was being treated for sinusitis in a hospital – RBK

A teenager who was being treated for sinusitis died at the hospital in Anapa.Investigators are studying the circumstances of the incident and have opened a criminal case, the regional department of the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

A 13-year-old boy was admitted to the city hospital of Anapa on December 6 with a diagnosis of sinusitis. Doctors diagnosed him with bilateral purulent sinusitis. To help the teenager, he underwent anesthesia of the nasal passages, puncture and flushing of the sinuses. Suddenly thereafter, the teenager’s condition deteriorated sharply. The boy was sent to intensive care, but despite all the efforts of the doctors, he died after a while.

Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Part 2 of Art. 109 of the Criminal Code (causing death by negligence).

According to “Anapa Life”, the child was taken to the hospital by his parents, who were worried that the boy regularly had a runny nose. “At the reception, they did not ask for any data or medical history of the child, they did not specify whether the son was allergic to this or that drug. The doctor examined the boy and asked to take a picture. After examining the image, the doctor decided to do a sinus lavage.After the first puncture, it was clear that the boy was in great pain, but he endures, ”the newspaper quotes the boy’s father as saying. After the doctor made the second puncture, the boy stopped breathing. They tried to give him artificial respiration, after which they sent him to intensive care. About an hour later, doctors announced the death of the teenager.

Earlier in December, two girls, 14 and 17 years old, died at the N.N. Blokhin after bone marrow transplant. In September, children’s oncologists who worked there complained about problems at the center.

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