If the cold wouldn’t go away, there’s a good chance you actually have sinusitis. Sinusitis is a common infection of the Sinuses. The best way to avoid developing sinusitis is learning the ways to keep your sinuses clear and prevent it.
What is Sinusitis? Acute bacterial sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities caused by bacteria. It usually is preceded by a cold, allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants. Unlike a cold, or allergy bacterial sinusitis requires a physician’s diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic to cure the infection and prevent future complications.
Normally the mucus collection in the sinuses drains into the nasal passages. When we have a cold or an allergy attack, our sinuses become inflamed and irritable to drum. This can lead to congestion and infection. Diagnosis of acute sinusitis usually is based on a physical examination and a discussion of your symptoms. Your doctor also may use x-rays of your sinuses or obtain a sample of your nasal discharge to test for bacteria.
If the infection lasts for three months or more, it could be chronic sinusitis. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may be less severe that those of acute. However, untreated chronic sinusitis can cause damage to the sinuses and cheekbones that sometimes requires surgery.
Bacterial sinusitis: therapy for bacterial sinusitis should include an appropriate antibiotic. If you have three or more symptoms of sinusitis be sure to see your doctor for diagnosis. In addition to an antibiotic, an oral or nasal (like nasivion) spray or drop decongestant may be recommended to relieve congestion, although you should avoid prolonged use of nonprescription nasal sprays. If your doctor thinks you have chronic sinusitis, intensive antibiotic therapy maybe prescribed. Surgery is sometimes necessary to remove physical obstructions that may contribute to sinusitis. Surgery should be considered only if medical treatment fails or if there is a nasal obstruction that cannot be corrected with medications. The type of surgery is chosen to best suit the patient and the disease.
Surgery can be performed under the upper tip, behind the eyebrow, next to the nose or scalp or inside the nose itself. Your child’s sinuses are not fully developed until age 20. However children can still suffer from sinus infection. Although small, the maxillary (behind the cheek) and ethmoid (between the eyes) sinuses are present at birth. Sinusitis is difficult to diagnose in children because respiratory infections are more frequent, and symptom can be subtle. Unlike a cold or allergy, bacterial sinusitis requires a physician’s diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic to prevent future complications.
Preventing Sinusitis may not be very easy. But definitely not very difficult as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To avoid developing sinusitis during a cold or allergy attack, keep your sinuses clear by following given instructions:
- Use an oral decongestant, or a short course of nasal spray decongestant.
- Gently blow the nose, blocking one nostril while blowing through the other.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep nasal discharge thin.
- Avoid air travel. If you must fly, use a nasal spray decongestant before takeoff to prevent blockage of the sinuses allowing mucus to drain. If you have allergies, try to avoid contact with things that trigger attacks, if you cannot use over the counter prescription, or antihistamines or a prescribed nasal spray to control allergy attacks.
Allergy testing followed by appropriate allergy treatments, may increase your tolerance of allergy causing substances.
Total treatment for the sinus problem is to increase the digestive fire and penetrate the areas of blockage. To retain the benefits of this treatment, one should be careful in eating habits to avoid weakening the digestive fire.
According to Ayurvedic principles, one should avoid chilled foods and foods that are classified as having a cold nature, as these will further reduce the digestive fire. One should also minimize phlegm-increasing foods. Milk products and fatty meats such as pork and lamb, are examples. And, of course, one should be careful to avoid irritating the sinuses with smoke, chemicals, or dust.