Monday, March 16, 2009


Have you ever experienced having a runny nose and cough that refuses to go away? When anything you eat seems tasteless and your sense of smell doesn’t seem to work? When you cannot do anything due to severe headache? If so, it is possible that you are suffering from sinusitis.


Sinuses are paired air cavities/spaces (pockets) found in the cranial (head) bones. Sinuses are also referred to as "paranasal sinuses". They are connected to the nose on the facial part of the skull where air passes and mucus drains. We have four paired sinus cavities. Each sinus cavity has an opening (ostium), which opens into the nasal passages for free exchange of air and mucus. The mucus linings have ciliated epithelium (cells with fines hairs) that moves dirty mucus from the sinus cavities which drains into the nasal passages.

Sinuses are often confused with sinusitis. Sinusitis is a condition that occurs when your sinuses become inflamed and infected.  Ninety percent of all cases of sinusitis are caused by bacteria? When you have a common cold, your nasal passages become tender and inflamed. The passage of mucus is blocked, trapping mucus in the sinus cavity. The mucus accumulates in the sinuses, making it an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.


Bacteria that normally cause acute sinusitis are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. These microorganisms, along with Staphylococcus aureus and some anaerobes (bacteria that live without oxygen), are involved in chronic sinusitis.

There are also a number of other factors that can make the sinuses more open to infection. These factors include smoking, allergic rhinitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, a weak immune system, infected tooth.


•    Nasal congestion, with green or yellow discharge

•    Persistent cough

•    Fever and fatigue

•    Pain in the teeth, especially when bending over

•    Severe headache and facial pain

•    In some cases, temporary vision loss or having double/blurred vision

•    Sneezing, sore throat and muscle ache


As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are several ways to prevent sinus infection. Here are some tips that you can include in your daily routine:

1. Clean your nose properly to prevent infection.

2. Cut down on your smoking, or better yet stop the nasty habit.

3. Eat healthy, drink lots of fluids and avoid taking in too much caffeine or alcohol.

4. Apply hot compress to your face to loosen mucus in the nasal passages. 

5. Use of humidifier is also advisable to keep the air moist.

6. Wash your hands frequently to prevent spread of bacteria or germs.

7. If you are prone to allergy, take medication as soon as the allergy occurs.

8.  When struck with a cold, treat it promptly to prevent infection.

9. Blow your nose gently and frequently to avoid mucus build-up.

10. Steam treatment and nasal irrigation are also recommended.


1. Use decongestants in cases with common colds to minimize  congestion of the 


2. Take antibiotics like amoxicillin, and a variety of cephalosporins  to control

   bacterial infection.

3. Use pain killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, for pain and headache relief.

    Oral steroids can also be prescribed to cure bacterial sinus infection.  

4. Surgery is an option if you want to take care of the problem completely.

Never ignore bacterial sinus infection. If you suspect that you have the condition, seek medical help at the first sign of the symptoms to avoid complications.

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