A usual cause of sinusitis is infection. In reality, most cases of acute sinusitis that affect many individuals all over the globe initially start out as common cold.
Close look on a sinus infection
The sinuses are hollow cavities in the head that are lined with mucous membranes. The mucus typically drains into the nasal passageways and out of the nose or into the rear of the throat. On the other hand, conditions such as common cold can cause excess mucus or inflammation of the mucous membranes, thus disrupting this process.
The sinuses can become obstructed and air flow to the sinus cavities can be hindered. Such conditions are suitable for bacteria growth. This is how the common cold virus leads to a bacterial sinus infection. The immune system might be already weakened from fighting the cold virus which makes it easier for bacterial infection to start and develop. Always bear in mind that most cases of sinusitis start out as a minor cold and only progress to sinusitis later on.
Preventing a sinus infection
You can prevent common cold from progressing into sinusitis by increasing the intake of fluids to thin out the mucous and keep it watery for easy drainage. You can utilize a cool mist humidifier to keep the mucus thin. Some doctors also recommend decongestants if an individual have common cold to prevent a sinus infection.
Travelling by plane when an individual has a cold can increase the risk of developing sinusitis. In addition, if the individual has a bad cold or sinus infection and travels by plane or engage in activities that involve drastic changes in altitude, he/she is at risk for developing barotrauma of the ears.
In studies conducted, it was discovered that the use of a neti pot can reduce the number of sinus infections. Nevertheless, in one study, it revealed opposite results in which using a neti pot can actually increase the risk for developing sinusitis.
Once an individual develops common cold, it is likely to progress into acute sinusitis that requires treatment using antibiotics. Prolonged treatment when the cold symptoms include facial pain and pressure, toothache, headaches or other symptoms of sinusitis will only prolong the suffering of the individual.
What are fungal sinus infections?
In some circumstances, it is also possible for the sinuses to become infected with fungus. When it comes to fungal sinus infections, they often become chronic and difficult to manage. A sinus infection is considered chronic once the symptoms persist for 3 months or longer.
Fungal infections might require surgery in order to resolve. If sinus surgery is performed, it involves the use of an endoscope. When inserted via the nose, it reveals the interior of the sinuses and “cleans out” the sinus cavities from any infectious materials, diseased tissues or excess mucous as well as abnormal growths. Once the sinuses are clear and properly draining, any remaining infection will often settle on its own.