The Nose, the Sinuses, and Sinus Infection
When you are healthy, both mucus and air travel freely through the communication channels between the sinuses and the nose. But when this unobstructed flow stops, problems appear. For example, the mucous membrane of the nose swells and becomes inflamed, blocking the nose. Mucus gets stranded in the paranasal sinuses and this unwanted gathering of the mucus encourages the growth of bacteria that causes infection.
Common cold and Sinusitis
Do you know that even diseases mimic each other? For example, the common cold is generally confused with sinus infection because of many common symptoms, including severe nasal congestion. Therefore, while is good to know, self-medication is not advisable. To find out whether your symptoms are 'mimicking' sinusitis or are truly caused by sinusitis, consult your physician.
The sinusitis family has four types, depending on the duration of the symptoms:
|Type of Sinusitis ||Duration of symptoms |
|Acute ||Up to 4 weeks |
|Sub Acute ||4 weeks to 12 weeks |
|Chronic ||Over 12 weeks |
|Recurrent ||Many times in a year |
What causes Sinusitis?
Remember, more than one organism and factor can infect and disturb your sinuses:
- Viruses, the most common cause
- Structural abnormalities of the nasal cavity can also choke the communication channels connecting the nose and the sinuses, allowing infection to develop. For example, a spur in the nasal bone, polyps in the nose, and/or deviated nasal septum may plug the sinus opening.