A sinusitis infection may appear to be a common cold when it first begins. Cold symptoms such as runny nose, cough, and congestion generally exist.
Sinusitis cannot be treated with cold medication and if it is in fact sinusitis, it needs to be treated quickly before more severe symptoms occur.
Sinusitis usually is caused by a cold or an allergy.
Swelling of the sinus cavity lining occurs with a cold or allergy. When bacteria enter the sinus cavities, and attack the swollen lining, greater inflammation occurs. The cilia is what usually flushes out the bacteria and mucus but when a great amount of inflammation occurs, the cilia can no longer function and so the bacteria and mucus become trapped in the sinus cavities and as a result the sinusitis infection begins.
The problems which may occur with acute sinusitis may include cough, congestion, facial pain and pressure, headache, green nasal discharge, and postnasal drip. When the sinusitis infection becomes chronic and lasts for twelve or more weeks, a person can have added problems such as loss of sense of taste and smell and fatigue may also take place. Other symptoms may also occur depending on which sinus cavity that the infection lies in.
There are several medications and other treatments that are meant to help offer relief for the symptoms that occur with a sinusitis infection. Oral medications such as antibiotics, decongestants, and anti-fungals are commonly used treatments for sinusitis. Oral medications work on infections and by traveling through the blood stream to the area where the infection lies. Oral medications use the blood stream to travel to the area where they are needed, but in the sinus cavities there are only a small amount of blood vessels so only a small amount of the medication can be delivered to the sinusitis infection which generally leads to little or no relief from the treatment.
These medications can also cause side effects throughout the rest of the body since they travel through the blood stream and through the whole body.
Treatments such as nasal sprays and irrigation are also frequently used. These treatments are distributed directly into the nasal cavities. These treatments are used to moisten the cilia so that it can flush out the trapped mucus and bacteria.
Nasal sprays are commonly used and can be prescribed or purchased over the counter. The nasal sprays may offer some relief to the lower part of the sinuses but often times may not help the infection since their particle sizes are too large to make it past the inflammation at the opening of the sinus cavities and up to the sinusitis infection.
The same is for irrigation which usually uses a water pick to distribute saline up to the sinus cavities. Irrigation is also very messy and generally unsuccessful in treating the sinusitis infection.
Aerosolized medications are a newer treatment which also distributes the medications directly into the nasal cavities. Aerosolized medications are used similar to nebulized asthma medications. These antibiotics, anti-fungals, and anti-inflammatories are broken down into a small particle size so that it can pass the inflammation and make its way up to the sinusitis infection. Generally a small amount of these medications are used which results in little to no side effects in the rest of the body.
There are many treatment options for sinusitis suffers.
Treatments will work different for each person because our bodies are so different and react differently.
It's important to know the difference between when you are getting a cold and getting a sinusitis infection and to know what treatments work best for you.