Nose is an important organ of our body which has the power to differentiate and understand smells. It is also the passage way through which air enters the body and passes out of it. The bones surrounding the nose contain hollow spaces which are known as paranasal sinuses. There are four sets of sinuses. They are the frontal, maxillary, sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses. Frontal sinuses are in the forehead, maxillary sinuses are behind the cheek bones, sphenoid sinuses are behind your eyes and between the upper part of your nose and the ethmoid sinuses lie behind your nose between your eyes. Purpose of the sinuses is to reduce the weight of the bones in the face without losing the shape and strength of the face. This also helps to reduce the overall weight of the head. The sinuses are filled with air which helps to give resonance to the voice.
Upper part of the external nose is made up of bones whereas the lower part is made up of cartilages. The nasal cavity is divided into two passages by the septum. The nasal septum which is made up of both cartilage and bone extends from nostrils to the back of the nose. These sinuses are lined with mucous membrane and are connected to the inside of your nose. Mucous membrane helps to keep the nose wet and helps to trap bacteria and dirt in the air you are breathing.
When the mucous membrane of the sinuses becomes infected it becomes swollen and this is known as sinusitis. These swelling may cause blockage to the small opening of the sinuses to the nose resulting in sinusitis which is the trapping of mucous and air inside the sinuses. Sinusitis causes considerable pain and a blocked feeling. There are two types of sinusitis. One is acute and the other is chronic.
Acute sinusitis: Acute sinusitis usually follows a cough and has severe symptoms and may last for about four weeks.
Chronic sinusitis: If acute sinusitis is not cured within a period of about 4 weeks it may change into chronic sinusitis which may last up to 12 weeks. The lining of the sinuses of a person with chronic sinusitis will remain inflamed and swollen during the whole period.
A main symptom of sinusitis is severe pain experienced by you on different parts of your face. The common areas of pain includes forehead, top of your jaw, teeth, cheeks, eyes,, between your eyes etc. Common symptom includes draining of mucous from your nose, reduced sense of smell. Most often fever is a common symptom of acute sinusitis.
Chronic Sinusitis Treatment
Even though sinusitis has been found to be of very disturbing and painful it has been found that many people are able to control and manage their symptoms at home without any professional help.
A lot of things can be done by you sitting in your house itself which can reduce the pain and discomfort. Some of them are given below.
1) You can put a warm flannel on your face and keep your face warmer.
2) Inhaling salt water steam with medications has been found to be a very useful practice.
3) Take rest and drink more water and fluids.
Painkiller like paracetamol and ibuprofen can be taken for getting relief from the pain. Decongestant sprays and medicines will help to reduce inflammation and swelling. If you are having chronic sinusitis, your physician may prescribe you steroid nasal spray. If you have infection caused by bacteria then your physician may also prescribe antibiotics.
If your sinusitis problem is not settled even after medications then, your physician may suggest that surgical procedure has to be resorted to for getting relief from the symptoms. Different surgical procedures are in practice for this purpose. Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is a procedure in which your surgeon clears your sinuses and widens the passage using endoscopic tools. This can be done under local or general anesthesia depending upon the merits of the individual cases. Balloon sinuplasty is another procedure in which a balloon is inserted to your sinus and is inflated after insertion so that the mucous Is drained out. This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia.