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Acute Sinusitis

Inflammation of the paranasal sinus lining results in a pathological condition termed as sinusitis. Rhinosinusitis is the more favored term to describe the condition owning to the concurrent involvement of nasal mucosa and concomitance of rhinitis. In the United States, approximately 35 million people suffer from rhinosinusitis and result in nearly 16 million office visits annually [1].


Presentation

Symptoms of acute sinusitis are as follows:

  • Dense, yellow or greenish exudate from the nose or towards the lower part of throat
  • Labored breathing due to clogging of nasal passage
  • Pain, soreness, inflammation and pressure around forehead, eyes, cheeks and nose 
  • Diminished sense of olfaction and gustation
  • Nocturnal cough 

Other less specific symptoms can include:

Nasal Congestion
  • Normal saline irrigation atopy group significantly improved rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, throat itching and sleep quality symptoms compared with non-irrigation atopy group.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Fever, headache, postnasal discharge of thick sputum, nasal congestion and an abnormal sense of smell. Aetiology Usually following a viral upper respiratory tract infection.[radiopaedia.org]
  • Symptoms thought to be "very important" in the diagnosis of acute sinusitis included prolonged symptom duration (93%), purulent rhinorrhea (55%), and nasal congestion (43%); 60% reported that symptom duration is more important than symptom combination[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The related impairment of daily functioning and quality of life is attributable to symptoms such as facial pain and nasal congestion. To assess the effectiveness of systemic corticosteroids in relieving symptoms of acute sinusitis.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Importantly, in viral URIs, nasal congestion and cough improve toward the end of the illness. 1,3 Persistent illness.[mdedge.com]
Nasal Discharge
  • The absence of green nasal discharge, the absence of disturbed sleep and mild symptoms were associated with a diagnosis of URI.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The main symptoms include: Facial pain/pressure/tenderness Stuffy nose Thick yellow or green nasal discharge Loss of smell and taste Congestion/cough You may also experience: Fever Ear pain Headache Tiredness Toothache Cleveland Clinic News & More Cleveland[my.clevelandclinic.org]
  • Nasal discharge typically begins clear and becomes mucopurulent over the next few days; subsequently, it either resolves or becomes serous again at the end of the URI.[mdedge.com]
  • discharge or daytime cough or both) lasting more than 10 days; worsening cough, worsening or new nasal discharge, or daytime cough or fever after initial improvement; or severe onset of fever and purulent nasal discharge for at least 3 consecutive days[pedsinreview.aappublications.org]
Rhinorrhea
  • Normal saline irrigation atopy group significantly improved rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, throat itching and sleep quality symptoms compared with non-irrigation atopy group.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS) can be distinguished from other forms of rhinosinusitis based on symptom duration of 4 weeks in a patient with purulent rhinorrhea associated with facial pain or pressure.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • On presentation, 72% had rhinorrhea and/or fever, for average durations of 3.9 and 2.5 days, respectively. Streptococcal species sensitive to penicillin were grown from 51% of SPA cultures.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs, which evaluated children younger than 18 years of age with acute sinusitis, defined as 10 to 30 days of rhinorrhea, congestion or daytime cough.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The clinical diagnosis of acute sinusitis was based on association of suborbital pain, purulent rhinorrhea and purulent discharge on the middle nasal meatus. All patients were also radiographically examined and their diagnoses were confirmed.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Anosmia
  • […] antibiotic prescriptions for adults Acute Sinusitis (JAMA) Presentation Sinusitis is most commonly diagnosed by clinical symptoms Common symptoms Purulent nasal discharge Nasal congestion Facial pain or pressure, especially over a sinus or unilaterally Anosmia[coreem.net]
  • Chronic sinusitis is defined as a patient having two or more of the symptoms of nasal obstruction, rhinorrhoea, facial pain or headache or anosmia for longer than three months.[nps.org.au]
  • Clinical features Postnasal drip Bilateral nasal obstruction Frequently impaired olfactory function (from hyposmia to anosmia ) Fever and severe facial pain are uncommon.[amboss.com]
  • […] vertex, temple, or occiput Postnasal discharge A blocked nose Persistent coughing or pharyngeal irritation Facial pain Hyposmia Symptoms of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis include the following: Facial pain or pressure (especially unilateral) Hyposmia/anosmia[emedicine.medscape.com]
  • Box 2: Symptoms Associated with the Diagnosis of Chronic Sinusitis Facial pain or pressure Facial congestion or fullness Nasal obstruction or blockage Nasal discharge, purulence, or postnasal drip Hyposmia or anosmia Headache Fever Halitosis Fatigue Dental[clevelandclinicmeded.com]
Hyposmia
  • Nasal obstruction Loss of sense of smell (hyposmia) Fever Fatigue Previous URTI/AOM etc etc Sinusitis should be suspected if these symptoms persist for over a week (under a week is more likely an URTI). Diagnosis The diagnosis is clinical.[dundeemedstudentnotes.wordpress.com]
  • Assessment & recognition The key features of acute rhinosinusitis are: Nasal blockage Rhinorrhoea (nasal discharge) In association with: Hyposmia (reduced sense of smell) Facial or dental pressure/pain The above four symptoms are the most predictive of[entsho.com]
  • […] prescriptions for adults Acute Sinusitis (JAMA) Presentation Sinusitis is most commonly diagnosed by clinical symptoms Common symptoms Purulent nasal discharge Nasal congestion Facial pain or pressure, especially over a sinus or unilaterally Anosmia Hyposmia[coreem.net]
  • Clinical features Postnasal drip Bilateral nasal obstruction Frequently impaired olfactory function (from hyposmia to anosmia ) Fever and severe facial pain are uncommon.[amboss.com]
  • Symptoms of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis include the following: Facial pain or pressure (especially unilateral) Hyposmia/anosmia Nasal congestion Nasal drainage Postnasal drip Fever Cough Fatigue Maxillary dental pain Ear fullness/pressure The diagnosis[emedicine.medscape.com]
Fever
  • Contact your doctor if you have any of the following: Symptoms that either don't improve within a few days or worsen A persistent fever A history of recurrent or chronic sinusitis Causes Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold, which is[mayoclinic.org]
  • The patient experienced photophobia, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Frontal sinusitis with intracranial abscess was diagnosed on imaging. The patient was taken to the operating room for drainage with left frontal balloon sinuplasty.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • On presentation, 72% had rhinorrhea and/or fever, for average durations of 3.9 and 2.5 days, respectively. Streptococcal species sensitive to penicillin were grown from 51% of SPA cultures.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The main symptoms include: Facial pain/pressure/tenderness Stuffy nose Thick yellow or green nasal discharge Loss of smell and taste Congestion/cough You may also experience: Fever Ear pain Headache Tiredness Toothache Cleveland Clinic News & More Cleveland[my.clevelandclinic.org]
  • . – Fever is usually mild or absent. Sinusitis is likely if symptoms persist for longer than 10 to 14 days or worsen after 5 to 7 days or are severe (severe pain, high fever, deterioration of the general condition).[medicalguidelines.msf.org]
Fatigue
  • […] breathing Facial pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead Reduced sense of smell and taste Cough Other signs and symptoms can include: Ear pain Headache Aching in your upper jaw and teeth Bad breath (halitosis) Fatigue[plainsent.com]
  • […] facial pain or tenderness, nasal drainage or congestion, headache, cough, fever, fatigue, toothache, less taste or smell virus or bacteria direct from those who carry the bug or indirectly from the food, surfaces, clothing or materials they contact; tobacco[doctorsreport.com]
  • Generalized symptoms like fatigue are also typical. Causes of acute sinusitis Sinusitis can be caused by infections, allergies , and chemical or other irritation of the sinuses.[medicinenet.com]
  • […] eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when bending over Other signs and symptoms can include: Ear pressure Headache Aching in your upper jaw and teeth Reduced sense of smell and taste Cough, which might be worse at night Bad breath (halitosis) Fatigue[mayoclinic.org]
  • Pain in the face over sinus areas (near the nose, above the teeth, the forehead) Thick and purulent (filled with pus) nasal discharge from both nostrils that may be worse on one side Cough and sore throat (from nasal drainage irritating the throat) Fatigue[jamanetwork.com]
Malaise
  • Acute sinusitis usually follows a cold and presents with nasal obstruction, facial pain, dental pain, purulent rhinorrhoea, sinus tenderness and in some cases fever and malaise.[nps.org.au]
  • Patients may also have systemic malaise, fever, cough or sore throat.[entsho.com]
  • References: [1] [2] Clinical features Condition Sinusitis Rhinitis Additional features Acute viral rhinosinusitis Fever ( 50% of cases) , headaches , general malaise , myalgia Facial pain or pressure , erythema , and swelling over the affected area due[amboss.com]
  • Individuals with acute bacterial rhinosinusitis often have nasal mucous membranes edema, mucopurulent nasal discharge, persistent postnasal drip, fever, and malaise.[antimicrobe.org]
  • Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include any combination of the following: nasal congestion , facial pain, headache , night-time coughing, an increase in previously minor or controlled asthma symptoms, general malaise , thick green or yellow discharge[en.wikipedia.org]
Palpitations
  • Adjunctive Therapies for Acute Rhinosinusitis Therapy Common adverse effects Comments Oral decongestants Phenylephrine Palpitations, transient hypertension, headache, dizziness, tremor, insomnia, gastric irritation; urinary retention may occur in patients[aafp.org]
Halitosis
  • Difficulty breathing Facial pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead Reduced sense of smell and taste Cough Other signs and symptoms can include: Ear pain Headache Aching in your upper jaw and teeth Bad breath (halitosis[plainsent.com]
  • […] around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when bending over Other signs and symptoms can include: Ear pressure Headache Aching in your upper jaw and teeth Reduced sense of smell and taste Cough, which might be worse at night Bad breath (halitosis[mayoclinic.org]
  • Pain, tenderness, pressure and swelling around your eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead Reduced sense of smell and taste Cough (may get worse at night) Other symptoms of acute sinusitis: Headache Ear pain Upper jaw and teeth ache Fatigue Fever Bad breath (halitosis[humanitas.net]
  • […] clogging of nasal passage Pain, soreness, inflammation and pressure around forehead, eyes, cheeks and nose Diminished sense of olfaction and gustation Nocturnal cough Other less specific symptoms can include: Head and ear ache Teeth and upper jaw pain Halitosis[symptoma.com]
  • Box 2: Symptoms Associated with the Diagnosis of Chronic Sinusitis Facial pain or pressure Facial congestion or fullness Nasal obstruction or blockage Nasal discharge, purulence, or postnasal drip Hyposmia or anosmia Headache Fever Halitosis Fatigue Dental[clevelandclinicmeded.com]
Periorbital Edema
  • . • Periorbital edema with skin discoloration may be present, especially with ethmoid sinusitis. • Upper molar teeth pathology may be the source of maxillary sinusitis.[antimicrobe.org]
  • edema Tenderness overlying sinuses Air-fluid levels on transillumination of the sinuses (60% reproducibility rate for assessing maxillary sinus disease) Facial erythema See Clinical Presentation for more detail.[emedicine.medscape.com]
Chemosis
  • Extension of sphenoethmoiditis into the orbital apex may result in visual loss and ophthalmoplegia, but minimal signs of orbital pathology such as proptosis, chemosis, or lid edema. This entity is termed orbital apex syndrome.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Compared to 22 patients with drained purulence, the 18 patients with abscesses managed medically had significant differences for: chemosis in 2/18 (11.1%) versus 14/22 (63.6%, p 0.001), proptosis in 10/18 (55.6%) versus 20/22 (90.9%, p 0.025), elevated[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Facial Pain
  • Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS) can be distinguished from other forms of rhinosinusitis based on symptom duration of 4 weeks in a patient with purulent rhinorrhea associated with facial pain or pressure.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The main symptoms include: Facial pain/pressure/tenderness Stuffy nose Thick yellow or green nasal discharge Loss of smell and taste Congestion/cough You may also experience: Fever Ear pain Headache Tiredness Toothache Cleveland Clinic News & More Cleveland[my.clevelandclinic.org]
  • A history of facial pain (LR of 0.59; CI 0.39, 0.90 and LR- of 2.85; CI 1.27, 6.41) and the finding of sinus percussion tenderness (LR of 0.22; CI 0.05, 0.90 and LR- of 1.88; CI 1.17, 3.03) were inversely associated with sinusitis.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Analysis of individual symptom scores revealed most consistently significant benefits for facial pain and congestion.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Acute sinusitis usually follows a cold and presents with nasal obstruction, facial pain, dental pain, purulent rhinorrhoea, sinus tenderness and in some cases fever and malaise.[nps.org.au]
Epistaxis
  • No serious adverse events or complications related to treatment were reported; however, more mild adverse events such as nasal and throat irritation, mild epistaxis, and sneezing occurred in Cyclamen europaeum group participants (50%) compared to placebo[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Naphazoline 0.05% Burning, stinging, dryness, and irritation of the nasal mucosa; sneezing; rebound congestion Available over the counter Oxymetazoline 0.05% (Afrin) Phenylephrine 0.25%, 0.5%, 1% Intranasal corticosteroids Beclomethasone (Beconase AQ) Epistaxis[aafp.org]
  • […] worsening) Fungal rhinosinusitis Non-invasive Allergic fungal: features of asthma and other atopic manifestations Fungal mycetoma: unilateral complaints; usually involves the maxillary sinus Invasive Acute fulminant rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis : epistaxis[amboss.com]
  • The nose should be examined for a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, and epistaxis. Foreign bodies and tumors can mimic symptoms of sinusitis and should be in the differential diagnosis, especially if the symptoms are unilateral.[clevelandclinicmeded.com]
Headache
  • The patient experienced photophobia, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Frontal sinusitis with intracranial abscess was diagnosed on imaging. The patient was taken to the operating room for drainage with left frontal balloon sinuplasty.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The main symptoms include: Facial pain/pressure/tenderness Stuffy nose Thick yellow or green nasal discharge Loss of smell and taste Congestion/cough You may also experience: Fever Ear pain Headache Tiredness Toothache Cleveland Clinic News & More Cleveland[my.clevelandclinic.org]
  • The area around your eyes and face might feel swollen, and you might have throbbing facial pain or a headache. Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a week to 10 days.[mayoclinic.org]
  • This may lead to a headache or a throbbing facial pain. The most frequent cause of acute sinusitis is the common cold. However, allergies, bacterial and fungal infections can also cause acute sinusitis.[humanitas.net]
  • Fever, headache, postnasal discharge of thick sputum, nasal congestion and an abnormal sense of smell. Aetiology Usually following a viral upper respiratory tract infection.[radiopaedia.org]
Sinus Headache
  • Common sinus conditions treated include: Acute sinusitis Chronic sinusitis Nasal obstruction Allergic rhinitis Sinus headaches Deviated Septum Nasal polyps Other Services Other conditions treated by the ENT specialists at Missouri Baptist Medical Center[missouribaptist.org]
  • It tends to be very uncomfortable and painful, and often happens when you least expect it. 0ne minute you are feeling fine and breathing easily and the next minute, you have a killer sinus headache.[nativeremedies.com]
  • *One 2002 study has found that nine out of 10 physician-diagnosed or self-described sinus headaches are actually migraine-related.[stanfordchildrens.org]
  • Steam inhalation is especially good at reducing sinus headaches. 10. Essential Oils To naturally clear the sinuses, using eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil can be highly effective.[draxe.com]
  • Sinus Headaches" . American Migraine Foundation . Retrieved 2017-10-23 . a b c d King, D; Mitchell, B; Williams, CP; Spurling, GK (20 April 2015). "Saline nasal irrigation for acute upper respiratory tract infections" (PDF) .[en.wikipedia.org]

Workup

Diagnosis of acute sinusitis:

  • Physical examination of nose and throat. Tenderness indicate sinusitis.
  • Visual inspection of nasal passages aided by a device to hold the nose open and application of medications to constrict blood vessels for easier observation. Signs of sinusitis include swelling, fluid accumulation, nasal polyps or any other abnormalities. 
  • Nasal endoscopy to visually examine the inside of the sinuses.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of sinuses and nasal area are recommended for complicated cases of acute sinusitis to identify and confirm suspected complications.
  • Microbial cultures of nasal and sinus specimens are not recommended.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has published the updated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial acute sinusitis in children and young adults in June 2010 [10]. The updated criteria for acute sinusitis include the presence of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) along with aggravating symptoms like nasal discharge, cough and high temperature after initial improvement. The former recommendations only urged the physicians to look for URI with either nasal drainage and/or daytime cough lasting for more than 10 days or severe acute fever, purulent nasal drainage and other breathing discomforts for 3 or more continuous days.

Management of patients with sinusitis symptoms lasting for more than 10 days now include an additional 3 day observation period before antibiotic treatment. However antibiotic therapy is prescribed for children with severe or worsening symptoms. Amoxicillin (with or without clavulanate) is the drug of choice for treating acute sinusitis. Paranasal CT scanning is recommended for children with suspected cases of orbital or central nervous system complications.

Thrombocytosis
  • All patients were male with rapid onset of periorbital signs, absence of purulent rhinorrhea, and presence of significant thrombocytosis (exceeding 500 10(9)/L).[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

Treatment

Most cases of viral acute sinusitis are self-limiting and self-care techniques are sufficient to ease the discomforts and speed up the recovery. Recommendations to ease symptoms include: 

  • Rinsing the nasal passages with saline nasal spray multiple times per day.
  • Treatment of inflammation with nasal corticosteroid sprays like fluticasone (Flonase), budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua), mometasone (Nasonex), beclomethasone (Beconase AQ) and triamcinolone (Nasacort AQ).
  • Managing the nasal congestions with nasal sprays, prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Available OTC medications include Sudafed (oral decongestants) and Afrins (oxymetazoline based nasal sprays). Utmost care should be exercised while using such medications, because their unrestricted use may lead to severe congestion (rebound congestion).
  • Pain associated with sinusitis can be managed by using OTC pain killers (e.g. aspirin, acetaminophen –Tylenol or ibuprofen - Advil, Motrin IB). Aspirin owning to its Reye syndrome linkage should only be used with caution among pediatric and young adult patients.  It should not be prescribed for patients convalescing from chickenpox and flu-like illnesses.
  • Antibiotic treatment is not required in most of the cases.

Prognosis

Sinusitis can be treated effectively with self-care treatment and medical advice. However frequent episodes of sinusitis warrant medical check-up to rule out presence of nasal polyps and other underlying conditions like allergies. Sinusitis rarely result in mortality but complicated sinusitis, when left untreated, may lead to poor health conditions and in rare cases to death.

Acute sinusitis clears spontaneously without the help of antibiotic treatment in around 40% of the cases. Spontaneous cure rate is about 98% for sinusitis induced by viral infections. Antibiotic treatment of acute sinusitis is very effective with only a less than 5% relapse rate. Re-examination of the patients is necessary when they are unresponsive to the treatment post- 48 hours and when the symptoms worsen. Rhinosinusitis may result in serious conditions like meningitis, cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis, brain abscess and orbital cellulitis or abscess when left untreated. Allergic rhinitis cases deserve assertive treatment to manage nasal symptoms and clogging of sinus outflow tracts due to mucosal edema to prevent the incidence of secondary sinusitis. Surgical removal of adenoids is recommended when it is chronically infected to prevent further infection and associated complications.

Etiology

Sinusitis is a pathological condition in which mucous membranes of nose, sinuses and the upper respiratory tract become swelled up. Mucus that is discharged normally gets clogged under such conditions resulting in facial pain and other associated discomforts. The clogged sinuses provide the moist environment for bacteria to colonize the sinuses. Infected sinuses become pus filled causing drainage of dense, yellow or greenish discharge along with the development of other symptoms.

The microbial causative agents of sinusitis include viruses, bacteria and fungi. In the majority of cases acute sinusitis is induced by the common cold viruses. Bacterial infections are accountable for sinusitis that last for more than seven days. Sinus anomalies and impaired immune system are the major risk factors for contracting fungal infection induced sinusitis.

Health conditions associated with increased risk of sinusitis are as follows:

Epidemiology

In the United Kingdom, about 3 in 1000 people suffer from acute sinusitis and about 1 in 1000 from chronic sinusitis annually. Incidence of sinusitis is often reported to follow a seasonal pattern. Incidence of sinusitis peaks in winter and rhinoviral infections in fall and spring. Coronaviral infection which induces sinusitis is reported frequently during the month of December and continues till the end of March.

In the United States, the conditions are more severe and about 1 in every 7 people suffers from acute sinusitis, with about 30 million diagnoses every year. Incidence is acute sinusitis is reported frequently from early autumn to early spring. Rhinosinusitis is responsible for approximately 35 million infections and 16 million medical consultations annually.

As per the data of National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), about 14% of adult population have rhinosinusitis every year, and it stood at fifth position in diagnosis for which antibiotic therapy is advised and also accounts for about 0.4% of outpatient diagnosis [2]. Americans have spent around $3.39 billion for rhinosinusitis treatment in 1996 [3] and in case of children the money spend for acute sinusitis treatment averages $1.77 billion annually. An average child is prone to develop at least 6-8 upper respiratory tract infections (URI) annually. Approximately 6-13% of viral induced URI in children results in opportunistic bacterial infection and acute sinusitis [4] [5]. Women are reported to develop infective sinusitis more frequently (20.3%) than men (11.5%) owning to their close contact with children.

Sex distribution
Age distribution

Pathophysiology

Human skull possess many air-filled spaces termed as sinuses positioned behind the forehead, cheeks, nasal bones and eyes. Healthy sinuses are germ free with ample air circulation. Under the normal physiological conditions, mucus drainage into the nasal cavity is aided by the ciliary action. The unidirectional flow of mucus secretions towards the ostia helps in preventing the contamination and infections within the sinuses of healthy individuals.

Pathophysiological conditions which lead to sinusitis [6] [7] include: 

  • Retention of mucus with subsequent microbial infection.
  • Contamination of the sterile sinuses by the bacteria colonized in nasopharynx. Bacterial contamination occur when mucociliary clearance of microbes fail leading to the introduction of bacteria into the sinus.

Even though the healthy sinuses are considered as sterile, research studies have proved the presence of bacterial colonies in healthy sinuses. The healthy sinuses of patients undergoing septal deviation corrective surgery were found to harbor aerobic and anaerobic bacterial flora [8]. A study focusing on the presence of aerobic bacteria in healthy sinuses of surgical maxilla repositioning patients revealed the presence of Staphylococcus sp. and alpha-hemolytic streptococci in the maxillary sinus [9]. Bacteria were isolated from 20% of maxillary sinuses patients on whom the surgeries were carried out.

Prevention

Preventive measures to minimize the risk of contracting acute sinusitis include the following:

  • Avoiding URI by distancing from people suffering from common cold. Frequent cleansing of hands with soap and water before eating food and after shaking hands.
  • Annual vaccination against influenza.
  • Careful management of allergies to keep symptoms under check.
  • Quitting cigarette smoking and avoiding exposure to polluted air which can irritate and inflame the mucous membranes.
  • Humidifying the indoor dry air aids in preventing sinusitis. Humidifier used should be cleansed frequently to avoid mold formation.
  • Boosting the immune system by maintaining a healthy diet with vegetables and fruits, which are rich sources of antioxidants. 
  • Reducing stress.

Summary

Sinusitis can be classified into two types based on the duration of the symptoms: 

Acute sinusitis: Symptoms last for less than 4 weeks. Bacteria that colonize the sinuses are the major causative agent.
Chronic sinusitis: Symptoms last for more than 3 months. The causative agent can either be a bacteria or a fungus.

Viral or bacterial infections are responsible for acute sinusitis in the majority of cases. Viruses causing common cold induce an inflammatory response in the host. The resultant acute inflammation of the sinuses, entrapment of air and mucus beyond the narrowed sinus openings results in sinusitis. The associated symptoms and discomfort usually last for about two weeks. Occasionally viral infections may lead to opportunistic bacterial infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis. These bacteria are the frequent colonizers of nose and throat that cause acute sinusitis.

Acute sinusitis has many clinical and radiological classifications in the literature. However there is no general agreement on a precise definition. People at high risk of developing sinusitis are those who endure:

  • Allergies or other chronic rhinal problems 
  • Reduced immune function e.g. HIV infections 
  • Abnormal mucus secretion or movement, e.g. cystic fibrosis patients who suffer from clogged airways due to thick mucus build up

Patient Information

Acute sinusitis (acute rhinosinusitis) is a condition in which the cavities in skull bone become swollen, mucus filled and clogged. The main symptoms of acute sinusitis include difficulty in breathing, pain around eyes, swollen painful face and headache.

Contracting common cold often result in acute sinusitis. Allergies, fungal and bacterial infections may also lead to acute sinusitis. Most of the time symptoms of acute sinusitis can be managed with self-care treatments. Chronic sinusitis, in which the symptoms last for more than two months or keeps coming back, require immediate medical attention as untreated cases may quickly lead to severe infections and other complications. Symptoms that do not improve or get worse after effective self-care and prolonged fever warrant immediate medical attention.

Risk factors for contracting sinusitis include:

Recommended medications that help to ease the discomforts include use of pain relievers and decongestants to make breathing easy.

References

Article

  1. Lucas JW, Schiller JS, Benson V. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2001. Vital Health Stat 10. 2004; 218:1-134.
  2. Bishai WR. Issues in the management of bacterial sinusitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002; 127(6 Suppl): S3-9.
  3. Ray NF, Baraniuk JN, Thamer M, et al. Healthcare expenditures for sinusitis in 1996: contributions of asthma, rhinitis, and other airway disorders. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999;103(3 Pt 1):408-14.
  4. Fendrick AM, Saint S, Brook I, Jacobs MR, Pelton S, Sethi S. Diagnosis and treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in the primary care setting. Clin Ther. 2001; 23(10):1683-1706.
  5. Wald ER, Guerra N, Byers C. Upper respiratory tract infections in young children: duration of and frequency of complications. Pediatrics. 1991; 87(2):129-33. 
  6. American Academy of Pediatrics - Subcommittee on Management of Sinusitis and Committee on Quality Management. Clinical practice guideline: management of sinusitis. Pediatrics. 2001;108(3):798-808.
  7. Cherry JD, Shapiro NL, Deville JG. Sinusitis. In: Feigin RD, Cherry JD, Demmier GJ, Kaplan SL, eds. Textbook of pediatric infectious disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2004. 201.
  8. Brook I. Aerobic and anaerobic bacterial flora of normal maxillary sinuses. Laryngoscope. 1981; 91(3):372-376.
  9. Su WY, Liu C, Hung SY, Tsai WF. Bacteriological study in chronic maxillary sinusitis. Laryngoscope. 1983; 93(7):931-934.
  10. Wald ER, Applegate KE, Bordley C, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and management of acute bacterial sinusitis in children aged 1 to 18 Years. Pediatrics. 2013;132(1):e262-280.

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Last updated: 2018-06-22 10:04