Suffering from chronic sinusitis?

2019-03-27 06:02

CHRONIC sinusitis is a common condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen despite treatment attempts. The condition interferes with drainage and causes mucus buildup.

Chronic sinusitis can be brought on by an infection, by growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps) or by a deviated nasal septum.

The condition most commonly affects young and middle-aged adults, but can also affect children.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis

At least two of the four primary signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis must be present with confirmation of nasal inflammation for a diagnosis of the condition. They include:

• Thick, discoloured discharge from the nose or drainage down the back of the throat (postnasal drainage)

• Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose

• Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead

Other signs and symptoms can include:

• Ear pain

• Aching in your upper jaw and teeth

• A cough that might worsen at night

• Sore throat

Prevention

Take these steps to reduce your risk of getting chronic sinusitis:

• Avoid upper respiratory infections. Minimise contact with people who have colds. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before meals.

• Manage your allergies. Work with your doctor to keep symptoms under control.

• Avoid cigarette smoke and polluted air. Tobacco smoke and air contaminants can irritate and inflame your lungs and nasal passages.

Treatment

• Saline nasal irrigation, with nasal sprays or solutions, reduces drainage and rinses away irritants and allergies.

• Nasal corticosteroids. These nasal sprays help prevent and treat inflammation. Examples include fluticasone (Flonase, Veramyst), triamcinolone (Nasacort 24), budesonide (Rhinocort), mometasone (Nasonex) and beclomethasone (Beconase AQ, Qnasl, others).

• Oral or injected corticosteroids. These medications are used to relieve inflammation from severe sinusitis, especially if you also have nasal polyps. Oral corticosteroids can cause serious side effects when used long term, so they’re used only to treat severe symptoms.

Lifestyle and home remedies

• Rest. This will help your body fight inflammation and speed recovery.

• Drink fluids, such as water or juice. This will help dilute mucous secretions and promote drainage. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol, which can be dehydrating. Drinking alcohol also can worsen the swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose.

• Moisturise your sinus cavities. Drape a towel over your head as you breathe in the vapour from a bowl of medium-hot water. Keep the vapour directed toward your face. Or take a hot shower, breathing in the warm, moist air to help ease pain and help mucus drain.

• Apply warm compresses to your face. Place warm, damp towels around your nose, cheeks and eyes to ease facial pain.

• Rinse out your nasal passages. Use a specially designed squeeze bottle (sinus rinse, others), saline canister or neti pot to rinse your nasal passages. This home remedy, called nasal lavage, can help clear your sinuses.

If you make your own rinse, use water that’s contaminant-free — distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller — to make up the irrigation solution.

Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with contaminant-free water, and let air-dry.

• Sleep with your head elevated. This will help your sinuses drain, reducing congestion.

— Supplied by Royal Pharmacy.

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