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Sinusitis : A Nosey Problem

It starts with waking up and feeling stuffy and congested. There could be a mild headache and visible swelling around the eyes. Then, the condition worsens and it should be no surprise if you suddenly develop a fever. You also remember that you've been coughing now for 14 days straight without improvement. If you've been experiencing these symptoms, there's a good chance that you actually have sinusitis, a condition characterized by an inflammation of the sinus cavities caused by viruses or bacteria. It is usually inconvenient and may be painful in some cases. But it is treatable and usually not severe. Sinus cavities are the moist and hollow air spaces within the bones of the face around the nose. Located in the area near the eyebrows are the frontal sinuses; the maxillary sinuses are located inside the cheekbones; the ethmoid sinuses are fixed between the eyes; while the sphenoid sinuses found behind the ethmoid sinuses. Sinuses produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen, this can block the sinuses and cause pain and infection. Under normal conditions, sinuses are filled with air which make facial bones appear to be less dense and much lighter in weight. Without these sinuses, the skull would be so much heavier that you would need both hands to hold your head up all throughout the day.


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Status of Biofilm Research as it Pertains to Chronic Sinusitis Research regarding biofilms and sinusitis is still in its early stages. Most scientific papers describing research into the subject have been attempts to prove the theory that biofilms are present in chronic sinusitis patients and that they are a factor in the condition. We are a long way from seeing studies that might test how beneficial a certain treatment might be, or even how an ENT could easily determine if a patient has biofilms in his nasal passages.

Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Sinus Infections If you have ever experience a sinus infection, you know that the pain, pressure and fatigue can be severe enough to get in the way of daily activities. Most sinus infection sufferers will be able to find relief in a matter of days or weeks, but envisage dealing with those uncomfortable symptoms for twelve weeks or more at a time. That is exactly what happens when you have a chronic sinus infection. Because these symptoms tend to linger for very long periods of time, a chronic sinus infection can affect your quality of life. Because of this, it is therefore important to understand how to recognize a chronic sinus infection, so that you can work with your doctor in finding the most effective treatment option for you.

Classification of sinusitis 1. Mild infection 2. Acute infection 3. Chronic infection Mild sinusitis is present if symptoms are not serious. Often, the patient is able to tolerate the slight discomforts experienced. In most instances, there is not a need for any medication since most people are able to recover on their own.

2. Nasal congestion and blocked nose. When the sinuses are infected, the mucosa becomes inflamed and this leads to abnormal production of thick mucus which cannot drain off easily.

Acute infection occurs when a mild infection progresses to a more serious stage. This means that the infection has become full blown with the full spectrum of sinus infection symptoms exhibited often making the patient feel really sick.

Paranasal sinuses are the spaces filled with air operating in concurrence with the nasal cavities and are located in the facial areas as well as parts of the skull. There are basically four main paranasal sinus cavities which could become inflamed, causing the pan sinusitis condition. On average, when someone gets a sinus infection, maybe one or two sinus cavities are affected instead of all of them like with pan sinusitis.

Recently, there have been many stubborn cases of chronic sinus infection which does not respond well to modern medicine. Find out more about fungal sinusitis and how a simple home remedy for sinus infection can prevent it from happening to you.

Walt Ballenberger is founder of http://www.postnasaldrip.net a resource web site for sinusitis sufferers like himself. For a free report entitled 'Sinus Treatment Success Stories', visit http://www.postnasaldrip.net and click on the Free Report link. This resource can be of significant help to chronic sinus sufferers.

Symptoms of Chronic Sinus Infections The symptoms of a chronic sinus infection are almost similar to those of an acute infection, except that the symptoms tend to last longer and do not respond to treatments as easily. It is also unusual to run a fever with a chronic sinus infection, although many people do with the acute variety of infection. Other common symptoms does include pain and pressure in the face around the sinus cavities, a thick yellow or green discharge from the nose, difficulty breathing through the nasal passages and fatigue. You might also put up with from less common symptoms, like bad breath, teeth or jaw pain and an earache. These symptoms can vary and depend on the particular sinuses that are involved, so it is a good idea to check with your doctor even if you don't have all of the classic symptoms of an infection.

For those of you who are puzzled by a diagnosis of pan sinusitis, it might help to realize exactly what this means. It is the inflammation and irritation of all paranasal sinuses on one or both sides of your sinus cavities, which are in your head.

Conclusion Research thus far shows a strong correlation between chronic sinusitis and the presence of biofilms in the nasal cavities of chronic sinusitis sufferers. Much more research to prove the theory definitively and to see it become a main-stream diagnosis remains to be done. At this point people are not even talking about such treatments as nasal sprays or other medications. Sinus sufferers should at least be aware of the issue and keep an eye on what research is being reported, as well as irrigating their noses with a saline solution daily. As noted above, there are a good number of research labs studying all aspects of biofilm research around the world, both medical and non-medical, so hopefully we will have some day an answer to the question posed at the beginning of this article and be able to effectively treat the group of people who continue to suffer from sinusitis despite years of treatment and multiple surgeries that do not bring permanent relief.

The ethmoid sinuses encompass a very small area between the nose and eyes and are usually located in the ethmoid bone. The sphenoid sinuses are housed in the sphenoid bone which is located in the middle of the base of the skull and right under the pituitary gland. As these four main locations include quite a bit of the head, having an infection in all of these areas can account for why pan sinusitis can be miserable for you if you are suffering from it.

Properties of Biofilms As mentioned, the scum layer produced by the biofilms seems to form a sort of protective barrier for the bacteria and other microorganisms it encases. The literature states that the bacteria in biofilms can be up to 500-1000 times more resistant to antibiotics than normal free-floating bacteria, and research is ongoing to determine the exact mechanisms to explain this. In addition, biofilms occasionally release a portion of their bacteria, and this discharge can migrate and cause infection at a new location. At present there are no simple methods available to test for the presence of biofilms, so it is not an easy task to determine if they are present in a patient's nasal system. The slime or scum layer looks a great deal like normal mucus.

Symptoms Of Sinusitis Some of the signs that a person may have bacterial sinusitis are: ?? a stuffy or runny nose with a daytime cough that lasts for 10 to 14 days without improvement ?? mucus discharge from the nose (this can occur with both viral and bacterial sinusitis but continuous thick discharge is more likely to be from bacterial sinusitis) ?? persistent dull pain or swelling around the eyes ?? tenderness or pain in or around the cheekbones ?? a feeling of pressure in your head ?? a headache when you wake up in the morning or when bending over ?? bad breath, even after brushing your teeth ?? pain in the upper teeth ?? a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) Some people also have dry coughs and find it hard to sleep. Others have upset stomachs or feel nausea.

Symptoms 1. Pain felt in the areas close to the infected paranasal sinus. Sinus pain could present itself as a dull ache in the head above the eyebrows when the frontal sinuses are affected. There will be pain and tenderness felt in the cheek area when the maxillary sinuses are involved.

Frequently, another underlying cause is the problem in these cases and unfortunately, it is only after a lot of suffering and trial and error of treatments that the condition is diagnosed. When CT scans are done, usually diffuse sinusitis can be plainly seen and can be caused by such deformities as polyps or abnormal growths in the sinus cavities. These will cause a thickening of the mucosal membranes along nasal passageways and sinuses and is the main reason why diffuse sinusitis is not often treatable by medication alone.

 
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Preventing Sinusitis Keep your sinuses clear to avoid developing sinusitis by following these simple steps: ?? Use an oral decongestant or a short course of nasal spray decongestant. ?? Drinking plenty of fluids to keep nasal discharge thin. ?? Avoiding air travel. If you must fly, use a nasal spray decongestant before take-off to prevent blockage of the sinuses allowing mucus to drain. ?? If you have allergies, try to avoid contact with things that trigger attacks. If you cannot, use over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines and/or a prescription nasal spray to control allergy attacks. Allergy testing, followed by appropriate allergy treatments, may also increase your tolerance of allergy-causing substances. Always consult medical professionals for advice. Your doctor can always perform diagnostic tests to find out if you have sinusitis. Once the doctor is sure that you have sinusitis, you can be given a prescription that would help treat the nasal infection.

3. Persistent cough. This is mainly caused by increased levels of post nasal drip down the throat. Normal mucus secretion is thin and clear. 4. Sore throat. This is closely associated with mucus draining down the throat as coughing episodes can lead to inflammation and bacterial infection of the throat.

Characteristics of Diffuse Sinusitis Sinus problems have cause misery for millions of people every year and each person usually has a different reason for developing this problem. Acute sinusitis is the name for a characteristic sinus infection that goes away usually with a round of antibiotics and with the use of decongestants or anti-inflammatory medicines. Nevertheless, when a person has diffuse sinusitis, they have a much deeper problem that requires more than just prescription medication.

Available Treatments Some people suggest that nasal irrigation can be beneficial for people with biofilms, and this is certainly a good idea for other reasons as well. In fact it may be the single best thing that people with chronic sinus problems could do for themselves in the opinion of this author. Some studies seem to indicate that the only cure at present is debridement, or physical removal of the substance by an ENT. Again, we are in the early days of research into the theory, so it will be years before it becomes main-stream and other treatment therapies are developed and tested. If I were desperate with sinus problems and had tried every known therapy with no success, (including topical fungal therapy, which is also a relatively new approach) I think I would try to contact one of the medical schools at the universities that are doing research on this topic and see what I could learn or if I might be included in one of their formal studies. Among these are the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, West Virginia University in Morgantown, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Universite of Montreal in Canada, the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Cambridge in England, Dartmouth College, the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University, and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, among others. I easily found extracts of papers written by all of these entities with a simple internet search on 'biofilms'.

However, if a bacterial infection is diagnosed, antibiotics have to be prescribed as well. Sometimes the Eustachian tubes are blocked. In such instances, a steroid nasal spray is an effective medication to resolve the problem.

A person can develop a sinus infection if it takes too long a time to recover from the common cold or viral influenza. The main cause of the problem is nasal congestion associated with both illnesses. The blockage of the nasal passages causes poor ventilation of the sinuses. The clogged sinuses provide the ideal environment for bacteria to multiply. Bacterial sinusitis often develops when the immune system of the person is not functional at its optimum.

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Acute sinusitis comes with many uncomfortable symptoms. Some of these symptoms include frontal headaches, facial pain, post nasal drip, sore throat and persistent cough.

What Causes Sinusitis? Inflammation of the sinuses may be caused by viruses or bacteria, or a combination of both. A person with the common cold has viral sinusitis. Usually, nasal congestion doesn't allow the sinuses to drain properly which cause bacteria to become trapped inside the sinus cavities. When this happens, bacterial sinusitis develops. Allergies can also cause a person to develop sinusitis, also known as allergic rhinitis. Unlike a viral sinusitis or allergic rhinitis which are common, bacterial sinusitis tends to cause more inconvenience such as facial pain, swelling and fever. This condition may require a physician's diagnosis and needs to be treated with an antibiotic to cure the infection and prevent future complications. Frequent sinusitis or infection that lasts for three months or more could become chronic sinusitis. When left untreated, it can cause damage to the sinuses and cheekbones that sometimes requires surgery to repair.

5. Fever. A fever usually commences when there is a bacterial infection. Treatment Treatment of acute sinus infection involves prescription drugs to control the symptoms experienced by the patient. To alleviate nasal blockage, decongestants such as pseudoephedrine are prescribed.

To understand why pan sinusitis may be more serious, you have to first understand where all of those paranasal sinuses are located. There are four fundamental groups of these paranasal sinuses: frontal, ethmoid, maxillary and sphenoid. With the frontal sinuses, these are usually over the eyes behind the forehead. The maxillary sinuses are to be found under the eyes and behind the cheek bones.

Acute Sinusitis versus Diffuse Sinusitis With acute sinusitis, you will probably have pain in the sinus cavities that are located mostly in the facial area like behind the eyes and you might even experience tooth pain. For some reason an infection has develop and prevented proper draining of the sinus cavities, creating a build-up of fluids (mucus) that got infected. Fortunately, antibiotics usually help in the treatment of acute sinusitis, unlike in the case of diffuse sinusitis.



Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit varicose vein cures to learn more about antibiotics for sinus infections and problems with sinus surgery


 
 
     
 
 





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