The term sinusitis, in its broad form, refers to an infection in the sinus cavities brought on by blockage of the sinus cavities and nasal passages.
The word sinus refers to the sinus cavities present in the human skull. These symmetric pairs of air filled cavities are located at various locations and classified accordingly. These classifications are:
Maxillary The biggest of all the sinus cavities, maxillary sinuses are located underneath the eyes.
Frontal Located at the junction of the nose and the eyes, frontal sinuses are covered by the frontal bone forming the forehead.
Ethmoid These sinuses are formed by several different air cells found in the gap between the eyes and the nose, located within the ethmoid bone.
Sphenoid These sinuses are located at the center of the pituitary gland in the sphenoid bone.
All these cavities are lined with a soft epithelial tissue lining. The function of the sinus cavities is to moisten the air inhaled via nose and regulate its temperature before it is sent into the lungs. However, this lining is also prone to becoming inflamed and swelling up due to various triggers like:
The common cold
Any of these triggers may cause the sinus tissue lining to swell up and block the nasal and sinus drainage passages. This leads to the accumulation of mucus within the cavities, leading to the first tell-tale sign of the onset of sinusitis, the dull throbbing headache accompanying the overwhelming sensation of heaviness in the forehead, which seems to get extremely aggravated with any sudden movement of the head.
This accumulation of mucus also leads to the breeding of infection-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi. Apart from the facial heaviness, these pathogens result in the full blown onset of sinusitis with symptoms, which include:
Facial pain Dull throbbing ache around the forehead and eyes
Facial swelling The accumulation of mucus leads to swelling around the eyes
Congestion Hampered breathing from the nose
Discharge Yellowish-green mucus continuously secreting from nasal passages
Olfactory impedance The patients sense of smell is greatly reduced
Taste impedance Patients also lose a significant amount of their tasting senses
Coughing Nasal and probable tracheal congestion make this extremely common
Fever Bacterial and viral infections also cause a rise in body temperature
Bad breath Halitosis is also a common complaint among sinusitis sufferers
Fatigue Impaired breathing lowers the bodys oxygen levels, causing fatigue
Dental pain Facial swelling exerts pressure on the gums and teeth as well
If you feel some combination of these symptoms coming on, then have your ENT specialist perform a diagnosis and confirm whether you have sinusitis and then start an appropriate treatment accordingly.
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