But it doesn't feel like your regular, run of the mill cold; you still feel bad even after taking cold medicines and it hasn't done anything to alleviate the symptoms. It might be a sinus infection. This type of infection is more common that you think, affecting more than 37 million people in the US alone. It can be acute or chronic, but whatever type you got, it's still a painful and tiring experience to go through.
Basically, sinusitis means inflamed sinuses caused by an infection or another underlying symptom. People complaining that their sinuses are killing them are often just talking about the achy feeling and the congestion one feels in one or more of the four cavities in the skull. Also known as para-nasal sinuses, these air-filled spaces are hollow and so called for the bones that comprise them. These sinuses are found inside each cheekbones, over the eyes and behind the bridge of the nose.
Cause of Sinusitis Pain
An episode of a sinus infection is painful because the accumulating mucus and the trapped air in the sinuses put extra pressure on mucous membranes and the bone behind it. There are also instances when a membrane at the entrance of a para-nasal sinus swells and stops air from entering the sinuses, thereby creating a vacuum and causing pain.
7 Ways Sinus Infections Can Be Avoided
• Keep the nose area moist by using washes or saline sprays.
• Try to maintain an environment that's not too humid or dry.
• Minimize exposure to common irritants like cigarette smoke and dust.
• Avoid exposing yourself to fumes that are given off by materials like hairspray, strong perfume or cleaning products.
• Get tested for allergies or talk to an allergy specialist if you think you're always suffering from a sinus infection. Knowing your triggers and understanding the disease can help you live normally and comfortably.
• Minimize your time in the swimming pool are chlorine can irritate the sinus lining.
• Say goodbye to deep sea diving as it forces water from the nasal passages into the sinuses.
Getting Relief from a Sinus Infection
The sad reality is that there's no fast or clear-cut solution to a sinus infection. As millions of people suffering from sinusitis have found out, getting relief from this type of infection is a never-ending battle. You can try a sinus home remedy or other recommendations from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
• Try to spend several minutes breathing warm, moist air. You can easily do this by taking a hot shower or bath and spending several minutes in the bath room to breathe in the steam. Or simply fill a sink with hot water.
• Try using saline washes or nasal sprays. Using these sprays can help remove secretions and drains your sinuses. Nasal rinse kits or Neti pots are readily available at any pharmacy and are best at irrigating the nasal cavities.
• Over-the-counter medicines like decongestants are also good for relieving symptoms of sinusitis. Always remember to check the labels before taking any medication; some cold medicines are not safe for very young children or those with certain health conditions.
• Blow your nose gently. A strong, forceful blow might just push the mucus back into the sinuses and block them again.
• Try putting a moist, warm towel or hot gel pack on your face for about 5-10 minutes a couple of times a day to help you breathe easier.
If these easy, home remedies aren't doing it for you, try to see your doctor or a healthcare professional as soon as you can. Your doctor can prescribe medicines like antibiotics to help cure an infection. Bear in mind though that antibiotics are rarely recommended as a sinus treatment as most sinus infections die down on their own.
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