How Do Sinuses Get Infected?

By: Rakhi Kaptiyal

Sinusitis is caused by the inflammation of the nasal passage, which could be caused by any infection. Sinuses are basically small hollow spaces of air located all around the body, but the ones associated with the sinus condition are the 4 para-nasal sinuses that are located in the front of the face.

4 pairs of para-nasal sinuses are -

* Ethmoid sinuses - This is located behind the nose and between the eyes

* Frontal sinuses - This is located over the eyes

* Maxillary sinuses - This is located inside the cheekbone

* Sphenoid sinuses - This is behind the eyes but deeper than the ethmoids

The sinus consists of a nasal opening, which is used for the exchange of mucus and air. For it to carry out its function properly there must be adequate drainage, so that there is a free passage for air to move to the nose. Any swelling causing agent, allergy or infection, can lead to blockage of the sinus leading to a host of problems. Trapped air can exert pressure on the inside wall of the nose, causing excessive pain to the individual. This pain is known as sinus pain. The location of the pain can give you an idea as to which sinus has been inflamed by the infection.

* Forehead pain can mean the frontal sinuses have been inflamed.

* Jaw pain or toothache occurs when maxillary sinuses are affected.

* Pain around the eyes indicates an ethmoid infection.

* A pain in the top of the head is the main sign of sphenoid infections.

Sinus infections are basically of two types - acute and chronic. Acute infections mostly start with simple common cold which inflames the nasal lining. The symptoms of both, the viral infection and inflammation, disappear after a short time. This condition can often cause severe blockage of the nasal passage. When the openings are blocked, proper mucus drainage is not possible. This causes a difficulty in breathing and other sinus symptoms. In some cases, bacterial and fungal infections are also known to cause sinus infections.

Chronic sinusitis is a more severe form of the disease, as the symptoms last for a much longer time and can occur more than once a year. These are the results of allergies, respiratory conditions and other causes. Often nasal sprays are prescribed to be used over long periods of time, though this is not a preferred form of treatment, as the side effects are not completely understood. There are a number of sinus home remedies that are extremely effective in curing the symptoms without any negative effects on the individual.

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