What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of one or more of the human body. There are 4 pairs and each sinus has a different name depending on its sinus position (maxillary, frontal, sphenoidal or ethmoidal). Sinuses are cavities found in localized cranial bones near the nasal cavity and are filled with air. These cavities filled with air and located in the bones of the skull communicate with the nose. Sinusitis is a common condition, but the prevalence is difficult to estimate. According to some studies, it affects about 10% of the population, adults and children. In the majority of cases, they are of allergic origin or due to a virus, a bacterium or a mushroom. There are two types of sinusitis: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. When it lasts a few weeks, we talk about acute sinusitis but if it lasts for several months and comes back, it is a chronic sinusitis. In general, chronicity is established after several outbreaks of acute sinusitis. More than half of people with chronic sinusitis are allergic.
Causes of sinusitis
Sinusitis is often caused by a viral infection. However, in some people, a bacterial infection can cause sinusitis. When a bacterium spreads in the sinuses, the mucosa gets irritated and swells, which clogs the sinuses. When the nose is clogged, the mucus produced by the sinuses can no longer flow to the nose. The sinuses are then infested with microbes. The presence of mucus also causes an increase in sinus pressure. Generally, sinusitis starts during a cold, flu or other viral infection.
Other causes include allergies, nasal polyps, nasal wall deflection, air pollution. More than half of people with chronic sinusitis are allergic.
Symptoms of sinusitis
The symptoms of sinusitis are totally different from those of colds or flu. Sinusitis is characterized by typical symptoms that are:
-Nasal congestion, breathing through the nose difficult.
-A facial pain in the sinuses, pain can be localized in the eyes, nose, eyebrows, cheeks and vary in intensity depending on the affected sinus
-Facial pain (above the eyebrows, nose, cheeks, around and behind the eyes).
-A widespread malaise and a little fever
-Nasal secretions often yellow-green and thick (especially in cases of bacterial sinusitis), the smell is stinking.
-Diminution or loss of smell or taste
– A cough, this cough is due to the secretions of the mucous membranes of the sinuses that tend to flow into the throat.
If these symptoms last more than 7 days, it is likely that the infection is bacterial in nature.
The diagnosis of sinusitis
The diagnosis of sinusitis is usually made through a clinical examination done to the doctor. Sometimes, and when there is doubt about the diagnosis, the doctor can perform tests or tests such as an X-ray, or even use other medical techniques such as a tomography.
The doctor often makes the diagnosis of acute sinusitis based on the history of the disease, the symptoms and the physical examination. Complementary examinations are usually useless in acute sinusitis. It is only rarely that we need imaging tests, either because the diagnosis is not certain, either because we mention a link between sinusitis and a dental infection, or because the treatment is ineffective, or finally because there is fear of local spread of the infection to the eye.
Your most frequently asked questions (FAQ):
Is sinusitis contagious?
Many of you wonder if sinusitis is a contagious disease. Absolutely not, sinusitis is not contagious. It’s not a viral disease, it’s an inflammatory disease.