Sinuses are hollow spaces in your facial bones. They are located below the surface of your cheeks, behind your forehead and eyebrows, on either side of the bridge of your nose, and behind your nose. These sinuses are lined with small, thin soft tissues called sinus lining. These soft tissues can get inflamed by bacterial and viral infections which results in sinus infection also called sinusitis. When this happens the normal flow of mucus is obstructed and they can be clogged easily. There are different ways to prevent sinus infections as you will find out as you continue to read.
Sinus infection (sinusitis) are infections or inflammation of the sinus cavities. They can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, smoking and other environmental factors. Most sinus infections are not contagious and do not need treatment with antibiotics unless the infection is caused by bacteria or fungi. Home remedies can help relieve symptoms like a sinus headache and pressure. Complications can be an infection that spreads to the brain causing meningitis or brain abscess.
Symptoms to look out for
The symptoms of sinusitis are similar to that of a cold with fatigue, cough, congestion, fever, impaired sense of smell, a pressure in the ears, or a headache. Your headache is worse when you lean over or lie down, your nasal discharge has changed from clear to yellowish green, bad breath, and poor appetite. According to research the best course of action to take for occasional sinusitis is to use self-care measures to ease the symptoms while the body clears the infection. It also states that 80 percent of people with sinusitis improve within two weeks without taking antibiotics.
The main types of sinusitis
Sinus infections come in two main categories, acute sinusitis, and chronic sinusitis. An acute sinus infection often follows a cold or an attack of hay fever. Research states that nearly 40 percent of people whose common colds lasted seven days or longer developed signs of a sinus infection that showed up on an Xray when tested. The most common cause of acute sinus infections is due to viruses.
Chronic sinus infection is a low-grade inflammation that lasts for three months or more. The same viruses cause it, but other factors such as stress, air pollution, allergies, and low immunity make a chronic sinus infection much harder to get rid of. Symptoms of a chronic sinus infection include a headache, congestion, nasal discharge, postnasal drip, (with or without a cough) fatigue, bad breath, not able to concentrate, fever and a diminished sense of smell. According to studies conducted, chronic sinus infections has become one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses in the United States with more than 37 million people with the condition.
When sinuses become inflamed
Sinusitis can interfere with normal drainage. The mucus produced in our sinuses normally flushes out germs and debris that can cause infection. When the sinuses become inflamed, the drainage stops. When the drainage is interrupted this will cause problems. The nose is easily plugged up, and when this happens, the trapped fluid becomes a reservoir for bacterial growth, which leads to infection.
There is no fine way to prevent sinusitis but there are some precautions that you can take. The most common reason for getting a sinus infection is an allergic attack. For this, you will have to try to avoid things that trigger the allergy attack, like air pollutants, cigarette smoke, chemical irritants like pesticides, and household cleaners.
If you have a sinus infection, one of your primary goals is to thin nasal secretions which makes them easier to expel. Drinking lots of fluids, especially warm liquids such as herb teas and soups is a good way to do this. Another way is to inhale the warm steam. Breathing the warm steam from a hot shower, commercial inhaler, or a simple pot of hot water, will help to loosen mucus, soothe dry membranes and may relieve a sinus headache. Adding antiseptic, decongesting herbs such as eucalyptus and thyme will give you something extra to your steam treatment. You can also use a damp hot towel as you can tolerate, over your face to increase blood flow to the sinuses to decrease discomfort. A warm bath can also help you to get rid of that tired and sick feeling.
These are some methods that will help you to prevent sinus infections.
Keep windows closed especially when the pollen count is highest in the environment like morning to mid-noon. Try to vacuum and wipe down all surfaces regularly to avoid dust and mites. Use dust mites covers on pillows and mattress. Stop smoking or avoid other people’s smoking, because smoking causes further irritation of inflamed tissues. Maintain a good sinus hygiene, this helps to prevent further infections, such as drinking plenty of fluids to keep the nasal secretions thin, in order to get a proper flow through the nasal cavities. Flush out stale nasal secretions to prevent obstruction of the nasal cavity.
Hand washing is a good precaution that can be used especially when in contact with people who are having cold or upper respiratory tract infections. Always try to keep the nasal passages moist which will help to remove infectious agents such as bacterial infections. Saline nasal sprays can be used for this. Inhalation of hot steam can be used to help prevent sinus infections, but avoid breathing dry air. A humidifier can also be used to keep the sinuses moist, but make sure that machine is cleaned daily as this can become a source of sinus problems.
Make sure to recommended flu vaccinations yearly to prevent influenza and infection of the upper respiratory tract. Some diets like garlic, horseradish and Cajun spices which are rich in antioxidants help to keep the immune system on guard. Although antibiotics help to fight bacterial infections, if you take too many antibiotics, you can build up resistance to the medication. Follow the labels. Keep a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and good nutrition.
What to do to ease your symptoms
These steps will help you to clear up your infection. Use saline (salt water) to help loosen the mucus. A Neti pot will work well. This is a small container with a spout and looks like a teapot. Fill the pot with warm saline and pour the fluid into one nostril and allow the discharge to drain from the other. Over-the-counter decongestant pills or nasal sprays can be used to reduce stuffiness, but don’t abuse them as you can end up with more inflammation instead of having less. Take a pain reliever as needed to ease your headache or face pain. According to research, Antihistamines reduce swelling and let you breathe a little easier, but they can also dry up the nose and thickens the mucus. You want to have drainage and not dryness.
A cold normally starts to get better after about 72 hours or may last for a week, but most people will see improvement around the third day. If you have sinusitis, it gets worse after three days or you begin to notice symptoms of sinusitis such as increased pain, fever, or a change in nasal discharge. See your doctor if your symptoms are severe and getting worse. How to prevent sinus infections is a way to help you.
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well. Know how to start an online business. Click here.