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Recurring Sinus Infections

Recurring Sinus Infections

Recurring sinus infection is also known as chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is different from acute sinusitis which often goes away with or without treatment. Chronic sinusitis is a common condition whereby the nasal sinuses become inflamed and swollen for about 3 months despite several treatment attempts. It interferes with the nasal drainage and causes a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. The stuffed nose will cause difficulty in breathing is a common symptom of recurring sinus infection. It is caused by either an infection, nasal polyps (benign growth in the sinuses) or structural problems in the nose. The condition is more common for youth and the middle-aged people than children.

Symptoms

There are about four primary signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis. At least two of these must be present with evidence of nasal inflammation for chronic sinusitis to be diagnosed.

These are:

  • Discharge from the nose (thick and colorless) or the postnasal drainage.
  • The nasal obstruction which causes difficulty in breathing
  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in the cheeks, eyes, nose or forehead.
  • A decrease in the sense of smell and taste.
  • Other symptoms are ear pain, pain in the upper teeth, soreness in the throat, halitosis (bad breath), weakness, nausea, irritability, fever etc.

Recurring sinus infection or chronic sinusitis or recurrent sinusitis is when there is more than three acute sinus infection in a year.  If acute sinusitis is left untreated, it may cause further damage to the mucous lining of the sinuses, making the person affected susceptible to another infection.  Also, allergies, weak immune system, a structural problem (deviated septum) contributes to the recurrent sinus infection. Chronic sinus infection lasts for 3 months or more.

Some people are more susceptible to recurrent sinusitis than others. People with allergies or respiratory tract diseases such as asthma, people with the weak immune system and people who have a structural problem like deviated septum (when the septum dividing the nostrils is shifted to one side) and nasal polyps (benign growth in the nasal drainage that causes nasal obstruction)

Treatments

Recurring sinuses infection should be treated and diagnosed only by a doctor.

However, some lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, avoiding allergies, breathing purified and humidifies air can be made. Also, the use of antibiotics as prescribed by a specialist, sinus irrigation (use of sterile saline) can also be used. Only in extreme cases that chronic sinusitis may involve a surgical operation.

If chronic sinusitis is left untreated, it can cause more serious health problem such as potential blindness, mood swings, seizures, meningitis, osteomyelitis in children, partial or complete loss of sense of smell and cellulitis in the skin.