What is Rhinosinusitis ?
It is defined as rhinosinusitis the disease that causes inflammation of the paranasal sinuses as an allergic response or by the presence of a viral, bacterial or fungal contaminating agent.
It is also known as sinusitis, but the term rhinosinusitis is more appropriate because it is a condition characterized by rhinorrhea. Inflammation of the paranasal sinuses can occur for various reasons, and is identified by its unmistakable symptoms: nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, facial pain, fever, among others.
Causes of Rhinosinusitis
As it was explained at the beginning, the causes of rhinosinusitis are diverse, but among them are the following:
What are the symptoms of rhinosinusitis?
The symptoms of this disease are similar for either case, allergic or bacterial, and include:
In children, the symptoms are perceived as a continuous cold that worsens. Additionally, a dark discharge and high fever are observed for several days.
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Treatments for Rhinosinusitis
There are two areas that must be improved through the treatment of rhinosinusitis, the infection that causes it and the inflammation of the sinuses. To achieve this, medicine has developed several treatments.
It is a surgical procedure that aims to dilate the sinus ducts and eliminate the discomfort caused by rhinosinusitis.
In principle, the medical specialist will recommend pharmacological care with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs that help relieve symptoms.
The recommendation is given by a medical specialist who determines the dosage and frequency of treatment. It is important to follow these specifications to the letter.
The endoscope is a tiny device that allows these surgeries to be minimally invasive. Thanks to these instruments, the patient can be treated without the need to make incisions.
With the help of the endoscope, which is composed of a camera and other instruments, the correction of sinus obstructions is performed through the nostrils.
It is a fast procedure that does not pose a major risk to the patient. It can also provide a solution to cases that do not improve with drugs and even eliminate nasal polyps.
FAQs about Rhinosinusitis
The organs affected by sinusitis are the paranasal sinuses, which are located around the face.
Allergic rhinosinusitis is defined as inflammation of the paranasal sinuses caused by allergic response.
Both terms are valid to define information that causes sinus inflammation, nasal obstruction, facial pain and fever.
Some habits or preventions can help reduce the risk of suffering from sinusitis, such as quitting smoking, avoiding excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.
We can also consider checking our internal health to avoid fibrosis and development of tumors in the sinus area.
Avoid immersing ourselves in contaminated water or inhaling air in toxic spaces that may bring us into contact with infectious microorganisms.
Another recommendation is to avoid catching the flu or allergies, as these are the main causes of sinusitis. In case of contracting a flu or allergy, treat them as soon as possible to avoid long-term nasal complications.
To avoid catching viruses, we can increase the intake of antioxidants found in fruits, wash our hands frequently, avoid touching our faces when we are outside our homes, minimize stress levels, and any other tool that helps us to keep our immune system strong.
We can implement habits such as increasing water consumption as well as the application of humidifiers with decongestant substances that keep the sinuses hydrated and in good condition.
The headache can be intense. If this is your case, you can use prescription drugs for relief. Inhaling steam can also be a great relief, as well as drinking water.
In most cases, rhinosinusitis can be cured by following the above recommendations.
In the case of the humidifier, plants such as mint, peppermint and eucalyptus can be added to increase the decongestant effect. By decongesting and de-inflaming the area, we begin to find a solution to the disease.
Types of rhinosinusitis
Rhinosinusitis can be chronic or acute, which is defined by the duration of the disease. When the patient suffers it for a period equal to or less than four weeks, it can be considered an acute condition.
If the symptoms persist for more than four weeks, then it is considered a chronic disease.
Identifying the type of rhinosinusitis the patient suffers from is critical when it comes to recommending an ideal treatment.
When inflammation has been present for more than four weeks, the physician should differentiate the diagnosis based on the following variants:
Nasal polyps are masses that grow inside the nose and sinuses and obstruct breathing and the expulsion of secretion. They may be the cause of the inflammation, as well as the patient’s discomfort.
They are usually benign masses that must be removed to achieve improvement. They are another form of sinusitis.
This condition lasts for more than six weeks, affecting the patient’s quality of life without the presence of nasal polyps.
When a condition of less than four weeks is diagnosed, the specialist will define its cause based on the following variables:
Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis is the result of the patient coming into contact with a bacterium and causing an infection that results in irritative symptoms in the paranasal sinuses.
Typical symptoms include high fever, green and/or yellowish nasal discharge, bad odor.
This can be diagnosed by a physical examination by an ENT specialist and complemented with other imaging tests such as endoscopy or a CT scan.
This disease is quite similar to the previous one, and it is impossible to differentiate viral rhinosinusitis from bacterial rhinosinusitis at first sight until after several studies, such as cultures, are performed.
Symptoms are similar to each other and medical attention is necessary to find an effective treatment.