Sinusitis is the blockage, inflammation, and subsequent infection of the sinuses. The sinuses are hollow cavities behind the nose and eyes. When healthy, sinuses help you filter the air you inhale; they warm and moisten it before it reaches your lungs. The sinuses are lined with a mucous that traps and drains any foreign particles that might cause you to get sick but when they become swollen, any bacteria or fungus will multiply super fast, and your sinuses cannot drain as they were intended to. This leads to sinusitis; it can be painful, and feel like there is intense pressure behind your nose and eyes, and even into your jaws. It can also cause tooth and headaches.
Adults, females, and the elderly are the most prone to developing sinusitis and those living in the Southern United States are more often diagnosed with the condition than anywhere else. It is exacerbated by coughing and sneezing, swimming and diving, climbing or flying, and smoking. The more pressure you put your body under, the more painful the condition can become so if you are a frequent flyer or a smoker, you are more prone to the infection.
Some pre-existing conditions can put you at a higher risk of developing sinusitis;
- Cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, or bronchitis. Any conditions that increase the production of mucous hinder your sinus drainage.
- Inflammatory respiration conditions such as asthma or allergies.
- Dental infections.
- HIV or any other immune system suppressing diseases.
- GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease can introduce harmful matter to your body.
- Anything that can cause sensitivity or irritation to the sinuses.
There are some environmental factors that can increase risk of sinus infection;
- Trauma to the face; a deviated septum.
- Drier climates; for example in the Southern United States.
- Inhalation of chemicals.
If you’re cold lasts for longer than 10 days, and your symptoms include pain in your face or headaches, you should consult your doctor about treatment. A cold and sinusitis have very similar symptoms so it is best to discuss with them to get the proper treatment.
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