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Acute and Chronic Sinusitis

Blocked and swollen sinuses cause mucus and air to become trapped inside. If you do have these symptoms, then you may be suffering from sinusitis; you might have a painful or tender face, and you may have a blocked up nose.

A swollen and inflamed lining in your sinuses is known as sinusitis. Your sinuses are small cavities around both your nose and forehead. They work by controlling the water content and the temperature of the air that goes into your lungs.

Your IPSA Medical doctor is experienced at both diagnosing and recognising this type of condition (and many other types of condition). A comprehensive medical history will be taken from you and an in-depth consultation undertaken.

This examination is done to rule out the more severe conditions, and your IPSA Medical doctor will teach you how to manage your sinusitis once at home.

There are two types of sinusitis: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. If your sinusitis clears up without treatment within 4 weeks, then you have what is termed “acute” sinusitis, which usually onsets after having a cold and the symptoms are quite severe.

However, symptoms that persist for much longer (for 12 weeks or more) point to “chronic” sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis sometimes develops from acute sinusitis, the difference being that the symptoms do not clear up – they persist.

Initially, your IPSA Medical doctor, at his or her discretion, might prescribe a number of treatments:

  • Anti-mucous medication
  • Decongestants
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroid sprays

At IPSA Medical, we want to get you better as quickly as possible. We also support you during your entire recovery process. IPSA Medical doctors are available over the phone to discuss any issues with you after you have had your consultation.

What Is the Cause of My Sinusitis?

During the common cold, infection of the mucous membranes can set in. This infection (in your upper airways and nose) can lead to acute sinusitis.

When you have a bacterial infection of the mucus in your sinuses, then more serious symptoms of sinusitis can develop. This is then called “bacterial sinusitis”.

Often, when your sinuses and nasal lining are already inflamed, chronic sinusitis might then be triggered by allergens and irritants).

There are some other causes of sinusitis:

Blocked and/or narrowed passages (due to facial injuries or nasal polyps) can also cause sinusitis to develop.

Some of the following allergens might be responsible for your chronic sinusitis:

  • Smoke/air pollution
  • Airborne allergens (grass/tree pollen)
  • Chemical sprays (household cleaning products)
  • Dust mites

The Symptoms of Sinusitis

When you do develop acute sinusitis, then you often experience pain; however, you are less likely to have these painful symptoms with chronic sinusitis.

You could experience:

  • Pain (usually in the facial region: jaw, teeth, cheeks, in your neck, ears, between the eyes or on your forehead)
  • A reduced sense of smell
  • Mucus (green or yellow)
  • A stuffy or blocked up nose

The less common sinusitis symptoms are:

  • A fever
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • A sore throat or cough

Extreme Cases

Sinusitis, in very rare cases, might develop into something that is more serious. The infection in your sinuses can spread; this can then affect the bones in both your eye socket and face. If left unchecked, the infection moves into your brain, and sometimes causes meningitis.

If your sinusitis is causing your eyelids to swell, it could be a sign that the eye socket has become infected. If this is the case, then consult your IPSA Medical doctor or GP immediately.

If you do notice some/any of the common meningitis symptoms, seek medical help without delay.

Meningitis symptoms can include:

  • An aversion to bright light
  • Sickness
  • A stiff neck
  • A severe headache
  • A fever

Treating Sinusitis

There are a several ways in which we can treat sinusitis.

You can employ self-help treatments to alleviate the symptoms.

If you need help in treating your sinusitis, then book in for your consultation with a doctor at IPSA Medical and your doctor will help you to locate a treatment that will work for you.

 

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Treatments

You can take OTC painkillers (like anti-mucus medication or paracetamol/ibuprofen).

Your IPSA Medical doctor might suggest using a decongestant nasal spray. This might soothe your symptoms. These sprays act to reduce the inflammation/swelling in your sinuses. At IPSA Medical, we only advise you using nasal sprays for a brief time, as long-term usage can lead to sinus congestion.

Consultations

If you do have acute/chronic sinusitis, IPSA Medical will suggest a full consultation and this is with one of our own doctors.

Your IPSA Medical doctor will get to grips with your detailed medical history and then determine an effective treatment plan for you.

Following your consultation, we might advise you to have a steroid nasal spray. If you do have chronic sinusitis that is linked to allergies or to hay fever, then your doctor might suggest that you take anti-histamines as these will keep these symptoms in check.

If your symptoms still do not lessen, or if your nasal discharge becomes thick and coloured, it may mean that your sinuses have become infected with bacteria; to clear up this type of infection quickly, your IPSA Medical doctor might prescribe an antibiotic course.

You might be at a higher risk of infections developing if you already have a fever or if you have additional health problems (such as heart disease or cystic fibrosis), as these factors increase the risk of infection.

During your IPSA Medical consultation, your doctor will rule out anything that is more severe.

At IPSA Medical, our aim is to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. We also provide follow-up advice if you have any further queries following on from your consultation.

Book your sinusitis same-day consultation with IPSA Medical today.

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