How acute sinusitis affects overall health

Fatigue, lethargy, acute pain are a few of the symptoms connected to acute sinusitis, which have a key and significant impact on the quality of our life.

Sinusitis can often lead to emotional distress, messing up normal activity routines. More so, if spread to the brain, a sinusitis infection can even lead to death. Today, with expert inputs from Dr Rajesh Kr Bhardwaj, Head, ENT, Artemis Health Institute, let's take a look at what acute sinusitis really is.

Understanding the health condition - acute sinusitis.
Most people find it difficult to understand the true meaning of sinusitis. The correct terminology is paranasal sinuses. These are air filled paired cavities around the nose. They are in the cheeks, between the eyes, in the forehead, as well as deep inside the head. The sphenoid sinus, though their purpose is not clearly established, lighten the weight of the human skull and face bones; although this is not entirely known. They also assist in humidification of the inspired air as well as improve the tone of our voice.

How acute sinusitis affects our overall health?
In acute sinusitis, which is the inflammation of the sinuses, the sinus cavities get filled up with pus. This is usually secondary to a cold. A simple 'viral' sinusitis causes symptoms of fever, nasal congestion, thick purulent nasal discharge, post nasal drip, headache, cheek heaviness etc. If not treated and controlled in time by suitable medication, which may include an antibiotic, nasal spray, steam inhalation etc, the infection can get aggravated and spread to surrounding areas.

Symptoms of acute sinusitis. The classic symptoms of acute sinusitis are as follows:

- Bad breath or complete loss of smell.
- Sore throat.
- Acute headache or pain behind the eyes, accompanied along with facial tenderness.
- Fatigue and an overall feeling of droopiness and lethargy.
- Cough, which tends to get worse at night.
- Nasal discharge, high fever may also occurr in a few extreme cases.

Precautions and diagnosis of acute sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. The initial infection is usually viral, which can get secondarily infected with bacteria. In case you are suffering from acute sinusitis, the activities you need to avoid are - flying or diving. Usually a clinical examination is enough to diagnose an acute sinusitis. Sometimes a CT scan along with routine blood work up plus examination of the nasal discharge for the bacteria may be recommended. In case medication does not work, especially in the presence of pus or empyema, a drainage procedure may be recommended.

Home remedies for treating acute sinusitis.
Home remedies will include regular steam inhalation or sauna. In between attacks, during the periods when there is no infection, the naturopathy practice of 'Jal Neti' can be tried. This should restrict itself to gently breathing in slightly warm water into each nostril and gently blowing it out. Avoid vigorous activities, including putting in pieces of string to clean the sinuses. That requires a great amount of practice and training and may not be suitable for all.

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