What Causes a Sinus Infection?
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) is an inflamed, thick, or fluid-filled congestion of the mucous membrane lining the sinuses, usually in the upper respiratory tract. The sinus cavities are four paired hollows (cavities) located in the skull. They are closely connected to the soft tissues surrounding them. They make mucus, which drains from the nasal passages through tiny drainage channels. This drainage helps to keep the nasal cavities clear and free from bacteria. Sometimes an underlying disorder that affects the nasal cavities may cause an infection.
There are three types of sinus infection – acute (previous to recovery), sub-acute (recovery is delayed), and chronic (the recurrence of symptoms is continuous). Acute sinus infections are usually caused by viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection. It is usually resolved by antibiotics and decongestants.
As the name implies acute sinus infections usually last for a few days but in some cases can persist for weeks. They are commonly associated with severe colds and allergies, as well as sinusitis. Symptoms usually include fever, nasal discharge, cough, chest pain, headaches, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the patient may also experience pain on the cheekbones, forehead, and inside corners of the mouth.
Sub-acute sinus infections are also called postnasal drip. They usually last for a couple of weeks, but in rare cases can persist for more than six months. They are commonly caused by common colds and sinus infections.
A chronic sinus infection may be hard to diagnose. They usually have no symptoms, but the presence of postnasal drip, pain in the ear, cough, and congestion can be an indication of different illnesses, especially a respiratory infection.
There are several theories about the causes of sinus infection. One hypothesis says that mucous secretions in the sinus cavities cause infection. Therefore, it has been suggested that the mucus build up in the sinus cavities can lead to sinus infections and other problems related to these cavities.
Other causes are bacteria and fungi. It is believed that fungi causing infection cause sinus in the nasal passages may be responsible for the development of sinusitis. Some researchers think that sinus infection is due to an overproduction of mucus in the sinus cavities. They think that excessive mucus production may lead to a bacterial infection.
Drugs used to treat sinus infections affect the immune system’s ability to fight off infection and stimulate it to fight infection. Antibiotics are often prescribed to reduce the risk of getting a sinus infection. Antibiotics usually have side effects like headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Antibiotics may also help cure symptoms that are associated with a sinus infection, such as nasal discharge, nasal drainage, and pain in the ears. Oral corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce the severity of symptoms.
There are many natural sinus remedies that can help in treating your infection. Drinking herbal teas such as hawthorn and echinacea can reduce the inflammation in the sinuses. Aromatherapy is another method of treating sinus infections using herbs such as lavender and chamomile. The oils from these herbs are applied to the affected area. The heat from a hot compress may help kill the bacteria and fungi and ease the pain.
Baking soda mixed with equal parts of water and lemon juice can produce a natural anti-bacterial. solution. This mixture is used to irrigate the sinuses and provide relief from pain and inflammation. When making a paste, you can also use honey or tea tree oil.
Home remedies can be used in combination with antibiotics. You can apply them on the affected area for relief of symptoms. Some home remedies include drinking vinegar and garlic in order to sooth inflamed sinuses.
If you suffer from sinusitis, you should see your doctor at once and consult with a doctor in order to ensure that you get proper treatment. Do not neglect to take medication if you experience fever, cough, or drainage. Do not ignore the signs of sinus infection, but do take action to prevent it from getting worse.
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