Sinus Facts: An Overview
This article first appeared in the October 1, 2001 issue of Sinus News:
Few people realize how serious of a condition sinus infections can be until they get an overview of the statistics. Sinus News is pleased to give you a look at some of the statistics that show the overall impact of this disease:
• Every year, more than 35 million Americans suffer from sinusitis (approximate ratio: 1 out of every 7 Americans).
• 14% of the American population is effected by sinusitis (report in June 1997 issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology).
• “A total of 26.7 million outpatient physician, hospital office, and emergency department encounters were attributed to sinusitis in 1996.” (Healthcare expenditures for sinusitis in 1996 – Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, March 1999).
• “Chronic sinusitis, lasting more than eight to 12 weeks, can significantly affect worker productivity and school performance on an individual level.” (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology).
• Bacteria, Fungi, and viruses can be a cause of sinusitis.
• Sinusitis is one of the leading chronic diseases in the United States.
According to the National Academy on an Aging Society, it is the most common chronic condition among Americans.
• “About 46.9 million prescription and nonprescription medications were ordered [in 1996 via outpatient office-based physician care for sinusitis]…including drugs in the following therapeutic classes: antibiotics (74.5% of all sinusitis encounters), nasal decongestants (21.6%), and antitussives, expectorants, and mucolytics ($14.2%).” (Heathcare expenditures for sinusitis in 1996 – Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, March 1999).
• According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, sinusitis is reported “to be one of the most expensive disorders in the U.S. and its prevalence is on the rise.”
• “Expenditures attributable to sinusitis totaled $5.78 billion in 1996.” (Heathcare expenditures for sinusitis in 1996 – Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, March 1999).
• There is a strong relation between asthma and sinusitis with some studies showing that up to 75% of asthma patients develop sinusitis (see quote below for further information on asthma and sinusitis).
“Prompt diagnosis and treatment of sinusitis are essential in the long-term management of chronic asthma. The effect of treatment of sinusitis on asthma has been documented in the medical literature and by clinical observation. Asthma diminishes when coexistent sinusitis is maximally treated by medical or surgical intervention, such as topical intranasal corticosteroids, sinopulmonary lavage, broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy (when indicated), and decongestants.” – Postgraduate Medicine, October 2000, “Sinusitis and its relationship to asthma.
What Symptoms do you look for? Sinus Infection Pain really hurts
I have had many Sinus Infections through my life and would like to share my knowledge here. I have tried many things to help the Sinus pain and I will let you know what worked on what did not in a future post. The first thing I would say is go see your doctor about your Sinus Infection Symptoms, it’s not best to try fixing or treating a sinus infection issue on your own.
It is very important to understand everything you can about Sinus Infections, because if you have ever had a bad sinus infection you know the extreme pain that this infection can cause. Very bad sinus infections can make you feel like cutting your head off. Sinus infections can keep you up at night pacing the floor, there is no way you can sleep through a bad one. The pain can be so intense that it can drive you crazy, literally. The worst pain I have ever had in my life is the pain from a bad sinus infection, don’t ignore the Sinus Infection Symptoms.
The worst one was in my left cheek, and you almost wanted to drill a hole into it to relieve the pressure. This is why it is so important to understand Sinus Infection Symptoms and head the infection off at the pass, before it really sets in. You do not want it to get underway, as it is a lot worse after the sinus infection goes for a while and is allowed to fester. Your sinuses are part of your body system for nasal air. The sinuses are air cavities located behind the cheeks and forehead. These air cavities are covered, on the inside, by membranes that are covered in very small hairs.
This air cavity system produces mucus daily. Most people do not notice the mucus because it is swallowed in small quantities throughout the day. In terms of Sinus Infection Symptoms this mucus is important as it helps to clean the bacteria and other germs from the sinuses, membranes, and the small hairs that are on the membranes. You do not want bacteria and germs building up in your sinuses or on the associated membranes.
Sinus Infection Symptoms can begin when clogging issues develop within this nasal air system and the membranes that are part of this system. If the issue gets bad enough you will begin to feel the Sinus Infection Symptoms, and you will know something is amiss with your sinuses. Something just will not feel correct.
What are the first issues associated with Sinus issues
If you begin to have issues with your sinuses usually what will happen first is inflammation will begin to develop within the membranes. This can cause a variety of issues, but at first you may notice just some post nasal drip. If you blow your nose you may notice a discharge that all of a sudden breaks loose and is blown out of the nose. This may be one of the Sinus Infection Symptoms that you begin to notice first.
When this initial discharge is blown out you may wonder where it came from as your nose may not be plugged at all. What has happened is the discharge dropped suddenly from the sinus air cavity and was not necessarily in your nose itself. If you continue to blow your nose, hard, some more may drop down out of the sinus air cavity. This could be a first, Sinus Infection Symptoms, cause for concern as something is going on up in your sinus air cavity, but your nose is not plugged like with a normal cold.
You may not ever have any normal cold or flu symptoms present when the infection takes hold. In fact you may never feel anything in your nose, except when you blow it and suddenly a clump drops down from you sinus air cavity, and out it comes. These clumps are usually thick and gooey as they have just come from the sinus cavity and are a sure sign that you need to evaluate your Sinus Infection Symptoms. Keep in mind that the main purpose of the sinus cavity, membranes, and the small hairs are to protect you from dirt, germs, and bacteria.
Usually the sinus cavity system works very well, sometimes not. When a sinus infection gets underway you really need to identify the Sinus Infection Symptoms quickly so you can take the adequate steps and try to fight it off. Usually what happens first is one of your sinus cavities becomes blocked for some reason. Once this blockage occurs the bacteria and viruses can take hold as the normal mucus drainage is no longer cleaning the sinus cavity adequately. You will now begin to see Sinus Infection Symptoms as the condition continues to get worse and as long as the sinus blockage continues to occur.
One of the obvious signs of a sinus infection is that your upper teeth will begin to hurt and ache for no reason. If this happens you should probably go to the dentist and have your teeth checked to be sure of no dental issue. If no dental issue can be found then you may very likely have obvious Sinus Infection Symptoms. For me the teeth always begin hurting before the cheeks or forehead. This may not always be the case with everyone. A week or two after the teeth begin hurting, and if the sinus infection continues, the cheeks or forehead usually begin to hurt.
Your Sinus cavities will begin to hurt the worse that your Sinus Infection Symptoms get. Your upper and lower jaws may begin to ache for no reason also. For me it’s the teeth more than the jaws, but this could be different for you. Other Sinus Infection Symptoms may include pressure around the eyes and near your ears. I seem to have the issue on the left cheek and the right cheek has never had an issue.
It could be that the sinus cavity is smaller or shaped funny and the normal drainage is not as good. You will definitely notice a feeling that something seems to be wrong. Your ability to taste may be affected; you may not be able to smell as well either. Some folks seem to experience bad breath when they have Sinus Infection Symptoms. All of the Sinus Infections I have had have lasted up to three weeks when they really get going.
I hate to say it but I have gone to many doctors when having Sinus Infection Symptoms and some of them do not know how to treat the infection. In fact I figured out how to relieve, mine on my own, as I was pacing the floor one night, and then ran to a local store. The same Sinus Infection Symptoms treatment may or may not work for you also. Unfortunately the doctors I went to did not help me much. You should always see your own doctor though, and I am hopeful they can help you better than mine did.
Final thoughts on battling Sinus Symptoms associated with Infection
Again, don’t leave your doctor out of the equation. They can sometimes be a big help and I would not put off seeing a doctor when Sinus Infection Symptoms take hold. In the next post I will talk about what I tried and did not work, and what I tried on my own and had great results with. I hope this information was useful to you in evaluating your Sinus Infection Symptoms.
Sinus infection Remedies-Natural or Medical
Much debate still exists over the sinus infection cure. Treatment is deemed the cure, especially with surgery. However, recent research has brought to light information about the underlying causes of sinusitis, and with the move toward natural cures, several other possible treatment options are vying for attention.
A sinus infection occurs when the sinuses ( hollow pockets of air ) located on the skull around the bones of the nose and eye socket, become inflamed. Sinuses are connected to the nasal passage,thus ensuring the free exchange of air and mucus. Sinus blockage arises when air get trapped in, possibly with pus and other secretions.
A cure for sinus infection will thus relate to unblocking this cavity and ensure drainage. The sinus infection cure can vary depending on the cause of the inflammation. The causes of sinusitis may be an infection in the upper respiratory track, allergen-prone reactions, asthma-linked effects, other conditions affecting the immune system, presence of bacteria and/or fungi, and nasal polyps and a deviated septum.
Typical sinus infection treatment options include the use of decongestants to help with drainage and relieve congestion; antihistamines to treat underlying allergen reactions; and painkillers to relieve pain in the pressure-filled sinuses. Antibiotics are used to treat bacteria if same is present. Acute sinusitis, which does not last for more than 8 weeks, in bouts of 10 days, is treated with such sinus infection medication , though antibiotics are rarely needed.
Chronic sinusitis normally lasts for more than 8 weeks, with bouts going on for more than 20 days, and treatment for this type of sinus disease is somewhat different. The above mentioned drugs, together with antibiotics and nasal corticosteroids, are used. Oral steroids might be prescribed in some cases.
When you go to see a health care provider for a sinus infection cure, the normal course of action is to prescribe antibiotics. This is very unfortunate,as antibiotics will only get rid of a bacterial sinus infection. The truth is that antibiotics for curing severe sinus infection are not effective against a fungal sinus infection or any type of fungus.Instead you have to know what causes your
sinus fungus. Additionally, as more and more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics,they are becoming ineffective. Morever, taking antibiotics for your sinusitis can have severe side effects.
Sinus surgery remains an almost surefire way of treating sinusitis, though it remains the last resort when medication has failed. Surgery helps with enlarging sinus passages, remove nasal polyps, drainage and correct a deviated septum, all to help with ensuring an open airway.
Self-care can also help. The use of nasal saline sprays to help irrigation and drainage and Steam inhalation is encouraged. Warm compresses can help relieve pain and pressure.
A natural cure for sinus infection such as apple cider vinegar is said to help with the condition. It is taken during the day, with best results if taken from the every onset sinusitis symptom. However, it cannot be said to work for everyone.
Apart from medications, there are also many home remedies to cure sinus infection. Remedies such as mustard seeds, nasal spray,jalapeno pepper, peppermint steam, cinnamon and ginger are known sinus infection cures . Do note that not all home remedies can also work for everybody. There are a few home remedies that give you only temporary relief; others can help you to cure sinus infection permanently. If you are not sure ask your local doctor about which sinus infection cure is best for you.
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