Sinus Treatment in the Philadelphia, PA Area
If chronic sinus complications are troubling you, you are not alone. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 29 million American Adults currently have been diagnosed with sinusitis, which is an inflammation of the sinuses due to a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection.
A sinus problem typically starts with a viral head cold, in which congestion in your nose blocks the drainage of your sinuses that can lead to acute sinusitis. Both your nose and your sinuses are lined by moisturizing mucus membranes, so when mucus can’t get out of the sinuses, bacteria begin to grow, and that causes a sinus infection.
Let’s Take a Look at Sinus Infections
Acute bacterial sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities that is caused by bacteria and is usually preceded by a cold, allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants. Unlike a cold, however, bacterial sinusitis requires a physician’s diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic to cure the infection and prevent future complications.
Mucus normally collects in the sinuses and drains into the nasal passages, but when you have a cold or an allergy attack; your sinuses become inflamed and are unable to drain. Without drainage, this can lead to congestion and infection. Your ENT will diagnose acute sinusitis if you have up to 4 weeks of purulent nasal drainage accompanied by nasal obstruction, facial pain-pressure-fullness, or both. The sinus infection is likely bacterial if it persists for 10 days or longer, or if the symptoms worsen after an initial improvement.
Acute sinusitis becomes chronic when you have frequent sinusitis, or the infection lasts more than three months. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may be less severe than those of acute, but untreated chronic sinusitis can cause damage to the sinuses and cheekbones that sometimes can require surgery to repair. Antibiotic therapy for bacterial sinusitis may be an appropriate treatment for your sinusitis. If your ENT thinks that you have chronic sinusitis, intensive antibiotic therapy may be prescribed and sometimes surgery may be necessary to remove physical obstructions that may contribute to sinusitis.
Sinus Pain and Its Causes
Sinus or facial pain may be dull and throbbing or an intense, stabbing discomfort in one or both sides of the face or forehead. Pain that starts in the face may be caused by a nerve disorder, an injury, or an infection in a structure of the face. Some causes of facial pain can include:
- An abscessed tooth
- Cluster headache
- Herpes zoster (shingles)
- Myofacial pain syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome
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