MS - ENT, MBBS
Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Specialist
4 Major causes of sinusitis you shouldn’t ignore
Sinusitis refers to a common condition characterised by inflammation and swelling of cavities surrounding nasal passages, commonly known as your sinuses. When something interferes with the flow of air into the sinuses and obstructs mucus drainage out of it, sinus infection or sinusitis mainly occurs.
The most common symptoms of this condition include headache or pain in the facial region, nasal congestion and discharge, loss of smell and fever in some cases. To ensure that you opt for the correct treatment it is necessary to identify the causes of blockage. Here are the chief causes responsible for giving you a sinus infection.
In most cases, a sinus infection is triggered by common cold and flu, which are caused by viruses. Swelling of nasal tissues occurs due to cold, in turn creating a blockage for the holes that are meant for draining mucous. In this case, rather than opting for antibiotics, take precautions against flu and cold. You can even consider getting a flu shot.
Certain pollutants and allergens or deviation of septum can be the cause behind sinus infections as they trigger coughing, irritation of the nose and inflammation. Some of these pollutants are dust, smoke and harmful gases present in the air or substances with a strong odour (certain foods, flowers, perfumes etc). To minimize chances of sinusitis, try to stay away from these irritants to the maximum extent possible. Moreover, you can also use an air purifier to reduce the effects of air pollution.
3. Long term use of nasal decongestant sprays
Nasal decongestant sprays may help you get rid of congestion, but on the other hand they are responsible for the constriction of the blood vessels present in your nose. Moreover, if used for a long time, these nasal products may worsen the symptoms of sinusitis, especially if the directions for use are not correctly followed. Also, prolonged use of the sprays can give rise to rebound nasal congestion, which is basically a relapse of congestion. So, try to minimise the use of it and follow directions very carefully if you do need to use it.
Smoke from cigarettes has an effect similar to pollutants on your nose. Cigarette smoke plays a significant role in degrading the natural sinus-cleaning system of your body resulting in more gunk build up in the sinuses, in turn clogging nasal passages. Moreover, smoking also leads to inflammation, triggering sinus infections. So, try to cut down on your smoking if not quit altogether.
Sinus can be treated with the help of medications or through endoscopic sinus surgery.